Jean Power - Toho Miyuki Samples_edited-1

There are many variables that can affect the finished size of a beaded project. One is the tension with which you bead. Some beaders work loosely, which results in a piece that has little stability, tends to be floppy, and most likely larger than anticipated. Others bead so tightly that the resulting project is stiff and inflexible creating a piece that is shorter and narrower than it should be. Surely, finding a happy medium is something to strive for! Aside from tension, it’s good to remember that the same size bead can differ between brands as  in Jean Power‘s photo shown above. Jean worked these samples using the same amount of beads for each piece. The bottom two samples were worked using Toho 11/0 seed beads. The center piece seems to have been worked with slightly tighter tension than the sample below it. The piece shown at the top was worked in 11/0 Myuki seed beads and it is noticeibly smaller. I’m guessing a piece worked in 11/0 Czech beads would be smaller still. If worked in a long necklace, it may not be of concern, but when making a bracelet, it can make all the difference between a finished piece that fits or not. My advice when following a tutorial that doesn’t specify which brand to use is to work up  a sample swatch with your beads before tackling the project just as a knitter works up a sample swatch to test gauge. After beading an inch or two measure your swatch and count the beads used along the side and top edge. Measure your wrist and do the math…it will help you decide if you have to add or delete rows to create a finished project that will fit. In the long run, taking time to do a sample will save you hours of frustration!