Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beading Tips & Tricks - Canterbury Bracelet

Today I was making another Canterbury bracelet and thought that I'd share the little tricks that I use whenever I make that pattern. I've already mentioned in previous posts that I leave off the final row of netting for a narrower bracelet. In doing it that way, I find that the scalloped strands of netting have a tendency to go a bit wonky and/or curl under if you don't take steps to prevent it. 

Here are some of my tips:

1. I highly recommend using 6 lb. FireLine instead of regular Nymo D type thread. That alone helps give the netting a bit more stability.

2. I like to add an accent bead in between the motifs to add a bit of interest. The point where you add this bead is in Step 4 of the tutorial where you pick up and add three seed beads. The second bead picked up is the accent bead. I've highlighted it in yellow in the diagram below:

3. After I've added the scalloped netting to both sides of the bracelet, I weave back around through each scallop to shape it then I make a half-hitch knot just after the pair of seed beads between each of the scallops. This little knot secures each scallop. What I do is weave through the 7 seed beads of a scallop and proceed through the next pair of seed beads before the next scallop (as shown in the diagram below). Using firm but not tight tension, I pull the scallop beads snug and shape them neatly. While holding the scallop beads firmly in place between my fingers, I make the knot with my other hand. Then, I continue on through the next scallop and pair of seed beads and add another knot. Don't make the knot just after the scallop. Going through those two seed beads helps keep the beads from shifting around too much while making the knot. I make a knot after every scallop on both sides of the bracelet.

In the diagram below, the 9 pink dots represent the 7 scallop seed beads plus the 2 seed beads between the scallops. The green dot is showing where to make the half-hitch knot. You really make the knot around the thread between the last pink bead and the one to the right of it. I had to place the green dot slightly out of the way so you could see the beads. It does show where you will insert your needle to start your knot.

4. After I've gone all the way around the bracelet shaping the netting and adding a knot between each scallop, I go around through the netting, and pairs of seed beads between the scallops, one more time for good measure. All of this is a bit time-consuming but I think it's worth it for a neater bracelet.

You can buy Nancy Peterson's "Canterbury Bracelet" pattern HERE.


  1. Great tips. When I made the pattern, I reinforced many times to keep it secure. I'll add these tips to make it even better.

  2. Thank you for the tips. I am working on this bracelet right now and noticed that it starts out kinda wonky, too. I like how rounded your scallops look. Is it my imagination, or did the pattern originally have 8 beads where you have 7 on the outer edge? Also, I searched and finally found someone on Etsy selling the lumi blue beads in your antique silver version, so I will be making this again. Do you remember the name of the seed beads in this green version? I will try to post pics of the finished bracelet. I will be using your photography tips, also. This site is a wealth of information. Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to it--it's great!

    1. Hi Jen. Whenever I make Canterbury, I use the very best quality beads that have a nice round shape. They help keep the scallops nice and round. Weaving around them several times also helps a lot.

      No, the pattern says to use 7 seed beads for the scallops. I do sometimes change the number that I use if the beads don't seem to be fitting nicely though, especially if I'm scaling down the bead sizes.

      The seed beads that I used in the sample above are Toho "Hybrid Antiqued Metallic Black" (TY-11-Y0503). I bought them from Aura Crystals but they don't have them in stock at the moment. I also bought some from the same site that are called Toho "Jet Bronze Picasso" (11-Y506). They're identical to the other ones even though the name and number are different. They're an interesting color. They're opaque black but a metallic sort of black and there are bits of gold on them here and there. I've only seen that color in 11/0 and 8/0. I found the 8/0's at but they don't have them anymore. Toho "Gilded Marble Black" is similar but those have a lot more gold on them and they're a lot more expensive. I have that color in my stash too and it's readily available. I just saw it on Aura Crystals, Charlene's Beads and Red Panda.

      I seem to have a knack for finding unusual bead colors and then I never see them again. It must be frustrating for those reading my blog who want to use the same colors that I used. Sorry about that.

    2. I did a Google search for that color and found them on a site called Simply Beads USA. They have three large tubes in stock.

  3. Where is the tutorial? The one under Canterbury is slightly different

    1. Sorry, Karen. I forgot to add a link to the pattern. I just added it to the bottom of this post.