I am so resistant to new bead shapes... I still haven't played around with peanut (farafelle) beads yet!! I am an admitted seed bead snob, and I have my favorites - 11s, 15s, drops and teeny tiny 1.8mm cubes among them - and so I entirely leave my comfort zone when I get new shapes. I should really know by now that a new shape can also bring in a burst of creativity, but I push it aside usually, anyway. (The above image is from Beads&Babble on Etsy - and if you click the pic you will be taken to their listing. I intend no copyright infringement by using their photo.)
I was even more reluctant than usual to try out the new Czech twin beads, as I had heard an awful lot of bad press, especially about uniformity. But then I saw a tutorial that I really really wanted to try out, and it used the twins in a rope - and I am a sucker for ropes of all kinds. Since I didn't have any at all, I went shopping around and found some twins that had the most awesome matte color, and then some that had a great metallic shine... and so of course ended up buying a few shades more!
When they arrived, I spilled them all out on my bead mat to check them out, looking to see how many of them would be unusable (half a bead, no hole, or all hole, lol). I honestly didn't find as many as I expected to; maybe fifteen or less out of 8 grams. Then, I checked out how thin/fat they were compared to one another, and that's when I really noticed the difference. They seem to have one size of HUGE and then one size of teeny tiny thin, and I found that I would need to separate those from each other while working or it would drive me nuts.
I did make the rope - but only about four inches, before I had a 'what if' moment and had to thread another needle and try out my idea. I really like how it turned out - my Runway bracelet was the result of that play session, and I found while stitching it up that the differences in size of the beads did not show up as much when the twins were separated from each other and spaced apart. I still tried to use fairly uniform sizes, but I was able to sneak in a few larger or thinner ones (as needed, as I didn't buy large quantities of the twins) and still have a finished looking bracelet. And Runway is very meditative for me, there are a lot of circles in the thread path, and it was relaxing to make - for once, I really didn't mind doing up three versions of one thing!! I am thinking of having some kits for these in the near future and I listed the tutorial for this yesterday in my Etsy shop, if you'd like to make one, too. :)
The next play session came from a thought I had, wondering if a flat spiral would work with the twins despite two holes rather than one - and it did!! I had some false starts with this one, as I couldn't quite find how to get from one place to the next without huge amounts of thread showing, but I think I have it knocked - as long as you use thread that is very similar in color to the bead, or use smoke Fireline... I tried it with white thread and it still showed much too much for my taste. I also think that this one would be more supple and have a nicer drape if I used Nymo or One G rather than Fireline - and I can't believe I said that because I never use anything but Fireline!
I've had two requests to make this one into a tutorial... what do you think?? All in all, I think I've made friends with the twin beads, and I hope I can think up something else to play with using them.
My next challenge will involve the long magatama beads... and I am stumped on this one, it will indeed be a challenge!