Spangling Bobbins

Spangling bobbins

All my spangles used to be on brass wire, and I have changed them all to fishing line over the past few years. I often found that threads got snagged on the wire, as well as getting sharp ends on your fingers. Nor did they always sit well. With the fishing line you have none of these problems, although you can pull the line too tight when you join the line, and you get a spangle that curls upwards. The whole thing looks neater. Just in case you would like to know how to use fishing line, When you  join the line, you have to use one and a half reef knots, to tie the ends together, tighten the knots, tight but not too tight, then thread the ends back a little way each side and cut off the end. (And I put a minute amount of clear nail polish onto the knot, just to be sure.)

Where do you make the join, next to the bottom bead?

I make the join where ever it suits me. It often depends on the beads, as you can’t always get two lines through a certain bead, I’ll take it to where it is easiest. You seldom can see where you have joined it anyway, so you may as well do it the easy way.

Sorry – will stick with wire – I find fishing line spangles too “sloppy” – in other words they dangle and move around on the pillow. I usually “double thread” my wire through the head bead at least and pulled tightly the spangle always keeps it’s shape – in 25 years I could count on one hand those that have broken – usually due to poor quality wire or poor tensioning in the first place.

I actually buy the ‘indoor washing lines’ from Coles and cut off a suitable length and then unwind it and use each strand separately.  It is nice and fine and very strong. I thread the beads and bobbin, tie it off, then thread each end through separate ways until they meet again and tie the ends off again, take the ends through a couple of beads then cut them off.  I am not sure you could get fishing line fine enough to do this.  I have had very few
broken spangles in the last 13 years.

I thread my beads on to about 3 inches of 26 gauge copper beading wire (from our local craft shop), thread one end through the hole in the bobbin, then the other end from the opposite side, then twist each end around the central wire, next to the bobbin, 4 times (making sure I’m not twisting the same way each time, of course), pulling each twist so that it lays alongside the previous one, then clip off the excess, and squeeze the raw end down with fine pliers. I’ve tried the method of making a loop to sit inside the bottom large bead, but that doesn’t work for me.  My fingers are quite clumsy, but I can cope with the above method quite well.

I usually thread all the beads on to the tigertail with a crimp at either end, then thread tigertail through the bobbin, and back through all the beads and crimps again, so that there is 2 runs of tt through each bead and bobbin, crimp the crimps, thread up a couple of beads each side then cut of the tt close to the last bead. Hope this makes sense.

And don’t forget to get the little crimps to go with the Tiger Tail, and if DH hasn’t got them, you’ll need a pair of very fine-nose pliers…..also sold in the same place as the other supplies.

I’ve only started spangling this way (dental floss and a needle) the last 5-6 years and I’ve not had any  mishaps yet (says she touching wood)  🙂  I’ve tried various ways with wire (even some of DH’s stainless steel wire in the shed (engineers collect all sorts of bits and pieces) and my efforts with fishing line have been awful  –  can’t see the darned stuff to tie the reef knot and a half, also its very slippery.

I’m busy spangling – my DD3 gave me some tiny silver crimp beads – so you can thread the tiger tail wire through them  and through the other one on the other side of the bobbin and a couple of beads – crimp them with pliers and they just look like little silver beads each side of the bobbin and the wire doesn’t move.  I’ve been using little black dog clips as third and fourth  hands to hold the ends of the wire.  Cut the ends of the wire and they look great.

One of my lacemakers here in Cooma came in with a necklace made of spangling wire and odd beads – crocheted!   You thread a whole lot of beads (about 50 at a guess) onto some spangling wire – I used 26 gauge, she reckons she used something heavier. Then you form a slip knot in the wire, and with a large crochet hook, make one chain, slip a bead up, make two chain, slip another bead up and so on. The crochet chain stitches are not pulled tight of course, just left as big loops, about the same size as the beads. And they don’t have to be uniform size stitches, which is impossible with the wire anyway. And you can use any assortment of beads, the more varied the better.