Today we will learn the beading technique of cubic right angle weave (CRAW). For weaving we will use a fishing line with one needle, so it will be a single thread stringing method of CRAW.
We will need:
- beads (you can use beads of almost any type and size, but for beginners I recommend to take seed beads of a large size; I used size 8 seed beads of two colors, green and blue);
- nylon fishing line and a beading needle (I used fishing line 0.3 mm thick).
The whole beadwork requires a long line, so I recommend to take a line of a convenient length (about 1 meter). As soon as it becomes too short you should secure it and trim the tip, then take another segment of line, weave it into the beadwork and continue weaving using this new segment of line. To secure the line (as well as to weave the new line into the beadwork), pass it through beads across the beadwork, changing the direction a few times.
Now let’s learn the theoretical basics of CRAW. The basic unit of CRAW is a cube, the each face of which is a 4-bead unit, the same as in a flat right angle weave (RAW; you can learn the technique of flat RAW from our tutorial here).
Therefore, weaving a CRAW is similar to building a cube (or a 3D box) from 4-bead units of RAW. A cube has a bottom, four sides and a top. When you start making a cube, you should make a 4-bead unit for the bottom, then attach to it the first side (another 4-bead unit) and after that attach three more sides (three more 4-bead units) one after another. And the final face of the cube, the top, will appear by itself, consisting of the upper beads of side units.
You should also remember that the faces (i.e. 4-bead units) in a single cube are connected to each other through sharing of beads (every bead in a 4-bead unit is common to one adjacent 4-bead unit). That is why at the each step you should count the beads you already have in adjacent units of RAW that will also be in the next unit, and add the quantity of beads (3, 2 or 1) that is necessary to build the next 4-bead unit together with those beads in adjacent units.
If you remember this simple algorithm, you will learn the CRAW technique easily and quickly.
So, start weaving. Take a fishing line and pass one of its ends through the eye of a needle. Next, make the following steps.
Step 1. Making the bottom of the cube.
String 4 green beads. Place the set of beads approximately at a distance of 15-20 cm from the free end of the line. Number these beads from 1 to 4 in the order in which they were strung onto the line.
Pass the needle through the bead #1 in direction from the free end of the line.
Tighten the line trying the free end of the line to remain of the same length. We’ve got a 4-bead unit of RAW. This unit will be the bottom of the cube.
Step 2. Making the first side of the cube.
String beads onto the line in the following sequence: 1 blue, 1 green, 1 blue.
Pass the needle through the bead #1 and further through the bead #2 in the bottom of the cube.
Tighten the line. The last three added beads together with the bead #1 in the bottom of the cube made up the 4-bead unit of the first side of the cube.
Step 3. Making the second side of the cube.
The second side of the cube should consist of the bead #2 in the bottom, the nearest blue bead in the first side and two additional beads. Thus, string two beads: blue and green,
then pass the needle through the nearest blue bead in the first side, further through the bead #2 in the bottom and then through the bead #3 in the bottom.
Tighten the line. We’ve got the second side of the cube.
Step 4. Making the third side of the cube.
The third side of the cube should consist of the bead #3 in the bottom, the nearest blue bead in the second side and two additional beads. Thus, string two beads: blue and green,
then pass the needle through the nearest blue bead in the second side, further through the bead #3 in the bottom and then through the blue bead of the last added beads.
Tighten the line. We’ve got the third side of the cube.
Step 5. Making the fourth side of the cube.
The fourth side of the cube should consist of the bead #4 in the bottom, the nearest two blue beads in the first and third sides and one additional bead. Thus, string a green bead,
and then pass pass the needle through the nearest blue bead in the first side, further through the bead #4 in the bottom, then through the blue bead in the third side and after that through the last added green bead.
Tighten the line. All the beads have got together and formed the first cube of CRAW.
Step 6. Finishing the top of the cube.
As you can see, the upper green beads of all four sides have made up the top 4-bead unit of the cube. To toughen it, weave through all these beads in a circle. You can skip this step if you are going to weave a CRAW rope and want it to be more flexible.
Top view of the cube:
Side view of the cube (indicated are the numbers of the beads in the bottom):
Now, to build up a CRAW rope, repeat Steps 2-5 (or 2-6) as many times as you need, each time treating the top of the last cube as the bottom for the next one. So, for the each next cube you only have to make the sides (and toughen the top if necessary).
The most difficult cube in a CRAW beadwork is the first one. As soon as you make a few cubes, you will see that the sides of the current cube stand in an upright position at once and you can easily recognize the relative position of beads and imagine the next step.
The following photos briefly describe the above steps:
Step 2. Make the first side of the cube.
Step 3. Make the second side of the cube.
Step 4. Make the third side of the cube.
Step 5. Finish the fourth side of the cube.
Step 6 (if necessary). Toughen the top of the cube.
In this way, treating the top of the last cube as the bottom for the next one, you can weave as long CRAW rope as you need it to be. The rope on the next photo consists of 6 cubes.
Using such a beadweaving technique, you can make not only ropes but also beaded items of various shapes. Because the adjacent cubes are connected to each other through sharing of sides, and the each side of every cube is a 4-bead unit, the cubes can be connected to other cubes not only via top and bottom, but through different sides. Therefore you can weave cubes, using any visible 4-bead unit in existing cubes as the bottom for the next cube.
If you are interested in making beaded items using CRAW, you can find a few tutorials at our site in which this beaded technique is used.
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