Tubular netting is very similar to Tubular Peyote stitch in that the bead work is worked in a round to form tubular 3-D shape. After each row, we have to step up to add each new row and grow the bead work in an upward direction.
The diagram above shows the thread path used to create the lacy wings of bead segments in each new row. Each segment will contain a center crossover bead that we will use to step up into at the end of each round and from which to begin each new row.
If you haven’t read the Intro to Netting, you may want to start there. I described netting stitch and it’s many variations. Flat Netting Basics is a great place to start, to gain understanding of the basic stitch structures that we are going to use today.
Tools and Material
In flat netting, a Stop Bead is required to hold the initial row in place on the thread and also helps with keeping the correct tension as the work grows.
When working in a round, you don’t necessarily need to use a stop bead. If you struggle with keeping your tension uniform you can optionally use a stop bead for circular or tubular work as well.
Check out this Post if you need a refresher or have not used a stop bead before.
Tubular Netting Stiching and Structural Basics
In order for the Tubular Netting, to work out mathematically, the initial pick up needs to contain an even number of beads.
It will also need to contain a number of base beads equal to the number of segment beads and crossover beads used in every additional row.
In today’s sample, our segments will contain a total of 5 beads and we will be stitching a total of 4 new segments in each additional row.
This means that mathematically, we will need 20 beads (5×4=20) in the base to account for the new segment beads, plus 4 additional crossover beads from with to add each segment in the next row, for a total of 24 beads.
Using this formula, we can determine the amount of beads in the initial row for projects of our own design. This info was not provided in the 2019 Bead and Button Bead Stitching Handbook which I found to be very disappointing.
As a matter of fact, it is very hard to find the formula for many other stitches in the book or anywhere else on the internet.
Pick up 24 11/0 Aqua Beads and sew through all the beads again to form a circle. You can tie a knot or use a stop bead if you need help keeping a uniform tension.
Pass through the first bead you picked up to close the bead work. Note the tail thread and working thread are exiting on opposite sides of the first bead.
Pick up five 11/0 Hyacinth beads.
Skip over five beads on the base and sew through the 6th bead.
Repeat this step three more times to the end of the round.
As you add the last segment of five beads, you will pass the needle through the same bead from which you started the round.
In this instance, the first bead on the base row.
Now we need to step up into row 2 before adding the row 3 beads.
To step up into the previous round, sew up through 3 of the beads in the first segment from the previous row.
From this point we will only be adding the 4 segments of 5 beads each to all additional rows of bead work.
Pick up 5 11/0 Aqua beads.
Skip over to the next segment of the previous row.
Sew through the center bead of that segment and pull the beads into an upward position to begin forming the tubular shaping.
In the initial rows, tension is very important to creating a stable structure to the bead work.
As you add the last 5 bead segment, you will pass through the bead from which you started this third row.
To step up at the same time, move through the first three aqua beads of the first segment.
Repeat the steps above until you reach the end of the round.
If you are struggling with maintaining the proper tension, try using a dowel or other household object in the center of the tube.
I didn’t have a dowel that would fit tightly into the center of my sample, so I used a taped closed paper tube.
Almost anything that fits snug in the center will work.
Row 4 and Beyond
In my sample, I simply alternated every additional row using the two colors of 11/0 seed beads.
Pick up 5 11/0 Hyacinth beads and sew through the center aqua bead on the next segment from the previous round.
Repeat the steps to the end of the row.
Do not forget to step up after adding the fourth segment of each row, by passing through the first 3 beads of first segment added in the current round.
In this instance three Hyacinth beads.
After adding the fourth row and stepping up:
Repeat the steps for Row 3 and Row 4 until your bead work reaches the desired length.
To insure the bead work looks professionally finished on the ends, the final row should typically end with the same color beads as Row 1, in this case Aqua.
Once you have added several rows, the bead work should be stable enough to remove the tube or dowel.
This will make it easier and faster to grow the bead work to the desired length.
And those are the Tubular Netting stitch basics.
Variations of Tubular Netting Stitch
The most obvious ways to vary the look and feel of Tubular netting are to experiment with different beads, sizes and colors.
But you can also vary the amount of open air spaces by changing the number of beads in the segments to make the bead work either more or less lacy.
The beads on the base row would have to be adjusted using the formula, discussed earlier.
Beads per segment multiplied by the number of segments per row plus the number of crossover beads equal to the number or segments per row.
You can also vary the number of segments per row to change the size of the overall tube of bead work.
Filled/Embellished Netting Techniques
We are nearing the end of the Netting portion of Bead Weaving 101.
In the final posts, I will elaborate on Filled Tubular Netting and Embellished Flat Netting.
We will explore these lovely variations to Netting and talk about finishing the ends of a tubular netting project into a wearable piece of jewelry.
So stay tuned for more and use the forms below if you would like to receive my newsletter and be notified by email when new content posts @thealluringbeadboutique.com