Same Pearls, Same Pattern, But Different Lengths?


Why is this? Each one of these necklaces is made using a petite antique button circa 1890-1930. They all have the same number of pearls for the chain, and the same number of stitches between each pearl.

Yet, the lengths of these necklaces vary up to 1/2 inch in length!

Have you guessed why? The reason is because each one is handstitched separately! If you've ever knit, crocheted, or performed any type of needlework art you understand tension. If not, allow me to explain.

Tension in needlework is simply how tightly or how loosely one stitches. I think that one of the most difficult things to master when one is a new stitcher is consistent tension. Think of a line of sewing stitches done on a machine - each one is the same length because the machine regulates the tension. Since I am not a machine, my tension tends to change from necklace to necklace. I may stitch more tightly on one, a bit more loosely on the next.

Some of this depends on my own feelings of tension. If I'm watching All Creatures Great and Small, I'm probably relaxed so stitches may be a tiny bit looser. If I'm stitching while watching a suspenseful British mystery series, like Miss Marple or Midsomer Murders, my string of pearls may be a bit smaller as I'm on the tense side watching the process of solving whodunit (and trying to work it out for myself before the detective discovers the culprit!)

So the short answer is that each piece I make is handcrafted, so they vary in length - but only by a bit! See my current necklace collection (with sizes listed for each one) here.


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