True 2 Beads
If you are looking for seed beads with a little extra zing, then the True 2 beads may be just what you have been waiting for. Sold by The Beadsmith, I have been experimenting with these beads as part of my Beadsmith Inspiration Squad duties, so I’m here to report back on my findings so far! I confess, I have, at this stage, made only one project with these beads, but it has allowed me to put them through their paces very thoroughly and I have found them to be versatile, lovely to use and pretty to look at, so what more do you want?
What are True 2 beads?
Well, they are basically 2mm round faceted beads. If you have already used faceted beads in other sizes, then you will know what to expect: the way in which the surface has been finished (faceted) gives these beads extra sparkle and texture. They are available in a huge range of colours, so some of the finishes are ‘ultra’ sparkly (technical term!), whilst others are a little more muted. The 2mm size is also a very new concept. We’re used to faceted beads being larger – anything from 3mm upwards. So this means they are often used as embellishment. They work well for Right Angle Weave and they can be worked in other bead-weaving stitches, but you might not think of using just faceted beads for a basic bead-weaving project. The 2mm size means that now you can. This is pretty close in size to a size 11 rocaille (traditional seed bead), so I discovered that this allows me to make a project entirely from True 2s instead of seed beads. Alternatively, I can mix them in with other seed beads, making use of their finish to add some subtle sparkle.
Why do I want to use True 2s?
Basically, for the reasons I mentioned above: they are an interesting alternative to size 11 seed beads. Taking this premise as a starting point, I decided to make a necklace that would put my True 2s through their paces.
I started out with an idea that involved using Quadra Tiles as a basis for Cubic Right Angle Weave. This was something that I had planned in my head, so had no idea whether or not it would work. It turns out that it does! So this enabled me to see how Right Angle Weave worked with True 2 beads: the answer is, brilliantly! Having made these flowers, I then moved on to my personal favourite: Peyote stich. The Right Angle Weave seemed a natural choice for faceted beads: it works well with the larger sizes, so I expected it to work with these beads. Peyote stitch was potentially another matter. With larger faceted beads, you may find that the Peyote doesn’t sit quite as neatly together as it would with normal seed beads: the shape and faceting on the beads makes a bit of a difference. With the 2mm beads, I felt that the shape, tension and texture I was getting for my Peyote stitch leaves worked just as well as it would with other seed beads. See what you think from the photo above.
So, with two basic bead-weaving techniques crossed off, I decided to try more. I created a small section of links made with herringbone and square stitch. Did the True 2s still work as well with these techniques? Well, yes they did!
Final experiment: what if I used the True 2 beads alongside size 11 rocailles? In this case, I used size 11 Miyuki seed beads and made a basic spiral staircase rope. Take a look at the photo: firstly, you can see how similar the True 2s are in size to the size 11 beads. Secondly, you can see that the texture provided by the facets adds just a bit of interest, but still these beads blend seamlessly with the traditional seed beads. So, to return to my original question: if you like size 11 seed beads, then you’re going to love True 2s – they feel very similar to work with. They have large holes which allows multiple thread passes very easily, so they work in all the major bead-weaving techniques. Their interesting finish adds a new dimension to your work.
Beyond that, my experiments are just beginning. Really, with these beads, the world is your oyster. They feel to me as though they are just going to become a gorgeous alternative to size 11 seed beads. Possibly I will have to restrict myself a little as currently packet sizes run to 600 beads (typically a 10g tube of size 11 beads is somewhere around 1000 beads, depending on the brand)! However, having established that the True 2s work brilliantly in all the basics, I now want to get a little more creative and look at utilising their uniqueness (the faceted finish) to add some new dimensions to my seed bead work. So keep following this blog post to see how I get on!
True2 Bead Patterns
I can now report back that the necklace pattern featured above was purchased by Jewellery Maker, so will be available through them.
If you are wanting more patterns that use True2 beads, then I have combined them with seed beads in the RAW Collar. They also create a lovely sparkle with Superduos in the Superduo Spiral Bracelet. Or, if you want a slightly simpler place to start, then why not try the Superduo Ruffle bracelet?
I also discovered that they work really well for French beading, so this corsage is a good place to start as it doesn’t require too many beads (I combined the True2s with gemstones for this project). Of course you can always use them for any other French beading project – you can find plenty of patterns here.
Keep checking back as I will be adding more True2 patterns here as I continue to experiment with these lovely beads!