The amazing convertible piece of jewelry

I made it back to the bead store for the first time this year. (Do beaders refer to their local bead store as an LBS the way knitters and crocheters call their local yarn store an LYS?) I left with only one kit, not so much because I was practicing self-restraint as because they’ve only created a few new kits since I decimated their stock last year and only one of the new batch was one I was interested in. This kit, Santa Fe, makes a necklace that can also be worn as a bracelet (or perhaps it’s a bracelet that can also work as a necklace). It’s not my normal style of jewelry, but I liked the colorway (Spring; they also sell a reddish-golden colorway called Autumn) and there was just something about the scatteredness of it that appealed to me.

SantaFe (single strand)
Santa Fe necklace, single strand

Assembling this kit was a different challenge for me than I usually find with beading projects. Technically, it wasn’t difficult: thread the included beads onto the beading wire, making sure that the charms fall at certain points so that they’ll hang in the proper places when it’s worn as a necklace, then attach the lobster clasp and jump ring. Where I was challenged was in the very scatteredness that had attracted me to it in the first place. The designers figure you’ll use the photo of their sample just to give yourself ideas on how to mix the beads and that your creativity will spill out as you play with it.

Santa Fe, double strand
Santa Fe necklace, double strand. Note how now the charms are centered relative to the clasp.

I’m quite willing to believe that other people are blessed with inspiration when given suggestions like that. Me, I have an addiction to symmetry. Left up to my own devices, this necklace was going to be mostly symmetrical, only not quite, because the beads weren’t going to come out right, and the whole effect was going to disappoint me. So I ended up following the sample photo slavishly. I’d say there’s about 99% similarity between them. I am inordinately proud of the one bead I put in on impulse. But overall, I’m happy with the results, which leaves me wondering which is “better,” to basically copy the original and enjoy the necklace, or go off on my own and end up beating myself up for not being naturally random.

Santa Fe (bracelet)
Santa Fe necklace as bracelet (5 wraps)

Oh, and after all that fuss, I’ll probably end up wearing as a necklace more than a bracelet, even though when I bought the kit, I thought it would be the other way around. With actual wear, some loops become loose, others tighten up, and I’m worried that I’ll snag it on something and break it. But I do have ideas for a future one . . . that is, one that I come up with on my own, and have to be all asymmetrical and randomish with by myself!

Santa Fe (on wrist)
Santa Fe bracelet in action