Knots For Pearls.

Q: I started the stringing at the ring end, and just doubled my thread over the ring, and applied the "metal tubing". Sorry, I've forgotten the official name, and started through the beads, one by one, and knotting each one with an overhand knot. All was fine until I reached the end of the beads and needed to tie off the second half of the clasp. At this point, I had two strings coming out of the last bead. What should I do?

A: First off (it's probably too late for this...), you should not knot between the last two beads. Then, you take the threads coming out of the last bead, go through the clasp, down through the last bead, and then tie your knot between the last two beads so that your "tying off" knot becomes the knot between the two beads. I tie it off by tying an overhand knot on one side, then I turn the necklace over and tie again, and then turn it over and tie a third time. Then, I use a gum arabic glue to thoroughly wet the knot. Clip the threads as close to the knot as possible after the glue has set. Gum arabic is water-soluable, so I put a drop of clear nail polish on the knot after the gum arabic is completely dry. Now - if you cannot get the two threads back through the last bead (meaning there would now be 4 threads through that bead), here is what you have to do: thread only one strand through the last bead, over the clasp, and down through the last bead. Tie the two threads together, as above. If you doubled the thread over the ring when you started, you shouldn't have needed to use bead crimps. If you didn't do the greatest job - don't despair! The experts say you should restring your pearls every year, so your next opportunity will be coming up! This material is also called "French Wire", "Gimp", or "Bullion". It's a tight coil of very fine wire. If you know where to find it, it comes in different sizes so you CAN get more than one strand of silk through it, depending on what size silk (or other) thread you're using.