Yesterday I worked with wire for the first time. JoAnn had a killer sale on beads, so I stocked up. I decided to go with 4 different beads: a pack of clear, black, and grey crystals in 4mm and 6mm; white, round, resin beads; donut-shaped, black beads with a colored sheen; and green glass, cube and chipped. I just poured the beads into a custard dish, stirred them around, and stung them in whatever order they fell into my hand.
After I beaded the 26 gauge wire, I had a hard time working with it. I was worried that I strung all those beads for nothing. Turns out that the real problem was not using a large enough hook. I only used a chains and beaded chain stitches. I started out with several plain chain stitches. After that I'd do 2-5 beaded chains, a chain or two, and then 1-2 plain chains. Most of the beaded chains only have 1 bead apiece, but sometimes when there were 2 small beads in a row, I'd chain them together.
Originally I was going to make a matching bracelet, but I wasn't sure how long it should be. So, I decided to use all the beads in the necklace. I made one long strand to be wrapped around the neck 2 or 3 times. It's probably about 5 and a half feet long. At the end, I did several plain chains and added a lobster claw. I wasn't sure how to hide the end of the wire so it wouldn't poke my neck, so I hid it by flattening most of the chains with pliers. It seemed silly to add a jump ring to the other end since the claw can grab onto any chain stitch so I didn't bother. I might cut the claw off and join the ends, since it's long enough to fit over the head wrapped 3 times, but I haven't decided.
I like the end result even though it looked funny when I put it on. The trouble is that I'm not a jewelry person; for the most part, I haven't worn jewelry since junior high. I had the same problem with the choker I designed: I'm not sure if it's ugly, or just ugly on me. In this case, I know it just looked funny since I'm not used to seeing something around my neck (the t-shirt with a high, round neckline didn't help).
Next time I plan on working with 28 or 32 gauge wire. The stiffness of the 26 gauge wire made crocheting tricky. I had to use an H hook, and I think smaller chains would be prettier. I'm thinking of contacting a jewelry making high school friend to see if she'd teach me how to work with wire. I feel clumsy with pliers. I know that some of clumsiness with fade with experience, but I'm sure learning proper technique will help.