I almost finished this on winter break - almost. So it wasn't too much work to finally polish it off at the start of this one. I can't wait to wear it - I left the simple leather ties fairly long so that I can tie it up on my collarbones, or let it hang down over a t-shirt.
the stones are carnelian - I bought two strands of varigated chips, but only used part of one (oh well; they weren't pricey, not even as chips go). Each chip is on a tiny silver headpin (handmade by etsy seller piecesofve - who, by the way is a delight!), made into a loop on the inner side. They are all strung by their loops and kind of packed together to make a rope of pretty colour!
As to sorting and stringing them to achieve this effect, it wasn't difficult: I put all of the little stones, on their headpins, in a bowl. I strung two at a time, then switched to the other side of my linen twine and strung two more; this keeps the fade even (the first time I strung it, I did five at a time - bad idea). As far as knowing which ones to string, you just sort of relax your eyes and pick the darkest pieces in the bowl, and work your way through all the colours. It's pretty simple - and it's not an exact science.
I think I'll wear this all spring! It's great because it's kind of like a bib for a gal who doesn't like a whole lot of heavy bib-type jewelry (ie: me).