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Beading with Peyote Stitch

Peyote stitch looks very much like brick stitch, only turned sideways. The way it is stitched, however, is quite different. The rows of beads wind up “staggered” so that each row nests into the rows above and below it. (You can see this in the two small sample patterns shown below.) Peyote is a vibrant, versatile stitch that can create an amazing soft “cloth” or beautiful stiff freestanding vessels depending upon how you work it up. A peyote pattern is somewhat harder to follow than a brick stitch one, but it is well worth the time to master. Have fun and Happy Beading!
~Carolyn

Even Count... Odd Count... What’s the difference?

With Peyote, if you want your finished piece to have a “center” so that it can come down to a point (for the bottom of an amulet bag, bell pull, or strap, for example), your pattern needs to have an odd number of columns, so that it can resolve to a center column to make the “point”. Patterns with an even number of columns are called “even count”. Patterns with an odd number of columns are called “odd count”.

With an odd number of columns, the transition from one row to the next has to be handled differently. Because of that, some people find odd count peyote harder to do. Don’t give up, though. It’s not as hard as it seems at first, and there are a couple of different options. I have included instructions for two of them below. The first is, I think, the easiest to master. The second, while a bit more complicated, I think leaves a neater edge. You can pick the one that suits you and your projects the best.

Easy patterns to try:
Even count peyote: Fiesta! bracelet and repeatable pattern
Odd Count Peyote: Alphabet bracelet & repeatable pattern


Even Count Peyote

Step 1: Rows 1 and 2
Start by looping around through a “stop” bead, leaving about 6 inches of thread tail. (The stop bead just holds your beads from falling off as you begin. When you’re finished with your piece, you will remove this stop bead and weave the tail into the completed piece.)
Add all the beads needed to make up both rows 1 and two of your pattern, just as though they were one long row.

Step 2: Succeeding rows
Add the first bead of the next row, loop around, and take your needle back through the next-to-last bead. When you pull your thread through, the new bead will sit on top of the last bead in the prior row, pushing that bead down somewhat. Add a new bead and take your needle back through the next-to-last bead below. Continue to the end of the row. Repeat repeat this process for all the rows in your pattern.

Click the Play button at right to see how it works.

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Odd Count Peyote: Option 1

Step 1: Rows 1 and 2
Add all the beads needed to make up both rows 1 and two of your pattern, just as though they were one long row. (You can use a "stop bead" to keep them from falling off as shown at the beginning of the Even Count Peyote tutorial, above.)

Step 2: Row 3
Add the first bead of row 3, loop around, and take your needle back through the next-to-last bead. When you pull your thread snug, the new bead will sit on top of the last bead in the prior row, pushing that bead down somewhat. Continue in this manner to the end of the row.

Step 3 - The turn to row 4:
When you get to the end of the third row, you’ll see that you need some way to anchor the last bead before you can add another bead to start the next row.
First, tie a small square knot using the tail thread left out at the beginning and your working thread. This will hold the first three rows solidly together. Then run back up through the last bead of row 3 and you’ll be in place to begin the next row

Step 4 - Succeeding row turns:
Work the next two rows, making the end-of-row turn in the same way as even count peyote. When you get to the end of the next odd-end row, run your needle under the threads on the outside of the end of the row before. Then go back through the last bead you added and you’ll be in position to add the first bead for the next row.

Repeat Step 4 until you finish your pattern.

Click the Play button at right to see how it works.

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Odd Count Peyote: Option 2

If you don't like the look of the threads on the end of the rows using Option 1, above, there is another way to make the odd count turn. It's a bit harder to understand (and to bead), but I think it gives a nicer edge finish.

Step 1: Rows 1 - 3
String on the beads for rows 1 and 2. Make a standard even-count turn and bead back to the end of the row.
Now you need a way to add the last bead and bring your thread back through to start the next row. Add the last bead for the row and take your thread back down through the bead below.
Come back up through the bead to the right in row two and continue up through the next bead to the right above, in row three.
Go down through the bead right below, back up through the row 2 bead, and back out through the first bead in row 1.
This puts you in position to come back through the last bead in row 3 and begin row 4.

Click the Play button at right to see how it works.

There has been an error loading the page you requested. Note that site requires the Flash 6 player or newer to display correctly. Click here for a quick download to update your player:
Adobe Flash Player Update

Step 2: Succeeding rows
Bead as normally along the next row, making a standard even-count turn at the end. Bead back to the other side.
Again, you need a way to add the last bead and bring your thread back to start the next row.
Add the last bead for the row and take your thread back down through the bead below.
Come back up through the bead up and to the right. Then go down and through the bead just below it. Come up and through the bead to the left.
This puts you in position to come back through the last bead in the row and begin the next row.

Click the Play button at right to see how it works.


There has been an error loading the page you requested. Note that site requires the Flash 6 player or newer to display correctly. Click here for a quick download to update your player:
Adobe Flash Player Update

 

 

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