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Peyote Stitch Tutorial

Peyote stitch is a pattern used to weave beads together using a needle and thread. This is still used in many traditional cultures to make symbolic headdresses and jewelry. Depending on the stitch technique that is used, the resulting woven pieces could be flat strips, tubes or flat round shapes, and can be used to create bags, jewelry, images, and other decorative elements. Read on to learn how to do flat peyote stitch.

Even count... Odd count... What's the difference?

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. 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 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.

 


 


Even Count Peyote

Step 1: Rows 1 and 2

Start by looping around through a “stop” bead, leaving about 6-8 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 2 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.



Odd Count Peyote: Option 1

Step 1: Rows 1 and 2
 

Add all the beads needed to make up both rows 1 and 2 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.
 


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.
 


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 beaded 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.

Source: Silverhill Design


Free peyote patterns you can download in the section "Free patterns".
More patterns are available in artstitch.eu store
 
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