Don't Go Around in Circles with Circular, Flat Peyote Stitch
Ah, yes. I can remember the first time I learned how to do circular, flat peyote stitch. I was making little peyote stitch needle cases, and I needed to create a top and bottom for the case. I can remember blindly following the directions without really understanding what I was doing, and all I could think was, "Why on Earth would anyone want to make anything with this form of peyote stitch?"
But once I went on to learn more about peyote stitch and all that you can do with it, I realized that knowing how to make circular, flat peyote stitch comes in very handy. For starters, pieces of circular, flat peyote stitch can be linked together to make fabulous bracelets and necklaces. It's fun to embellish them with ruffles and crystal beads, and they work up in no time at all!
I've also been working on a series of embellished peyote stitch prayer vessel pendants that consist of peyote tubes with circular, flat peyote stitch caps on either end. I insert a Buddhist prayer written on a scrap of paper into each pendant and then seal them up with the circular peyote stitch caps. Circular, flat peyote stitch can also be used to create larger and more intricate focal points or pendants for your beaded necklace design ideas.
If you want to experiment with circular, flat peyote stitch, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so! For me, mastering this variation of peyote stitch was as much about trusting my own instincts when it came to beadweaving as it was learning a new technical skill. Before you get started, check out my favorite tips for learning circular, flat peyote stitch:
1. Start big with your beads. As with learning any new beadweaving stitch, it helps to start out by using larger beads. Using 8o seed beads instead of your usual size 11o seed beads will give you a better idea of where your needle should go next. It also helps to use two highly contrasting colors of beads, and alternate colors between rows.
2. Shorten your beading thread. If you prefer stitching with a longer beading thread, start your first attempts at circular, flat peyote stitch with a shorter beading thread. A shorter beading thread means less chance that you'll get tangled up in knots so that you forget where you're supposed to be stitching next.
3. Stay loose. When I bead, my tension is naturally tight. I'm not sure what that says about my personality, but it's a challenge for me to loosen up when I do beadweaving. Working in circular, flat peyote stitch is a helpful exercise for me in loosening up — literally and figuratively! Keeping your tension loose makes it easier for each seed bead to go where it's supposed to, and it's less likely that you'll break a bead when pulling your beads into place.
4. Count your beads ahead of time. If you're working from a pattern using circular, flat peyote stitch, it can help to count out the seed beads for each round ahead of time. This way, you'll be able to spot where you might have missed a bead or two if you think you've made a mistake.
5. Trust your instincts! Trusting yourself is probably the hardest part of branching out and really making any new beadweaving technique your own. After a few practice rounds working in circular, flat peyote stitch, you'll be able to better judge where you need to add one or two seed beads as you work each round.
Now, if you're ready to learn more about peyote stitch and all it has to offer, you'll definitely want to check out our latest eMag, Fabulous Peyote Stitch Jewelry with Crystal Accents, now available for the iPad! Even if you're just learning how to bead with peyote stitch, you'll find all you need to know with peyote stitch basics, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, videos, and printable PDFs for each beading project. If you don't have an iPad, you can still download your eMag onto your desktop or laptop computer for both PC and Mac. Download your copy of Fabulous Peyote Stitch Jewelry with Crystal Accents and add a little sparkle to your peyote stitch beading projects.
Have you tried circular, flat peyote stitch yet? Do you have a tip for someone who wants to get started? Leave a comment and share your tips with us here on the blog, or take a picture of your beaded creation using circular, flat peyote stitch and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery.