Stitch Pro: Circular Square Stitch

I have been in a complete and utter beading rut lately. That is, until Kate McKinnon gave me a challenge: Work one of the designs from her upcoming self-published work, Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Kate's patterns are featured in this book, as are several other very talented designers, but I picked a conical design by Christina Vandervlist. What fun to use square stitch, a technique I don't use that often in my own designs. Here's a sneak peek of the beginnings of my little project:

Who knew lowly square stitch could lift me from my creative rut? It's such a strong, versatile stitch and it's been a nice challenge to work it in this spiraling way. The project I'm following is a little trixsy (you can follow it, too, if you pre-order Kate's book), but it's basically done with square-stitch increases. A great way to learn square-stitch increases is to do circular square stitch. Do you know this stitch? Give it a try and add it to your square-stitching vocabulary:

1) String a base round of beads; pass through the circle again to secure, then finish the tail thread. Start the next round by stringing 2 beads (they're at the top of the photo directly above); pass through the last bead exited and the next bead of the initial ring.

         

2) String 2 beads and pass through the last 2 beads added in this round (photo 1 in this series). Pass through the last 2 beads of the initial ring (photo 2 in this series), then pass through the next open bead of the initial ring (photo 3 in this series).

    

3) Repeat Step 2 around the ring. For the final stitch, weave through beads to exit through the first 2 beads added to the round. String 2 beads and pass through the last 2 beads added to the round (photo 1 in this series). If necessary, weave through the beads of the the round again to shape and reinforce.

4) For subsequent rounds, continue to add 2 beads to each bead of the previous round, or as many as needed to keep the beadwork flat.

Here's to circular square stitch! And to breaking a beading rut! And to happy beading!

–Jean Campbell, Senior editor

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