Herringbone Stitch: It's Not Just for Beads!

My first misguided attempts at making a herringbone stitch amulet bag were just plain ugly. But ever since then, I've been enthralled by the lovely pattern and texture of herringbone stitch when it's used in beadwork. Herringbone stitch as defined in the dictionary doesn't refer specifically to bead-weaving: it can apply to any type of craft or stitching of short, slanted rows that alternate direction across the length of the piece. In bead-weaving, herringbone stitch is also referred to as Ndebele stitch after the South African tribe who developed it.

But herringbone stitch can also be created in embroidery and knitting! If you're one of the cross-crafters who dabbles in a little bit of everything, check out some of these fantastic herringbone knitting projects and see how they compare to your favorite herringbone stitch beading projects:

herringbone-stitch Here we have Tina Koyama's stunning Beautiful Bargello herringbone stitch bracelet. Tina has taken the characteristic pattern of herringbone stitch and given it a new slant, combining a traditional bargello pattern with herringbone weave.
herringbone-stitch Now take a look at Pam Allen's Fresco Herringbone Hat. The herringbone pattern in this cozy knitted hat really pops, thanks to the use of two highly contrasting colors of yarn! Can you see the similarity to Tina's bracelet?


And there are other, more subtle ways to incorporate a herringbone stitch into your knitting and crochet:

herringbone-stitch This adorable Herringbone Baby Sweater by Kristen Rengren uses a single color of lightweight fingering yarn, but you can still see the characteristic zig-zag of the herringbone pattern. I love the way the wrap highlights the lines of the herringbone pattern in this one! 
Now if you want to try to add some herringbone pattern to your crochet, try Elissa Sugishita's Herringbone Skirt. The easy, all-over herringbone pattern on this knee-length skirt adds a little bit of texture that contrasts with the cute ruffle around the bottom edge.


Of course, herringbone stitch in bead-weaving has always had an amazing potential for variety and variation:

herringbone-stitch Perie Brown's Colorblock Cuff shows off herringbone stitch at its most basic — and how beautifully this beading stitch adapts to a simple change in beads! The sharp sides of the triangle beads used to make this beaded bracelet make the herringbone pattern of the bead stitching even more dramatic.
herringbone-stitch I've always been a huge admirer of Wendy Ellsworth's beadwork, and I just love her bold Spider Herringbone Earrings. Not only are these beaded earrings a brilliant variation of herringbone stitch, they're also clip-on earrings!

I just love the way that herringbone stitch crosses over into so many different crafts! If you want to explore more herringbone beading patterns, now is the time to stock up during the eProject sale in the Beading Daily shop. All your favorite beading projects and select eBooks are on sale for 30% off, but only for a limited time. Take a look through all the beautiful herringbone beading patterns and projects in the Beading Daily shop and start exploring all the wonderful variations of herringbone stitch!

And if you are one of those cross-crafters, you'll want to make sure to check out what's going on over at Interweave's Knitting Daily and Crochet Me online communities! You'll find all the things you love about Beading Daily like free knitting and crochet projects and patterns, tutorials, product reviews and friendly folks in the forum who love crafting as much as you!

Bead Happy,


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