I was just looking at Cathedral Windows, an earring design by Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year team Jennifer and Susan Schwartzenberger. I was delighted at the fact that they employ one of my favorite techniques for shaping tubular peyote stitch–using graduated sizes of seed beads.
Jennifer and Susan do this beautifully to bezel a rivoli, but you can also use this technique to create rings or beaded beads. Let me show you what I’m talking about by making a peyote stitch ring.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Size 15, 11, 8, and 6 seed beads
- Beading thread
- Size 11 beading needle
Rounds 1 and 2: Use 3′ of thread to string an even number of size 15 seed beads. (I’m using 40 for this example.) Count them again to make sure you have an even number! Use the working and tail threads to tie the beads into a circle.
Round 3: String 1 size 15 seed bead, skip 1 bead of the previous round, and pass through the following one; repeat around the circle. Step up for the next and subsequent rounds by passing through the first bead of this round.
Round 4: String 1 size 11 seed bead and pass through the next bead of the previous round; repeat around the circle. Step up.
Round 5 and 6: Repeat Round 4 twice.
Rounds 7-9: Work 1 size 8 seed bead between each bead of the previous round; step up. Repeat to form two more rounds.
Round 10 : Work 1 size 6 seed bead between each bead of the previous round; step up. Weave through beads to exit from a size 15 in Round 1.
Rounds 11-17: Repeat Rounds 4-10.
Zip: Squeeze the beadwork so that the beads of Rounds 10 and 17 interlock like a zipper. Weave the beads together to form a seamless join.
See how cool that is? You’re basically doing straight tubular peyote stitch, but by graduating bead sizes, you make some pretty sophisticated shaping without having to make increases and decreases.
We’d love to hear what you’re doing! Share your thoughts on the blog at BeadingDaily.com.
Jean Cox, Beading editorial director