How to Peyote Stitch a Scalloped Edge
I’ve discovered that most beaders have a go-to stitch, and I can easily say that peyote stitch is mine. Why? It just makes sense to me…it feels like clicking Legos together or building a brick wall as I place beads between beads in that signature staggered formation.
The other thing I love about peyote stitch is there seems to be an unending reserve of new techniques that I learn every time I sit down to bead. There are the many faces of peyote stitch–flat, tubular, circular, freeform–but within each of those faces are techniques that slightly tweak the technique. These slight tweaks, for me, keep the stitch fresh and fun.
When I saw that Nancy Cain’s power session on three-dimensional peyote stitch is running on CraftU this month, I remembered editing her tulip beaded beads several years ago and being delighted to play with her peyote-stitch scalloping technique. Nancy works the stitch with a sophisticated color pattern in her beaded beads, but I’d like to show you how to do it plain so you get the general idea. Here’s the basic stitch:
Rows 1 – 3: Work 3 or more rows of peyote stitch. You’ll want to make sure you’re using a multiple of 8 so your scallops come out even. Note: I’m showing how to do this flat, but you can easily work scallops in a tube (which is what Nancy does on her beaded beads).
Row 4: Skip a stitch by passing through the nearest bead 2 rows previous (the one in the “dip”) and back through the following bead of Row 3. Work 3 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch. Repeat from the beginning of this row to the end of the row. Weave through beads to exit back through the last bead added in this row.
Row 5: Work 2 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch, then weave through beads to exit back through the next bead of Row 4. Repeat from the beginning of this row to the end of the row. Weave through beads to exit back through the last bead added in this row.
Row 6: Work 1 peyote stitch with 1 bead (I used a 2mm Czech fire-polished round here), then weave through beads to exit back through the next bead of Row 5. Repeat from the beginning of this row to the end of the row.
Isn’t that a pretty edging? Want to learn even more about the many faces of peyote stitch? Check out Nancy’s power session starting soon. You’ll be happy you did–Nancy is a true bead sculptress and engineer, and you’re sure to learn even more about this lovely stitch.
Jean Cox, Beading Editorial Director