How to Stitch Variations of Peyote Stitch: What You Need to Know
Peyote Stitch: Variations on a Theme
You know that feeling of panic when someone asks you what type of music you like? It’s impossible to answer. Music, like beadwork, is a blend of styles built up slowly from a simple idea, a basic chord progression or stitch pattern, into a complex conversation. Peyote stitch is so often that basic chord progression, that formula from which the rest is built. It can be flat, circular, tubular, odd-count, even-count, or diagonal. It combines easily with herringbone, brick stitch, netting, square stitch, and countless embellishments. The Variations on Peyote Stitch pattern bundle is a celebration of peyote in all its forms and functions. Because every song needs a good melody.
The Melody: Flat Peyote
Flat Peyote is the heart of all peyote beadwork and gives us the basic thread path and bead structure. After your first row of beads is strung, the tune goes… string 1, skip 1, pass back through. It will be loose at first and may look like this:
After the first two rows are strung you can tighten your work, encouraging the beads to stack.
Variations of flat peyote include even-count, odd-count, two-drop, two needle, and diagonal, along with increases, decreases, openings, and accents. Even count and odd-count is perhaps the most significant distinction. Even and odd refer to the number of beads in a row. Even-count is quick and doesn’t require turnarounds while odd-count does.
Even and Odd Count
This essential variation on peyote stitch uses end-row increases and decreases to create a strip of beadwork with directionality and movement. At first glance, it can be difficult to tell that projects worked with this technique are peyote stitch.
The Variations on Peyote Stitch pattern bundle includes five projects that use flat peyote stitch to form the core of their design. While flat peyote represents peyote basics, these designs are anything but basic, or, at least, beautifully basic.
The Rhythm: Circular Peyote Stitch
Circular peyote is simply flat peyote worked in a circle. It can lend your design smooth movement, flow, and curvilinear contours. Once you’ve mastered flat peyote, it’s an easy next step and will add a certain groove to your beadwork.
Most circular peyote-stitch pieces are worked from the inside out as it’s usually easier to control the shape by working increases instead of decreases.
Increases and Decreases
While working with increases is often preferable, decreases are useful when working to close the center of a piece of beadwork. Make them gradual or rapid by experimenting with the number of new beads introduced and with what frequency.
Circular peyote is often combined with other stitches to create designs with diverse shapes and styles. Smooth transitions between stitches are essential for pieces with fluidity and stylistic harmony. Two of the projects in the Variations on Peyote Stitch pattern bundle combine circular peyote and netting. Here is how to go from one to another and back:
Find beautifully curvy beadwork such as the Fire and Ice Earrings and the Ganzania Pendant in the Variations on Peyote Stitch bundle.
The Texture: Tubular Peyote Stitch
Peyote can also be used to create structural, three-dimensional forms. Tubular peyote will give your beadwork the dimension, body, and texture that will take it from a simple song to a symphony.
Tubular peyote is particularly gorgeous when used to create beaded ropes and bezels. Celinni spiral and Dutch spiral both form hollow ropes with interesting texture but one uses even-count and the other odd-count. Also use tubular peyote to bezel rivolis and cabochons with seed beads.
Even and Odd Count
The thread path for this fun spiral is the same as even-count tubular peyote stitch, but a mix of drastically different-sized seed beads causes the work to undulate and twist
Familiarize yourself with this spin on tubular peyote stitch and then play with different bead counts and sizes to create a spiral with unexpected textures.
Tubular peyote stitch is commonly used for bezeling crystal rivolis and cabochons. The outside wall of the bezel is created with a short tube of peyote stitch, and then decreasing rounds are worked to hold the rivoli or cab in place. The easiest, cleanest, and most successful decreases in this application are created by downsizing beads.
Check out the Variations on Peyote Stitch pattern bundle to find several projects that use tubular peyote in these and many other ways.
Perhaps more than any other stich, peyote offers the bead artist an impressively deep well of options for customization and experimentation. It’s speculated to be the oldest form of beadwork and is a staple of Native American bead art. It’s truly an essential stitch for every beader, whether you’re just trying to get started or dreaming elaborate beaded dreams. Check out the Variations of Peyote Stitch pattern collection bundle and master the skills you need to make peyote the medium of your next masterpiece. And for quick reference, download this peyote-stitch infographic, print it, and pin it to your wall!
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