Learn How to Two-Drop Peyote Stitch

Most beaders have a go-to stitch. It's the stitch that we each hang our hats on. The stitch that feels like worn-in jeans. It's the stitch that seems most natural. It's the one that makes the most sense to the way our brains work. What's your go-to stitch? I'm thinking about my beading buddies and their go-to stitches: I happen to know that Marcia DeCoster's favorite is right-angle weave. Dustin Wedekind told me once how much he adores square stitch. Diane Fitzgerald is a brick-stitch lover. And I'm definitely a peyote-stitch devotee.

I think I like peyote stitch because it goes so fast. But sometimes I want my peyote stitch to go even faster. It's during these times that I go for two-drop peyote stitch. It's done just like traditional peyote stitch, but you use two beads in each stitch instead of just one. Here's how it's done:

1) Like regular even-count peyote stitch, string an even number of beads to form the base rows. As with any flat peyote-stitch project, this base strand will end up forming the first two rows in a peyote-stitched strip.


Spacer 10x10 pixels  

2) String 2 beads (I've used magenta here), skip 2 beads from the initial strand, and pass back through the next 2 beads on the strand.

3) Continue across the strand. I usually like to tie a knot with my tail and working threads to keep the beads in place. The stitching I've just done makes Row 3.

4) String 2 beads (I've used light green here) and pass back through the last 2 beads added in the previous row; repeat across the beadwork, adding 2 beads at a time, to form the fourth row.

If I wanted to cover ground even more quickly, I could do three-drop peyote stitch, adding three beads in each stitch. Any more than three-drop gets a little unstable because you're not really making a tight fabric anymore, but it never hurts to play!

One reason that peyote stitch is my go-to stitch is that there are so many variations: circular, tubular, sculptural, freeform. Just check out this beautiful project, Camelot Cross, by Carole Ohl that was featured in the February/March issue of Beadwork magazine. It includes a great use of two-drop peyote stitch:

What do you love about your go-to stitch? Or maybe you don't have one? Either way, celebrate your go-to stitch with a subscription to Beadwork magazine, where each issue features dozens of stitches; some might be your go-tos, others might be your go-tos in waiting!

Happy beading-

Post a Comment