Learn St. Petersburg Chain

I woke up this morning quite aware that more than half of 2009 is already finished! It was hard for me to believe, especially since we haven’t had much of a summer here in the Midwest and I count on those hot midsummer days to get me through the rest of the year here on the tundra.  Anyway, the realization made me do a mental check on my New Year’s resolutions. I listed them on Beading Daily in December 2008:

• Do 10 pull-ups . . . in a row. HA!

• Count to 20 in Mandarin. Nope, but I did discover babblefish.com; does that count?

• Learn 1 new beading stitch. Yes!

Hurray! I did learn a new stitch this year—St. Petersburg chain. I’d seen it in lots of Russian-style lacy beadwork and thought it would be a good one to add to my bag of tricks. I like it for how fast it moves, but also for its strength. Since it’s a cousin to square stitch, you end up passing through the beads several times, reinforcing as you go.  The Royal Chains Lariat by Kelly Wiese in the upcoming October/November issue of Beadwork uses St. Petersburg Chain.  Subscribe to Beadwork now so you don't miss it! 

Learn St. Petersburg Chain
As I mentioned, St. Petersburg Chain is strong, fast, and very pretty. It’s a little tricky to get the hang of, but by the time you’re an inch into it, it’ll be second nature. When learning, it’s best to use two colors of seed beads. For this step-by-step I’ll use matte olive and transparent berry size 11°s:

1. String on a tension bead (for which I’ve used a light green size 8°). String 2 olive beads, 1 berry bead, and 2 olive beads.

2. Pass through all 4 of the olive beads again, skipping the berry bead altogether. This creates a square of beads with a little picot at one end.

3. String 4 olive beads (A); pass through the first 2 beads just strung, making sure this little square of beads is snug to the other beadwork (B). 

4. String 1 berry bead; pass back through the last 2 olive beads just exited, plus one more (A); pull tight (B).

5. String 1 berry bead; pass through the third and fourth olive beads added in Step 3, then pull tight.

    6. Repeat Steps 3-5 to desired length.

    Pretty nice, eh? Is St. Petersburg chain one that you use often? For what? Have you learned a new stitch this year? What about your other resolutions? Give us the low-down on the website.

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