More Reasons to Love Herringbone Stitch with Guest Blogger Melissa Grakowsky

Melissa Grakowsky Shippee is the author of I Can Herringbone

Herringbone stitch is one of those bead-weaving stitches that can be made to look completely different in the hands of two different bead artists. It's probably one of the reasons I keep going back to it over and over again. Herringbone stitch can easily be shaped or stitched into beautiful, textured beaded ropes. 

I love the amazing variations of herringbone stitch worked up by bead artist Melissa Grakowsky Shippee, so today, I'm very excited to have her share her thoughts on herringbone stitch with us here on Beading Daily! Enjoy!

I didn't love herringbone stitch at first. When my friend Kate, who also worked at Beads East, showed me how to do herringbone stitch, I was still in my "peyote" phase. I had been exploring Peyote stitch and all of its ins and outs, possibilities, and permutations for a couple years, and felt as though I was dedicated to the one stitch.

Victorian Elegance herringbone stitch necklace by Melissa Grakowsky Shippee
Sine Wave herringbone bracelet by Melissa Grakowsky Shippee

But Kate encouraged me to play with herringbone stitch, playfully stating that it was twice as fast as peyote stitch because you add two beads on the needle at once! I took Kate's advice and today I am very glad I did.

Herringbone stitch is an amazing stitch. If you don't believe me, just look at Laura McCabe's, Marcia DeCoster's, or Diane Fitzgerald's work, all of whom use the stitch extensively and in mind-boggling ways. When you consider all of the different sizes, shapes, and colors of beads you can use with the stitch, and how it can be flat, or tubular, two-ladder, three-ladder tubular, or any-number-ladder, plus all of the possible ways you can embellish the stitch, you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as the possible uses of the stitch.

Fern Lariat by Melissa Grakowsky Shippee

In order to get a better idea of the mesmerizing-ly huge number of design possibilities, consider all of the ways that you can modify the stitch, by picking up more than two beads at a time, adding different shapes of beads together, adding beads between ladders, etc., plus all of the other stitches you can use in combination with herringbone stitch, and if you're anything like me, you'll be overwhelmed by the endless sea of possibility this stitch provides.

My book, I Can Herringbone, attempts to gently walk you through some of the ways you can explore all these different modes of design with herringbone, showing you some projects I came up with along the way. So what are you waiting for? Start playing with herringbone stitch today and you'll start to see all the uses of this incredibly versatile stitch!

You can find out more about Melissa and her amazing herringbone stitch beadwork on her website, MGS Designs. Follow her on Facebook or read her blog, MGS Designs.

So, seeing as it's New Year's Eve, have you thought about trying something new for 2013? If you haven't yet mastered herringbone stitch, now's the time to get started — and I mean, right now! During the Interweave 24-hour digital sale, you can save big on one of my favorite digital downloads, Melinda Barta's Herringbone Stitch — Basics and Beyond. It's perfect for beginning beaders who want to master a new bead-weaving stitch with step-by-step instructions. More experienced beaders will love the variations on herringbone stitch that you can use to create beaded ropes of all kinds!

Download Herringbone Stitch — Basics and Beyond with Melinda Barta, and discover what herringbone stitch can become in your creative hands!

Happy New Year from all of us here at Beading Daily! Are you ready for 2013 with some beading New Year's Resolutions?

Bead Happy,


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