One Bead, Three Bead-weaving Stitches

After my recent sojourn to Manhattan and my bead-buying binge at York Beads, I came home with an entire hank of Czech farfalle beads. The Czech farfalle beads were the original "peanut" shaped beads made in the Czech Republic with a technique similar to the Czech seed beads.

Did I really need an entire hank of transparent amethyst luster farfalle beads? Oh, yeah!

I love these beads, but I never feel like I know just what to do with them! So I thought it would be fun to do a little experiment with three of my favorite bead weaving stitches: right-angle weave, peyote stitch, and herringbone stitch. I wanted to see what kind of texture and dimension using a shaped seed bead like a farfalle bead would give to my beadwork. Here's what I found out:

bead-weave Right-angle weave: This is my go-to bead-weaving stitch when I want to create any kind of structural beadwork, especially now that I've mastered cubic right-angle weave. So when I saw a blog by Marcia DeCoster in which she talked about how stitching with these Czech farfalle beads gives you a texture very similar to cubic right-angle weave, I had to try it for myself! Bottom line, I loved working in right-angle weave with these glass beads, and will be coming back for more experimentation with this bead-weaving stitch and my shaped seed beads.
bead-weaving Peyote stitch: Working in this popular bead-weaving stitch gave me a nice, sturdy piece of flat beadwork, but I'm not sure that I would ever use the Czech farfalle beads with it again. It was fun, and it definitely gave the bead-weaving stitch more dimension, but it seems a little too chunky for my tastes.
bead-weaving Herringbone stitch: This was the sample that I almost gave up on before I had even started. Given the unusual shape of the Czech farfalle beads, I wasn't too sure how it was going to work with this particular bead-weaving stitch. The first few rows were a little tricky, especially since I decided not to start with a brick stitch ladder and went with a traditional start. Even after I had the pattern down, I wasn't sure that I liked the sample, but after photographing it, I realized that I did find the texture of herringbone stitch done with farfalle beads very pleasing to my eye!

One final word about my little bead-weaving experiments with these shaped seed beads: the next time I try something like this, I will pick a different color of glass bead. The transparent, lustered finish of these beads probably made stitching a little more difficult than it would have been if I had used a light, opaque bead. That said, I foresee myself stocking up on these wonderful Czech glass farfalle beads the next time I head back to York Beads in Manhattan!


Have you ever looked at your bead-weaving and wondered, "What if I…?" Well, Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year Jean Power did just that, and it led her to create her signature peyote stitch triangles. Whether they are flat or three-dimensional, Jean continues to explore this versatile geometric form in her new video, Bead Stitching Triangles with Jean Power. Jean takes you through the basics, starting with your very first rounds of peyote stitch, and shows you how to shape and transform a few seed beads and some beading thread into an innovative beaded jewelry component. Get your copy of Bead Stitching Triangles with Jean Power and find what happens when you ask, "What if I…?"

Have you ever played with bead-weaving stitches with some of the new shaped seed beads out there? What beads and bead-weaving stitches did you use? Did you like your results? Share your experiences and leave your advice for others who want to play with their shaped seed beads and their favorite bead-weaving stitches here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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