Stitch Tips: Odd-Count Flat Peyote Stitch

In the August/September 2017 issue of Beadwork, we introduced you to even-count flat peyote stitch, one of the most common stitches used in bead weaving. Here, we present how to work a strip of peyote stitch with an odd number of beads, which is what you would use when creating a motif that needs to come to a point or if you intend to attach something to the center bead of your work and you want symmetry. In addition to the traditional turnround shown below, you may also use a square-stitch add-on or a clockwise or counterclockwise figure-eight add-on at the end of the odd-number rows.


Start by stringing an odd number of beads. As with even count, the first set of beads strung makes up both Rows 1 and 2. Note that the first bead strung remains the first bead of Row 1 (Fig. 1).
Odd-count flat peyote figure 1.

For Row 3, string 1 bead, skip the last bead previously added, and pass back through the next bead; repeat until you exit from the first bead of Row 2. Notice that this third row is worked just like even-count flat peyote until you reach the end (Fig. 2).
Odd-count flat peyote figure 2.

To finish Row 3, string 1 bead and tie a square knot with the tail and working threads. Pass back through the last bead strung to step up for the next row (Fig. 3).
Odd-count flat peyote figure 3.

For Row 4 and the following even-number rows, work across the row with 1 bead in each stitch (Fig. 4).
Odd-count flat peyote figure 4.

For Row 5 and the following odd-number rows, work across the row with 1 bead in each stitch until you exit the first bead of the previous row. Add the final bead of the row using the following method.

Traditional (thread-loop) turnaround

String 1 bead and pass the needle under the nearest thread loop at the end of the beadwork. Pass back through the last bead strung to step up for the next row. This is the most common way of working an odd-count turnaround (Fig. 5).
Odd-count flat peyote figure 5.

Alternate Rows 4 and 5 for the length of the work. The left edge of the beadwork will have odd-count turnarounds; the right edge will resemble even-count peyote stitch (Fig. 6).
Odd-count flat peyote illustration.

This article was adapted from The Peyote StitchCompanion by Melinda Barta (Interweave, 2012, and was published in the December 2017/January 2018 issue of Beadwork magazine. For more on bead weaving techniques, check out the Stitch Tips department in future issues or visit the Interweave store.

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