Stitch Pro: Pass Through vs. Pass Back Through

In my continuing effort to get the "easy" stuff out there…you know, the information we assume all beaders just know through osmosis or something…I'd like to give you the 411 (do people even say that anymore? Hahaha…I'm pretty sure my kids would call me a geezer for that one!) about the difference between "Pass Through" and "Pass Back Through."

Some of you may be rolling your eyes, thinking "wow, too basic!"…but trust me, I feel compelled to share this information on the blog because I find that even seasoned designers and teachers often mix this one up! It's just so important to know the difference because messing this up can mean the difference between being successful with a project or failing terribly.

Pass Through

When you string your beads, your thread goes through the beads in one direction.


If the instructions say to "pass through" any of those beads, you'll weave through the beads in the direction in which they were strung. (The blue thread on all of these chicken-scratch drawings shows the way the original strand was strung, the red thread shows the active thread path.)

You see how passing through a strand of beads will result in a loop when you pull the thread tight?


Pass Back Through

When instructed to "pass back through" beads, it doesn't mean to pass through them again, it means to REVERSE the direction from which they were strung, like this:


So, you see how passing back through an entire strand of beads will result in losing all your beads? That is, unless you skip the last bead(s). In that case, you'll form a fringe, like this:

A subtle word difference, but a big difference in the results, right? 

Do you have some tips or some epic fail stories about the difference between Pass Through and Pass Back Through? Please share your experiences here on the Inside Beadwork blog.

Happy beading!

Jean Campbell

Senior editor, Beadwork magazine


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