Stitch Tips: Even-Count Flat Peyote Stitch
Peyote stitch projects are great for beginners, a favorite among bead weavers, and usually one of the first stitches a new beader learns. Master flat peyote stitch and you’ll quickly see it’s the building block for all other peyote variations. But don’t be fooled by its name —pieces made with this basic stitch can be curled, twisted, folded, and gathered to be anything but flat.
Perfect your flat peyote–stitch skills and you’ll be ready to bead any peyote project you can dream up.
EVEN-COUNT FLAT PEYOTE STITCH
Working in even-count peyote stitch is fast because no turnarounds are required.
Start by stringing an even number of beads. The first set of beads strung always makes up both Rows 1 and 2. Note that the first bead strung becomes the first bead of Row 2, not Row 1 (Fig. 1).
To start the third row, string 1 bead, skip the last bead previously strung, and pass through the next bead. The first bead of Row 3 will sit on top of the last bead of Row 1 (Fig. 2).
Work across the row with 1 bead in each stitch, following the peyote mantra: “String 1 bead, skip 1 bead, and pass through the next” (Fig. 3).
Work the fourth and following row(s) just as you worked Row 3. This example is 10 beads/columns wide (with 5 beads stitched in each row) and 5 rows long (or tall) (Fig. 4). ●
When counting the number of rows in a piece of flat peyote stitch, don’t simply count the beads along one edge. Instead, count the beads on the diagonal (Fig. A).
Or, you can count in a zigzag pattern (Fig. B).
When determining the total width, count each column of beads, not just the number of beads
stitched in a single row (Fig. C).
This article was adapted from Mastering Peyote Stitch by Melinda Barta (Interweave, 2012, and was published in the August/September 2017 issue of Beadwork magazine. For more on bead weaving techniques, check out the Stitch Tips department in future issues or visit the Interweave store.
For more tips and tricks, visit the Interweave Store.