Tale of a Beader's First Project: Peyote Stitch and Picot

Back in January, after two months of working as Beadwork's associate editor, I decided I was ready to jump on the beading bandwagon. Based on advice from Kate Wilson, Beadwork's project editor, I wanted a project that used mainly peyote stitch, a friendly stitch for beginners. I also wanted to work from a kit, as a simple way to get everything I'd need in one purchase, since I had little experience shopping for beads. After a bit of web searching, I found a project that met my criteria: the Blossoms Bracelet from Melanie Potter's School of Beadwork website. (Melanie Potter is a Beadwork 2010 Designer of the Year.) I ordered the mint and beige colorway for $39, and it arrived promptly within a few days. Beadwork's assistant editor, Chloe Chatenever, kindly provided a Bead On It Board from the editorial stash, and I was ready to get started.

The foundational advice I received from Kate, along with the fantastic beading board, saved me a lot of frustration. Kate had advised me to use FireLine instead of the Nymo thread, and after experimenting with Nymo, I can safely say that, like Kate, I prefer FireLine. It holds shape and tension better and tangles less. From watching Melinda Barta's Peyote Stitch: Basics and Beyond DVD, I learned—and I'm sure this technique is going to sound obvious to seasoned beaders—to pick up the beads with the needle rather than with my fingers (seriously!). Of course, beading on the proper surface, such as the Bead On It Board or another non-slick surface, is what makes the technique possible. I think I would have probably just slopped all my beads onto a metal tray and then picked each one up with my fingers if I had not gotten these handy startup tips from my generous colleagues here at Beadwork. And then I think I would have gone slowly insane trying to pick up and string the beads.

It's been nearly a year since I ordered the kit (which also includes a matching ring), and I've worked on the bracelet sporadically and taken photos along the way. This month, I've been able to work on it for extended periods, and I love the meditative experience beading affords me once I get into the groove and understand what the pattern requires. The experience I've gleaned from working on that bracelet, as well as the knowledge and help I've gained by being on the Beadwork staff, inspired me to create my own, very simple, peyote-stitch bracelet design using matte gold Delicas and emerald crystal bicones. It will appear in an upcoming Beadwork ebook, which I'm thrilled about. In the meantime, I got back to working on the Blossoms Bracelet, and I finished it. Below are a few photos of my work on the Blossoms Bracelet.

What are some of your memories—fond, funny, or frightful—from when you first started beading? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

~Linda Harty, associate editor, Beadwork

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My supplies spread out neatly on my desk at work Bezeling the pearl that will be the flower's center
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The first petal, partway done The first petal, completely done
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Two petals done More petals done
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All petals done. Time to start the bracelet band.
The band and the clasp loop are completed.
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The clasp loop and snaps are attached, and the picot edging is nearly done. The finished piece

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