What's Your Favorite Bead-weaving Stitch?

Hello Beading Daily Community!

Some of you might already know me —I'm Jennifer VanBenschoten, and I've been a contributor to Beadwork magazine for a few years now.  I'm incredibly excited to introduce myself to you now as the new online editor for Beading Daily!

Bead-weaving (beadweaving) has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  Back when I was in high school, I started out with one of those little "Indian" bead looms, making bracelets and headbands and rings using seed beads.  Even at the age of fifteen, I was totally entranced by those wonderful little pieces of glass with their shiny colors and the way they just seemed to magically work themselves into jewelry with just a little thread and a needle.

And speaking of bead-weaving stitches we asked what your favorites are, and you answered!  Peyote stitch was the most popular reply, followed by right-angle weave and herringbone.  Personally, I love all of these bead-weaving stitches for different reasons . . .

Peyote Stitch Earrings - Randy Drobny - Antique Inspirations
Antique Inspirations
Randy Drobny

Peyote Stitch

What's not to love about peyote stitch?  Well, when I was just a baby beader way back when, peyote stitch was the most difficult bead-weaving stitch for me to learn.  I had mastered brick stitch, right angle weave, herringbone stitch and square stitch and had even made some cool spiral ropes—but peyote stitch?  Forget about it.  Luckily, I found a class nearby and quickly mastered peyote stitch, which only fanned my budding beading fire!  Lately, I've found myself working in all of peyote's wonderful variations—even count, odd count, two and three drop, and free form, and peyote stitch is by far my favorite stitch for making beaded bezels.

Lavender Lattice
Hortense E . Thompson

Right-angle Weave

I was surprised to see right-angle weave up there as a favorite stitch because of its, um, reputation.  You know what I'm talking about.  Right-angle weave is a really intimidating bead-weaving stitch for some beaders.  (That's how I felt about peyote stitch!)  But with a little practice, you can discover how much fun it really is.  Right-angle weave is my go-to stitch because of the way it creates a piece of beaded fabric that feels just like regular fabric.  You can drape it, stitch it together or wrap it around a form.  And if you like to embellish your bead-work, right-angle weave gives you the perfect base for adding crystals, pearls or whatever bling your heart desires!

Ode on a Grecian Urn
Jennifer VanBenchoten

Herringbone Stitch

Also called Ndebele (EN-duh-belly) after the African tribe that developed this stitch, herringbone stitch is steeped in history, culture, and tradition.  And it's just fun.  It's a pretty stitch—it makes beautiful tiny beaded flowers (something that I love as a way to get through the long, cold Adirondack winters), and with a few twists, it makes flowing beaded ropes.  My favorite way to use herringbone stitch is to use a range of sizes of seed beads, turning a piece of flat herringbone stitch into a graceful curve. 

Want to Learn More?

The possibilities of these stitches are really only limited by your imagination!  You can learn these stitches, and much more in the new special issue Favorite Beading Stitches from Beadwork magazine.  Get forty-one favorite beading projects plus learn variations and techniques for your favorite beading stitches, including peyote stitch, right-angle weave and herringbone stitch. 

What's your favorite bead-weaving stitch?  Tell us below!

Bead Happy!

Post a Comment