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Trouble Just Getting Stared!
Don't feel bad, we've ALL been there!
The largest problem with peyote stitch is that everyone over-thinks it. Here is some information that isn't usually explained about the stitch and tips on getting it just right. Also this shows an easy way to get started on any project. Let's walk through a couple of the basics first.

How to Count Rows
In flat or tubular Peyote, rows are counted on the diagonal (red outlines) from the lower left or right-hand corner of the pattern depending on which you use. If you're right-handed, you read from the bottom right corner, left-handed, the bottom left.

Each row is only 1/2 a step up from the next, so as you look at the chart, the first row is the very bottom most row, the second is only halfway up, the third sits directly on top of your first row (blue beads).

STEP 1: Threading the Needle and
Adding Your Stop Bead.
Thread your needle with 1 to 1-1/2 arms length of thread. Pull it ALMOST half way through the needle. String a SINGLE bead, slide it to about 4 inches of the end of your thread, run the needle through it twice to create a STOP bead. This keeps your first row of beads from zipping right off the end! You will only be using a single thread, but by pulling thre thread almost halfway through, you don't have a tremendous length of thread to deal with all at once.

STEP 2: Stringing Your First Row
This is the TOTAL NUMBER OF BEADS ACROSS your pattern. (Should be noted on the pattern).

GETTING STARTED TIP: Instead of following the pattern now, which is always tricky for the beginner. Alternate stringing ONE WHITE, ONE BLACK bead for the total number of beads across your pattern. Or any two very different colors.

By doing this, not only is it easier to make sure you've strung the correct number of beads, it will make your third row a breeze! The beads WILL BE in a straight line, the up and down happens when you start to string your third row.

STEP 3: Sew Beads into a Circle
& Slide Onto the Form (if you have one)

Run your needle through just the FIRST COUPLE of beads to make a loop.

Because we are not following the pattern yet, you can hold your loop towards the center of the form. Much easier to hang on to.

You can create a form by using a 2-liter soda bottle or toilet paper roll, depending on the size of your project. Once you've made your loop, roll the bottle or toilet paper tube up just a bit smaller to fit inside the loop.

Hold the beads snug and tape one end of the tube, slide up to the opposite side and tape it too. Then slide the beads off and tape the whole tube together so it doesn't come apart. (NOTE: you need to build in extra space to keep your project flexible, if you don't it will be stiff and not soft and flowing. See Tech Tips for details. If you're using one of my patterns, you should have a quick start pattern to tape together, the tube will fit inside that and be the right size.

Pull the thread snuggly around the form by pulling in the SAME DIRECTION as you are beading, i.e. right-handed people will actually be pulling to the left, and left-handed people to the right.

Never pull towards you or opposite the direction you are beading, you will only LOOSEN the beads! This is something that happens quite a lot with beginning beaders, they wish to look at what they're doing and "unconsiously" pull the thread back and away to see the beads!

STEP 4: Starting Row Three
Finally! We're going to begin the weaving!

Look to see where your thread is coming out. Is it a WHITE or BLACK bead next?

Let's say it's a BLACK bead next . . . pick-up ONE BLACK bead, and GO THROUGH THE WHITE on the other side. Your black bead should be stacked ON TOP of the black bead below, and you should have gone through the white bead.

REPEAT, pick up a BLACK BEAD, GO THROUGH the WHITE. You should start seeing the pattern now, Black on Black, going through the Whites.

This is the hardest part of peyote stitch, people have a hard time seeing which bead to go INTO next. This takes all the guess work out, you should be stacking the same colors on each other and going THROUGH the other colored bead.

Step 5: Stepping Up to the Next Row
Once you come to the end of your row, and you do this EVERY TIME YOU END A ROW, you'll do your STEP-UP, to reach the next space to continue on.

Once you have completed a full row, the last bead of the row (RED bead), you'll need to STEP-UP (RED line) to your next row by sewing through the Row 2 and Row 3 beads (GREEN beads).

Now that you've finished your first three rows, the weave has begun, you can now just start following your pattern. Once you've completed several rows, you can cut the stop bead off and unstring the cheater row, or wait until you've finished the project, then unstring it and use the thread to close up the bottom!

All Rights Reserved - 2002 © Copyright - Amy Loh-Kupser - i-bead.com - 360.271.1410
For personal use only. No commercial reproduction with out permission.

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