Peyote Stitch Basics


Flat, even-count peyote

  • ( 1) Pick up an even number of beads. These beads become the first two rows.
  • ( 2 ) To begin row 3, pick up a bead, and go through the second bead from the end.(As you stitch, every other bead drops down half a space to form row 1.) Pick up a bead, and go through the fourth bead from the end. Continue across the row. End by going through the first bead picked up.To count peyote rows, count the edge beads in a zigzag pattern.
  • ( 3 ) To start row 4 and all other rows, pick up a bead, and go through the last bead added on the previous row. To end a thread, weave through the work in a zigzag path several times to secure the tail. Begin a new thread the same way, exiting the last bead added in the same direction to resume.

Flat, odd-count peyote

  • (1) Begin as for flat, evencount peyote, but pick up an odd number of beads. Work row 3 as in even count, stopping before adding the last two beads. Work a figure 8 turn at the end of row 3 as own:String the next-to-the-lastbead (#7), and go through #2, then #1. String the last bead (#8), and go through #2, #3, #7, #2, #1, and #8.This will position you to start row 4.
  • ( 2 ) You can work this turn at the end of each oddnumbered row, but this edge will be stiffer than the other. Instead, in subsequent odd-numbered rows, string the last bead of the row, then loop through the edge thread immediately below. Go through the last bead to begin the new row.
  • ( 3 ) Stitch the turn at the end of even-numbered rows as shown.

Zipping up or joining flat peyote To join two sections of a flat peyote piece invisibly, match up the two pieces so the edge beads fit together. “Zip up” the pieces by zigzagging through the up-beads on both edges. Gradual increase

  • (1) The gradual increase takes four rows. At the point of the increase, pick up two thinner beads. Go through the next up-bead.
  • (2) On the second row of the increase, when you get to the two thinner beads, stitch through them as if they were one bead.
  • (3) On the third row, place two regular-sized beads over the two thinner beads.
  • (4) On the fourth row, go through the first increase bead, pick up a bead, and go through the second increase bead. Continue across the row.

Gradual decrease

  • ( 1) The gradual decrease takes four rows. At the point of the decrease, go through two up-beads.
  • ( 2 ) On the second row of the decrease, put two thinner beads in the open space, and go through the next up-bead.
  • ( 3 ) On the third row, go through the two thinner beads as if they were one bead.
  • ( 4 ) On the fourth row, pick up one bead, and go through the next up-bead.

Rapid increase

  • (1) At the point of the increase, pick up two beads instead of one. Go through the next bead.
  • ( 2 ) When you reach the two beads on the next row, go through the first bead, add a bead, and go through the second bead.

Rapid decrease

  • (1) At the point of the decrease, go through two beads on the previous row.
  • (2) On the next row, when you reach the two-bead space, pick up one bead.

Two-drop peyote Work two-drop peyote stitch the same as basic peyote, but treat pairs of beads as if they were single beads.

  • ( 1 ) Start with an even number of beads divisible by four.
  • (2) Pick up two beads (stitch 1 of row 3), skip two beads, and go through the next two beads. Repeat across the row.

Tubular or circular even-count peyote

  • (1) Pick up an even number of beads to equal the desired circumference. Knot the thread to form a ring, leaving some slack.
  • ( 2 ) Put the ring over a form if desired. Go through the first bead to the left of the knot.Pick up a bead, skip a bead on the previous round, and go through the next bead.Repeat around until you’re back at the start.
  • (3 ) Since you started with an even number of beads, you need to step up to be in position to start the next round. Go through the first beads on rounds 2 and 3. Pick up a bead, and go through the second bead on round 3; continue.
  • (4 ) If you begin with an odd number of beads, you won’t need to step up. The beads form a continuous spiral.

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