Flat peyote stitch is a great bead-weaving stitch to know, but starting a new piece in flat peyote can be tricky, especially for a beginner. Those first three rows always seem to want to twist in on themselves, and if you're trying to work from a charted peyote stitch pattern, that can be frustrating.
Deb Moffett-Hall is a prolific designer of detailed charted flat peyote stitch patterns for things like holiday ornaments, bracelets, and earrings has come up with two fabulous new products for those of us who love to work in flat peyote stitch.
Quick Start Peyote Cards
Instead of using a pin or a needle to hold those first few rows of peyote stitch, try Deb's Quick Start Peyote cards. These little laminated cards are very simple to use: just fold them in half, string a stop bead, and weave your thread through the slots in the card. Make your turn, and then start picking up the first row of "up" beads from your peyote stitch pattern. When you've finished your pattern or you have enough peyote stitch completed for you to comfortable hold, you just remove the stop bead and slide the thread out of the card.
The beads you string on the Quick Start Peyote card don't twist and don't wiggle, so you can clearly see where to add each bead as you continue adding rows. While the material used to make each card is extremely durable and won't tear, you can still trim the cards using a pair of good, sharp embroidery scissors, and you can even make small marks on the cards with a pencil if you need to mark your place or make a note.
Another huge benefit of using the Quick Start Peyote cards is that they give you something substantial to hold on to when starting those all-important first few rows of flat peyote stitch. Instead of grappling to hold on to a tiny, twisted piece of beadwork just a few rows long, these cards give you something to grasp between your fingers. Being able to properly hold on to your beadwork can make all the difference when you're trying to maintain proper tension in your bead-weaving, especially in flat peyote stitch!
Deb notes on her website that these cards can also be used to start right-angle weave. I haven't tried using them for right-angle weave yet, but I can see where they'd be especially beneficial for a right-angle weave beginner who needs a little help distinguishing between each unit in the first row of right-angle weave.
The Quick Start Peyote cards come in a range of sizes to accommodate seed beads in ranging from 15o seed beads to 6o seed beads. Prices range from $7.99 for a pack of 3 cards (any size) up to $14.99 for a pack of 6 assorted size cards.
Quick Start Peyote Pattern Reading System
There are lots of ways to mark your place when reading a charted peyote stitch pattern, but Deb's new Peyote Pattern Reading System is a great product for both beginner and experienced peyote stitch beaders.
The Quick Start Peyote Pattern Reading System comes with a dry erase magnetic board, four round button magnets, three adhesive dots, binder clips, a dry erase pen, a dry erase magnet bar, a sheet protector, and a six pack of assorted Quick Start Peyote cards. Similar to my favorite magnetic board, this product is a fool-proof way to mark your place in a peyote stitch pattern.
Using the magnetic strip and the dry erase marker, you hold your pattern in place and mark off each row of beads on the magnetic strip. Alternating colors of button magnets on either side of the magnetic strip ensure that you remember which side of the pattern you need to read from and make it easy to remember where you stopped if you need to take a break.
Because both the metal board and magnetic strip can be wiped clean, you can use them over and over again without worrying about ruining them or not being able to see your markings.
The Quick Start Peyote Pattern Reading System retails for $40, and includes a 6-pack of Quick Start Peyote cards (which cost $14.99 separately).
You can purchase all of these products, as well as more charted peyote stitch patterns and beading kits, from Deb's website, PatternstoBead.