And the Easiest Stitch is . . .

The votes are in! More than 780 Beading Daily readers voted on the easiest off-loom beading stitch and the easiest stitch is . . . peyote! 

Here are the complete results:

  • bead crochet – 1%
  • brick stitch – 10%
  • daisy chain – 6%
  • herringbone – 7%
  • ladder stitch – 9%
  • netting – 8%
  • peyote stitch – 32%
  • right-angle weave – 6%
  • spiral stitch – 12%
  • square stitch – 6%
  • other* – 3%

An illustration of flat peyote stitch.
See more
techniques on

*My favorite answer for "other" was "stitch I just learned." So true!

Are you surprised? I knew that peyote was the most popular stitch, but I didn't know that people thought it was the easiest one. Do you think it's popular because it's easy, or are those two things not related? Please leave a comment if you have more to say on this topic!

My Extreme Ladder Ring

I made a "Ladder Ring" that ended up being 24 inches long! I used it as a hatband for a straw hat that I like to wear when I'm working outside. If I were to do it again, I'd make a taller band with four beads in each row instead of two.

I also spotted a completed Ladder Ring on the Nutsy Coco Creations blog. She used a solid color for her edging and a range of iridescent colors for the body of the ring. I have yet to see two Ladder Rings that look exactly the same!

 Five Beading Tips

I asked Beading Daily readers for advice for those new to beadweaving and received hundreds of helpful tips. Here are five of them:

"The best tip I have is to do a LOT of pieces that use just one stitch at a time so you don't get confused. Eventually you'll have a whole repertoire of stitches to work with and then you can combine, adapt and play with them to your heart's content."—Louisa Chadwick

"Make sure you have good lighting, I struggled for ages before I got a daylight lamp. Then, hey presto, it was all so much easier."—Karen Kenny

"Learning to knit or crochet beforehand gives you basic skills of working with a thread and some sort of needle and controlling the tension of the thread in a more macro scale. I think being able to control thread tension is one of the most important skills in weaving off loom. If you don't have an even tension throughout your piece, the resulting fabric will not be consistent."—Bernadette Johnson

"My advice to anyone new to off-loom beadweaving is find different directions for the same stitch. I also am a new beader and have discovered stitch pattern directions from book to book varies. Some directions may be easier to follow than others for the same stitch."—Maria

"RELAX!!!! It will come with time and relaxed practice, no matter which stitch you try first. Remember to breathe!"—Jyl Milner

I'll be sharing more tips and advice from readers in the future.

NEW Free Peyote Stitch Pattern eBook: Our first free beadweaving pattern e-book features 5 peyote stitch projects, plus two full pages of step-by-step illustrated instructions on even- and odd-count peyote, and a sheet of peyote stitch graph paper for creating original jewelry designs. Download Peyote Stitch Projects with BeadingDaily: 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She has a challenge kit from Beadwork waiting for her this weekend. No more procrastinating—time to get busy!

NEW Free Peyote Stitch Pattern Booklet: Our first free beadweaving pattern e-booklet features 5 peyote stitch projects, plus two full pages of step-by-step illustrated instructions on even- and odd-count peyote, and a sheet of peyote stitch graph paper for creating original jewelry designs. Download 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns

Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog

About Editor

I am the editor of Beading Daily.  My designs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Beadwork, and other publications.  If you have a great suggestion for Beading Daily, or just want to show off your latest project, send me an email!

47 thoughts on “And the Easiest Stitch is . . .

  1. I am surprised to see peyote as the easiest stitch. I’ve taught many beginner weaving classes which encompass a variety of techniques and peyote is one of the more difficult. My students tell me that spiral stitch is the easiest for the beginner to learn.

  2. I’m very new at beading and I find netting far easier than peyote. I love beaded beads, but they are just a lot of work for me, while I can complete neeting projects pretty neatly and completely

  3. Maybe it’s because I learned this stitch first, but I like peyote because it’s the quickest way to create a base for a bracelet. If you’re working in even count peyote, you can do two rows at a time (this doesn’t work with odd-count). I also like that you can create visual patterns easily, work in the round, work in two-step, and do so many other variations of peyote.

  4. I agree with you…..people have confused easiest with most popular. Making the turns in peyote, especially odd count, is so very tricky. Also, try reading a peyote graph……..tricky. Setting up peyote, making the first two rows together when you start………tricky. Definitely not the easiest.

  5. Spiral and ladder may actually be the easiest to learn, but brick was the easiest of the offloom bead weaving for me. It took me years to get peyote — years in which computers and websites became easier to do.Years during which people wrote and posted tutorials on websites.I read them,and suddenly it became clear.

    Spike Haney

  6. I was also surprised, especially since I tried peyote as a beginner and failed, but at the same time had no problem learning square stitch (which I voted for) and 2-needle RAW — though to this day I haven’t learnt single needle RAW. Now I can at least do some even count peyote. I guess many people learn peyote as beginners as it’s so popular and thus the results.

  7. Wow,I am surprised too !! Maybe confused popular with easiest ??? Peyote, in the odd and even count, then either done flat or tubular, with the step up on each row, or the “hard to understand and then find the thread path turnaround” at ends of the rows does take patience and practice to learn and understand, esp if using a graph for a pattern, then how to read it side to side, and keep track of what row you are on…I started beading by learning peyote stitch, 9 years ago. Self-taught from books and magazines. No way do I think its the easiest !!
    It sure has a lot of figuring and learning, and more than one bead friend of mine has almost given up ever learning it ! I voted for square stitch as being easiest to learn.
    NightOwl Beadworks

  8. I learned spiral first, then peyote. While peyote is easy if you’re doing a straight, flat section it is more complex any other way–tubular, increasing and decreasing, odd-count, etc. I still think it is maybe not the most difficult, but definately not the easiest. Probably most widely tried.

  9. I also do not think that peyote is easy. I found square stitch much easier to learn and spiral too. I always find peyote very hard to start and my brain has a lot of trouble with the patterns. In square stitch, at least to me, a row is a row is a row!

  10. Even count peyote is easiest, odd count is harder. Haven’t learned how to increase and decrease rows yet. Any easy tutorials out there that could help? Thanks, Beading Gramma

  11. I guess I must be a bit different. I find peyote difficult. I keep getting lost when I work it in the round and then when I increase I can’t see where to go on the next round. Guess I need more practice.

  12. LOL, that’s funny! I guess peyote is the simplest, after that blasted third row. I didn’t vote for it based just on the misery that row has caused me. Of course, the first piece I did had rows of 102 beads!

  13. I am another who is surprised peyote stitch was voted easiest. Once you have the hang of it, yes, but not to start with. I struggled until someone showed me how to hold that first two rows of beads so they were nice and tight between my fingers did I finally ‘get it.’ I love the stitch now and use it for so many things. Yet, I am surprised with this result.

  14. I know I’m repeating what others have already said, but I think the peyote stich is the one most first-time bead weavers learn; it was for me. I do not look for projects where peyote is the predominant stitch. I think all of the other stiches–and some not mentioned–are much more fun (except for brick, which is my least favorite).

  15. Peyote seems easier once you get it started, but to be honest (and I didn’t vote, so I really shouldn’t say), I love square stitch and the solidness of it. I was able to teach myself how to do this one – but really needed to be shown peyote – at least the trick of putting a needle on that first row so you could see where to go with the second row!

  16. Well, I really think that maybe when we talk about peyote stitch, we ought to qualify whether it is odd or even count. Because I find when teaching classes that the turning in odd count peyote is hard to master. The stitch itself is easy – it’s following complex patterns that is difficult in either odd or even count.

  17. The peyote stitch results in a fluid, soft feel to the finished product. I think that is why it is so popular. Others like the square and brick stitch can feel stiff because of all the connections and extra thread needed.
    Following a pattern on peyote is not easy because of the alternate beading in each row. I am surprised that this is considered the easiest stitch by most respondents. Sharon

  18. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between “easiest” and “easiest to learn”. Which did you mean? I teach beginning beaders, and NONE of them have found peyote stitch easiest to learn because it’s difficult for most people to begin the stitch. Once they get past the first 3 or 4 rows, it’s easy, but not at first. Trying to keep the first two rows from flipping around while working on the third row is one of the main pitfalls. I think experienced beaders, who can work up peyote projects fast, forget how hard it was to learn how to start peyote stitch without making mistakes. That’s why they voted for peyote as easiest, because for them (and myself), as experienced beaders, it is the easiest and fastest to work up. I got the impression, however, that you meant “easiest stitch to learn”, so that’s how I answered. In my experience, the easiest stitch for beginners to learn is spiral stitch, followed very closely by two-needle ladder stitch and netting. I’d be curious to see if the poll changes if you clarify which “easiest” stitch you’re looking for – easiest for us to do as beaders, or easiest to learn.

  19. Thank you for BeadingDaily. As a new beader I am finding it a wonderful resource and look forward to reading it every day. I have just learned Peyote Stitch and am enjoying it but agree about the ‘first three rows’!

  20. I am a self taught beadweaver, and I wanted to pull my hair out when learning peyote. Trying to get the up and down beads to form correctly, then trying to read that funny pattern, but then agin it is the first beadweaving stitch that caught my eye. I think that having a background of doing other needle arts, quilting, cross-stitch, and embroidery helped, but I personally believe herringbone/ndebele is a lot simpler. My tip for new beaders would be to start small, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because you will make them. Just pull it out and start over. You will eventually get it, just consider it practice. I found when learning it that using a quilting straight pin inserted/woven into the first two rows helped me set up and learn it easier-pictures helped alot too.

  21. The easiest stich for me is the herrinbone, Also the one I like the best.Ia’m working on a necklace now and am loving it.I have about (9 in. done ,can’t wait untill I get done. it’s 6 beads round with some emblishments.sections are about 1&1/4th. in.of different colors. I’am going yo send you a pic of whenI get done.Pearl J. Smith=9-24-07. ( I do love the petote stich)

  22. I, too, am surprised that peyote is the easiest!! I love the patterns that contain the peyote stitch but I’ll be dead burn if I can get the hang of it. I voted for the square stitch and I love the right angle weave. I agree that probably the peyote stitch is the most popular but certainly not the easiest! ( IMO ) And as much as I love the herringbone, ndebele and netting patterns…..not being able to do the peyote stitch hinders me from trying them. But try I will….eventually!
    Joan H….092407

  23. I was one who voted for Peyote as the easiest stitch. For me, it was the easiest to learn and is still the easiest to do. I am self taught and that is the only stitch I got right the first time I tried it. I have taught many people to do Peyote and had no problems. I do have them use the needle in the first row. Actually a trick I learned when teaching was to make several “bobby pins” out of thin wire. That’s what I had the students put in the first row. You can squeeze it shut to hold tight and it won’t slip out like a regular needle. Even though I can do all the stitches now, the one I still have the most problems with is herringbone. I still need a pattern to do that one.

  24. I really think that the easiest stitch to learn will be different with everyone. For me, it was spiral and I am also self-taught. The peyote puzzled me and the herringbone hounded me and the brick baffeled me (a little humor there). The greatest thing about beading and many other things in life is that everyone is best at something different. If I wanted a loomed bag, I would definitely look to another beader to make one for me but if I want a fantastic double spiral, I’ll be in the LBS looking for supplies.

  25. I agree that the simplest stitch is peyote (even count). but……..

    If you are lucky enough, the easiest stitch to learn is the one that you are taught by a tutor in person.

    Cube beads are the easiest way to “see” the pattern when you first start out.

  26. Peyote?!? You’ve got to be kidding! I taught myself two needle RAW and ladder stitch when I was 10. At age 12, I was crocheting pearl rope necklaces and bracelets with various patterns in them (remember them from the 60’s and 70’s?), selling them and teaching adults how to crochet them. I taught myself round peyote as an adult, but had to have someone actually show me flat, even count peyote. Another tip, beside the cube beads someone mentioned is to use big beads to start with, not 11’s.

  27. I was pleased to see that peyote was considered the “easiest” stitch. I am currently teaching it to 62 4th and 5th graders as part of their curriculum on Native Americans! My tips: Patience, repeating the mantra, “Add a bead, skip a bead, go through a bead,” and demonstrating with pony beads and thread.

  28. I found the peyote stitch to be a nightmare. I took a class a few months ago and I found it very difficult. As much as I would like to learn how to do it I think I’m going to forget about it for now.

    Betty J / September 24, 2007

  29. Peyote stitch was impossible for me until I learned the two needle beginning! It gets the first three rows done easily, and after that, it’s not a problem.


  30. I learned peyote from reading a book, I usually start with two needles for those hateful first
    3 rows. One of the neatest tricks is making a starter strip, Suzanne Cooper has instructions for this on her web site.

  31. I too voted for Peyote. I am self taught and I think the actually stitch of the even count peyote was easiest for me to learn. My first non-stringing project was a brick stitch bracelet and it took me days to finish. I also think it matters if you are trying to follow a pattern, Different patterns can make the easiest thing seem difficult, but I don’t think that can be blamed on the actual peyote stitch. I have an 11 year old and she also loves peyote although it did take her a while to catch on. Peyote for me it was the easiest to learn so I stand by my choice.

  32. I am another “PEYOTE?!?!?” person. I couldn’t wrap my brain around peyote at first and would instead do brick stitch.

    And for those of you having trouble with those “First few rows” here is an illustration from my Peyote tutorial. The “copper” line is a piece of wire or a long skinny needle, the blue line is the thread path and the ovals are the beads:

  33. Peyote was the most interesting and the most difficult to learn. The turns on odd-count peyote keep me from getting bored. All my frustrations happened around those first three rows. Once I learned how to make Suzanne Cooper’s starter strip, llife became a joy!

  34. I was trying peyote in one day all the morning with BIG seed beads and it was very frustrating for me… Although for me it is the most atractive stitch… to try again. I will see your suggestions in the site. Thank You Again.

  35. The easiest stitch for me aside from the square stitch (I cut my beading teeth on the square stitch) is netting. RAW is pretty easy too. I am self taught also and I started out doing the peyote tubular which took a couple of weeks to get the hang of it. Then I switched to the flat peyote. But gosh durn it I still can’t read the patterns. Some great ones out there but for some reason I can’t wrap my brain around a peyote pattern. So I do consider peyote a hard but very challenging stitch to do.

  36. I think it was voted as being easy because they have master it. Maybe once I have master the stitch I will vote it as being the easiest also. Just a beginner in the world of beading so nothing is easy to me as of yet.