Experiment with Caddis Weave: Free Bracelet Project

5 Unusual Stitches

Every once in awhile, I come across a new beading stitch.  Some of these are actually very old stitches (the "it's new to me" category), while others are variations of familiar stitches like herringbone or peyote.  A few may be completely new.  Here are just five unusual beadweaving stitches that I've stumbled across recently.  Have you heard of these?

1. Lane Stitch: One of the stitches featured in Beading in the Native American Tradition by David Dean.  David writes, "Lane stitch is one of the most widely used styles of beadwork done by Native Americans.  It is characterized by rows or 'humps' of beads sewn down to buckskin or canvas.  There are generally seven to eleven beads sewn in a stitch or lane." (Note: Lots of fascinating stitches in this book, including Winnebago side stitch, Cheyenne loop stitch, two-needle appliqué . . .) 

2. Vertigo Stitch:  The Pacific Discoveries necklace by Beadwork contributing editor Scarlett Lanson features this variation on spiral herringbone stitch.  Scarlett named it vertigo stitch because of "its appearance when you work the stitch flat; it has beads horizontal, vertical, and diagonal, and the term vertigo has to do with loss of orientation." 

3. Spearhead Chain:  Zulu Inspired Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald is full of "new to me" stitches, including this one that she describes as being "worked back and forth somewhat like flat peyote stitch, except that the number of beads added varies and the needle passes through also vary."  Check out Tina Koyama's Wild Ruffle bracelet for a project inspired by this stitch, but which uses herringbone instead.

4.  Tile Stitch:  Designer Perri Jackson found inspiration for the technique used in her Mosaic Cuff (Beadwork February/March 2006) when a friend mentioned that her new Czech glass bicones would "look fantastic as a tiled mosaic."  Her tile stitch technique connects beads that nest between each other like interlocking tiles.

New Free Project
5. Caddis Weave
Anne Fletcher

If you like peyote stitch, try this variation, which starts with a tubular peyote cord and is then embellished with smaller beads.  It's named "Caddis" for the caddis fly, an insect that builds a case underwater during its larval stage.  This project was originally published in the fall 1999 issue of Beadwork magazine and will be free for a limited time.

More Unusual Stitches

It's no accident that I discovered these stitches in Beadwork magazine.  (Even the books mentioned had projects featured in the magazine.)  If you want to keep up with new bead stitches–or want plenty of projects featuring your old favorites–then a subscription to Beadwork is the best place to start. 

What are some of the unusual stitches you've run across?  Share them on the website

Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog
Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at beadingdaily@interweave.com or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  www.michellemach.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/beadsandbooks Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

11 thoughts on “Experiment with Caddis Weave: Free Bracelet Project

  1. Caddis Weave instructions – clear as mud! I hope the article in Beadwork is more helpful. Off to my archives!

    Please, could we have more beading projects. I’ve seen more than enough stringing and wirework projects.

  2. Took some experimenting to figure out the instructions, but it has a really interesting texture once it is decyphered. I enjoy doing loom work and bead weaving. Haven’t tried wire work yet and bead stringing bores me to tears.

    Could we have a project that combines wire work and seed beading? Could be a chance for some of us to add a new twist to our work.

  3. Edda re back issues: I am trying to purchase a copy of Beadwork Aug/Sep 2007. Does anyone have one that they would like to sell or know where I could find one?
    Thank you!

  4. I’m confused by the directions. They say to start with 7 beads but the illustrated directions for tubular peyote at the end starts with an even number of beads. Has anyone tried this? How many beads worked for you? Did you cover every bead of the peyote tube with 3 beads?

  5. Here’s a stitch suggestion: “Zulu stitch”, also called Rings of Saturn. I saw a sample at my local bead store, then found directions on the internet several years ago. It is simple and works up fairly fast. A quick internet search today did not yield directions. Does anyone know if it is in Diane Fitzgerald’s book?

  6. Thank you for the free patterns. It’s a nice service that you provide.
    I generally buy BeadWork magazine on the new stand, but I do subscribe when we get a particularly low rate. I remember when it was under $20. and I still look for that. The reason I buy it on the stand is that not every magazine issue appeals to me, so it’s a waste of money. When the subscription rate is low I don’t mind if I get one occasionally that doesn’t appeal to me.


  7. I really enjoy reading/ learning about different stitches and their various permutations. If I read of a stitch I don’t have instructions for I search the Internet, or if Christmas or a birthday is near I request the relevant book for a present. I’ve heard of Lane stitch and seen various examples in photos of Native American beadwork, but not tried it yet. I remember the Tile stitch project from Beadwork February/March 2006), still have my copy of the issue and will try it at some time. I’ve heard of Caddis weave but I don’t think I’ve managed to track down the instructions till now :-). Zulu chain isn’t listed in the contents of Diane’s “Zulu Inspired Beadwork: Weaving Techniques and Projects” but it is listed in her “Zulu Beaded Chain Techniques (Contemporary Beadwork Series).” I’ve made two bracelets that are similar to (but not the same as) Tina’s herringbone version of Spearhead chain, from a project in another magazine.

    I haven’t heard of Vertigo Stitch, but is this Scarlett’s variation or one she has learnt from another source, that doesn’t name the stitch? Sometimes a stitch has several known names and sometimes a beader will give a stitch her/his own name. For example, I call peyote stitch “perishing pesky stitch!!” Then again I’ve been having fun learning (with Dustin & Beadwork’s help) variations of Corn or Round stitch, which I’d like to rename “Fun stitch,” because I’ve come to believe that it’s most commonly used names have seriously impeded beaders’ creativity with it. (Those devious names are Square stitch and faux loom stitch grrrrrrrr!!!). Just as I thought I’d found every permutation of corn (square) stitch, I found out about diagonal corn stitch, which Beading Daily and Marji Brohammer very kindly supplied the instructions for 🙂

    Meanwhile, for those wanting to experiment more with spiral techniques, I’d like to recommend:

    “Minerva Spirals £10.00

    Minerva Spirals, written by members of the Minerva Beaders group, explores a basic technique and develops it into an exciting and enticing selection of beaded ropes for you to try. Beginners really can start here! Before you know it you will be creating some stunning pieces. Minerva Beaders are beading enthusiasts who want to make a difference, hence, Minerva Spirals is a dedicated fundraising project to support Bangari & tsokodeka Primary Schools in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. ‘Together our beading can change the World’.”

    For those wanting to explore a completely new stitch I’d recommend Heather Kingsley-Heath’s book:

    “Albion Stitch £12.99

    Albion Stitch. My latest book is a comprehensive introduction to my brand new beading stitch. Albion Stitch is easy to do, beginners can soon create beautiful beadwork. Albion Stitch is also intriguingly complex, with plenty for experienced beaders to be inspired by. The book covers all the basics of the stitch, with 20 step by step projects to try, plus many more variations. I also share some ideas about colour to inspire you before you start to bead. Albion Stitch is a 64 page, hard back spiral bound book, small enough to lay neat and flat by your bead tray as you work.”

    This is book 1, Heather will be publishing book 2 later this year.

    I’ve bought both books and think the instructions are very easy to follow. Both books are available from Heather’s website (which is where I’ve copied their descriptions from):


    Now I’m off to that site Yvonne suggested for Zulu Chain 

  8. i’ve met Perri Jackson at our local beadstore Talisman. She is an amazing artist with a talent for making the most intricate chainmaille/gems incased in tiny wire, that i’ve ever seen. She’s fun too! Kristina from Talisman told me i should take some lessons from her, and then i had the pleasure of meeting her there one day while i was on a bead buying binge. it was cool to see your article with her bracelet. but she does WAY more cool art. you can find her at flickr…perrij12, and her Etsy is shaktipajdesigns.etsy.com, or shaktipajdesigns.blogspot.com.
    you will drool, so be sure and bring a bib. 😉