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
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.