I don’t know why I put off playing with geometric peyote stitch for so long, if only because I knew that I would suddenly develop a need to buy at least two dozen more colors of cylinder beads to add to my stash. But a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a break from my other bead embroidery and peyote stitch projects and play around with some of the geometric peyote stitch techniques I’ve been seeing used to create absolutely fantastic modern beaded jewelry.
What do you know? I was hooked instantly. (Are you really surprised by that?) I was also pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is to play with these geometric beading techniques, even if you’re just learning how to peyote stitch. Once you master the basics of making peyote stitch triangles, play with ways to connect them to make beaded necklaces and bracelets, or make pairs and embellish them to make awesome beaded earrings. The possibilities are endless!
|Rounds 1 and 2: On a comfortable length of beading thread (about 5 feet), pick up 3A and tie them into a ring. Pass through the first A, and pick up 2B. Pass through the next A in the ring, and add 2B. Pass through the last A in the ring and add 2B. Pass through the next A and the very first B added.
Keeping a medium tension on your beads in this first round will help you follow the thread path in the following rounds.
|Round 3: Pick up 2C and pass down through the next B. Pick up 1C and pass up through the next B. (You’ll be adding a bead over the 1A from the first round.)
Continue around, adding 2C over the pairs of B from the previous round, and adding 1C in between pairs.
|Round 4 and beyond: At the end of each round, you’ll make that “step up”, passing through the last bead of the previous round and the first bead of the round you just completed.
You’ll notice as you work that your sides will get longer as your triangle gets larger.
|The finished (for now) flat peyote stitch triangle! If you keep your tension even, you’ll notice a slight cupping to the finished piece of peyote stitch.|
A few more ideas for experimenting with peyote stitch triangles:
- Use any kind of bead you like — geometric beadwork isn’t just reserved for cylinder beads. You may not get shapes that look exactly like the ones I show you here, but the possibilities are endless! Try some smaller size 15/0 seed beads, or larger 8/0 seed beads.
- Play with your colors! Use your color wheel to pick out a pleasing palette of colors, and then use them in alternating rows. If you want thicker bands of color, work 2 or 3 rows in the same color before switching to the next color.
- Use up those leftover bits of thread. Adding thread to a peyote stitch triangle is pretty easy. If you’re like me and save every bit of beading thread that’s longer than 4″, use them up in some geometric beaded shapes!
Ready to play with more geometric beadwork projects? Check out all the great ideas and beading patterns in Favorite Bead Stitches 2013 and the FREE Peyote Stitch eBook. You’ll find plenty of great peyote stitch patterns to get you going, along with gorgeous beading projects using your other favorite bead weaving stitches from some of our favorite bead artists. Loads of great inspiration at your fingertips, and available as both a digital and print edition.
Or, check out some of the fabulous 2012 back issues of Beadwork magazine, featuring Jean Power’s Designer of the Year projects using geometric peyote stitch! You’ll learn more about increasing and decreasing to create three-dimensional geometric peyote stitch shapes and how to connect them together to make fabulous beaded jewelry. If you’re missing a couple of issues of Beadwork magazine from 2012, fill in the gaps in your collection while back issues are on sale in the Beading Daily Shop!
What will you do with your peyote stitch triangles? Stitch them together to make bails for pendants and gemstone donuts? Create a pair of beaded earrings? String them together and embellish them with fringe for a fabulous beaded necklace? Or maybe piece them together to create brand new shapes? Whatever you do, take a picture of your peyote stitch triangle creation and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery for us to see!