If You Buy Them, An Idea Will Come
I have a good friend who buys only the exact number of beads that she needs for a project. Leftovers drive her crazy. I drive her crazy, too—how can I buy beads and have no idea what I'm going to do with them? But I've been beading long enough to know that an idea will eventually come and the last thing you want is to have the idea without having the perfect beads at hand.
Case in point: When I first started beading, I bought all these size 6 and 8 seed beads. I loved them. They were inexpensive and fascinating. And tiny—or so I thought. Once I got into seed bead stitching, however, I found myself using even smaller sizes, 11s and 15s. I felt a little sad every time I opened up my bead drawer and saw those early tubes sitting there. I felt so sad, in fact, that when I organized my beads last year, I almost gave away those beads. I'm glad I didn't. When I saw today's free project from Step by Step Beads, I knew those larger seed beads would finally get to star in a project!
From Seed Bead Circle to Spiral Peyote
If you already know tubular peyote, here's the short version of spiral peyote: Tie an odd number of beads in different sizes (at least 3) into a circle. Begin working tubular peyote, picking up the same type of bead that you just passed through. Changing the sizes of the beads—and maintaining a tight tension with your thread—will guide the beadwork into an automatic spiral. That may not sound too exciting when you're just reading this description on your computer, but trust me, it's thrilling to stitch a few rows and then suddenly see the spiral design take shape!
Spiral Peyote Video
If you need step-by-step instructions for spiral peyote, check out Step by Step Beads editor Leslie Rogalski in this spiral peyote video clip from Beads, Baubles and Jewels (series 900). She demonstrates an easy way to get started by using a rolled-up piece of paper or a straw to bead around. She also shows lots of examples of how to use your finished spiral, including shorter spirals like mine. One of my favorite examples in the video combines two short peyote spirals with copper chain for a hip necklace. For more step-by-step techniques and jewelry design ideas, including right-angle weave and advanced wire-wrapping, watch the Beads, Baubles and Jewels DVD.
New Free Project
Four different pattern ideas for spiral peyote, including Copper Spine, Black Crystal Spine, Raspberry Spiral, and Olive and Copper Spiral. Download includes bead colors, quantities, and sizes, along with photos of finished samples, but no step-by-step instructions. This project was originally published in the November/December 2007 issue of Step by Step Beads, a wonderful magazine for learning the basics of bead stitching. Subscribe today so you don't miss the earthy square-stitch bracelet and clever button projects in the September/October issue!
Free Peyote Stitch eBook
By the way, if you like the cool peyote stitch rings that Leslie wears in the spiral peyote video clip, you can learn to make your own. Instructions for those peyote stitch rings and four terrific bracelets are in our free ebook Peyote Stitch Projects with Beading Daily: 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns.Download your own copy today.