Stitch Pro: Circular Square Stitch

Oct 10, 2012

I have been in a complete and utter beading rut lately. That is, until Kate McKinnon gave me a challenge: Work one of the designs from her upcoming self-published work, Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Kate's patterns are featured in this book, as are several other very talented designers, but I picked a conical design by Christina Vandervlist. What fun to use square stitch, a technique I don't use that often in my own designs. Here's a sneak peek of the beginnings of my little project:

Who knew lowly square stitch could lift me from my creative rut? It's such a strong, versatile stitch and it's been a nice challenge to work it in this spiraling way. The project I'm following is a little trixsy (you can follow it, too, if you pre-order Kate's book), but it's basically done with square-stitch increases. A great way to learn square-stitch increases is to do circular square stitch. Do you know this stitch? Give it a try and add it to your square-stitching vocabulary:

1) String a base round of beads; pass through the circle again to secure, then finish the tail thread. Start the next round by stringing 2 beads (they're at the top of the photo directly above); pass through the last bead exited and the next bead of the initial ring.


2) String 2 beads and pass through the last 2 beads added in this round (photo 1 in this series). Pass through the last 2 beads of the initial ring (photo 2 in this series), then pass through the next open bead of the initial ring (photo 3 in this series).


3) Repeat Step 2 around the ring. For the final stitch, weave through beads to exit through the first 2 beads added to the round. String 2 beads and pass through the last 2 beads added to the round (photo 1 in this series). If necessary, weave through the beads of the the round again to shape and reinforce.

4) For subsequent rounds, continue to add 2 beads to each bead of the previous round, or as many as needed to keep the beadwork flat.

Here's to circular square stitch! And to breaking a beading rut! And to happy beading!

--Jean Campbell, Senior editor

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Kate@149 wrote
on Oct 11, 2012 1:18 PM

Thanks, Jean! I love circular square stitch too. The cones in our book are a double spiral, worked two rows at a time and designed by Dustin Wedekind, actually- I put up a blog post today if people want to see what they look like.

Our pattern is also available as a free download (along with many others) on the Specials For Pre-Orders page on our book blog. We made a whole series of work out of the concept, including Christina Vandervlist's stunning Double-Cone Ring and Tutu Cuff.

Here is the page for the Book Blog- there are TONS of photos of cones on there as well.

We appreciate the mention and can't wait to see the Cones you are working on!

on Oct 11, 2012 1:51 PM

Yes, Kate--it's an awesome project! Didn't know Dustin was the originator of the design--thanks for the clarification. Makes design sense, as it seems to have him written all over it!

For another clarification, dear readers, you should know that the cone I have pictured above and the step-outs I show below don't have that much to do with each other, other than the fact that they are both square stitch, they both employ increases, and they both got me out of my rut. Follow Kate's link to learn the cone, or, if you just want to practice and learn square-stitch increases and circular square stitch, follow along with my photos in this blog.