What’s Your Favorite Odd-Count Peyote Turnaround?

May 8, 2013

If you're familiar with Beadwork magazine then surely you're already aware of the versatility of peyote stitch. One of my favorite things about this stitch is that there are often several ways to achieve the same look, especially when it comes to odd-count turnarounds.

Personally, I'm a big fan of a thread-loop turnaround (see below). Or, if I feel the thread is building up on the side of the beadwork, I'll occasionally throw in a square-stitch turnaround. However, a project by Pamela Kearns in the June/July issue of Beadwork reminds me how great figure-eight turnarounds can be.

You might ask yourself, "Why even bother with odd-count peyote when even-count is so easy to turn?" Pamela's Boho Bangle shows why: Some patterned strips of peyote call for an odd number of beads in order to be symmetrical.

Regardless of which turnaround method you like most for odd-count peyote, here's how I recommend you start the first three rows:

String an odd number of beads for Rows 1 and 2. Work Row 3 back across the work as usual with 1 bead in each stitch. Knot the working and tail threads together and pass back through the last bead added.

Work Row 4 as usual with 1 bead in each stitch, as shown here by the blue thread.

Option 1
Now here is where you have a decision to make. To form a thread-loop turnaround at the end of Row 5, follow the red thread in this illustration: After stringing the final bead in the row, pass the needle under previous threads on the outside edge of the work, and then pass back through the last bead added. Don't pull too tight or the work can begin to curve on this side.

Option 2
To end Row 5 with a figure-eight turnaround, string the final bead of the row and then weave through beads in a figure-eight pattern to exit back through the last bead added, as shown by the green thread in this illustration.


For Pamela's complete peyote-stitch pattern and instructions for securing peyote-stitch bands to Regaliz licorice leather, don't miss the June/July 2013 issue of Beadwork.

Play around to find your preference, then share with us here your favorite approach to navigating odd-count peyote turnarounds.

Have fun!
Editor, Beadwork


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Datz wrote
on May 9, 2013 9:43 AM

Hi Melinda,

I made peyote slides for the Regaliz leather last month.  The two bracelets that I made sold quickly.  I like your pattern on your peyote slides.  Mine are differents and some of them are RAW.

To see my most recent bead weave slides on Regaliz visit -



on May 9, 2013 11:22 AM

It depends on what I'm stitching as to which turnaround I use. When I submitted this project and instructions, I wasn't aware of this particular start by tying the thread - it certainly makes it easier! Personally, I use the figure-8 turnaround for simpler patterns - doesn't let you undo the stitching very well! it also tends to fill the beads with thread that may add to problems later. I find the 'thread loop' turnaround does tend to curve a longer piece.

The easiest way I have found is do it as an even count - and add the odd row as brick stitch as the final step. The existing peyote acts like the ladder making a brick row easy. This way I can easily undo mistakes in the even count peyote before that odd row.

on May 11, 2013 8:23 AM

I woukd lov to learn this.

Debbie@304 wrote
on May 11, 2013 10:27 AM

I've always used option 2 as it is a much stronger way to turn.  I often use peyote for rings so need a very strong edge.


on May 11, 2013 12:21 PM

I love Peyote stitch!  For years I used the basic figure eight turn around, but frankly that method leaves the "odd" side of the beadwork filled with so much more thread that it feels comparatively stiff. An easier (and better final) fix for me has been to work the piece in even count Peyote -- minus the last column -- then go back and add a single Brick stitch edge.  It looks the same as if done entirely in Peyote, is much easier than the odd count fussiness, less time consuming, and the final product has a more even thread distribution.  Works for me!