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Create Your Own Peyote Stitch Patterns

Jan 7, 2008
Our fascination with creating a fabric by stitching or weaving tiny beads together is not new. The Egyptians created burial garments using peyote stitch patterns over 4000 years ago! The technique got its name from the Native American's who created beaded items for ceremonial events. Over the years the techniques have changed although the name has stayed the same.

Because of the beading, peyote stitch patterns are most often used to create jewelry and items like small handbags, gloves, scarves and sweaters. Another item created by the peyote stitch are wonder beads or super beads, which are larger beads used in jewelry created out of several smaller peyote stitch patterns.

Peyote stitch patterns are the most popular amongst contemporary beadworkers. The technique is simple but can be confusiing for beginners, especially when it comes to following the pattern. The work progresses in an zigzag manner with each alternate bead belonging to a different row of the pattern. If you count your rows on the diagonal it will help you find your place on the graph.

The peyote stitch pattern is emphasized in many different craft books. "Bead & Button Magazine" published the craft book, "The Best of Bead & Button Magazine: Peyote Stitch Beading Projects" which highlights the peyote stitch pattern and includes 18 different jewelry patterns for lariats, necklaces and pins. The book provides detailed instructions on various stitches and also has several variations of the wonder beads, or "beaded beads" as the book refers to them.

Almost all of the projects in "Beaded Pictures: Charts and Instructions for Beadweaving" are done using the peyote stitch and have been submitted by regular crafters. The book not only offers detailed patterns, it also shows readers how to create their own peyote stitch patterns and create something unique. It has many different type of patterns, including animals, floral, geometric, season and people.

"Knitting with Beads: 35 Beautiful Sweaters, Scarves, Hats and Gloves" details many different beading projects. The main peyote stitch project is a peyote stitch tunic marked as a challenging project in the book. A book that ties back to the Native American tradition with the peyote stitch pattern is "Native American Beadwork: Projects and Techniques from the Southwest." "Creative Cloth Doll Making" is a book that shows how to combine the peyote stitch beading with several other craft techniques.

There are many different ways to include peyote stitch patterns in numerous types of craft projects, including cross stitch, jewelry, apparel, accessories and some small framed pieces. The peyote stitch combines both the techniques of older African and Native American traditions with the innovations of 21st century crafting ideas.
About the Author
Julia Wigham is a professional writer and co-owner of Patterns Patch cross stitch forums. An online cross stitch club whose members get free: patterns, articles and tutorials. Come to our colorful => cross stitch blogs right now.
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