Peyote Stitch – Easy Or Painstakingly Difficult?

Peyote stitch necklace

Peyote stitch is a very beautiful beading stitch. It can be very easy to do, but also painstakingly difficult at times, depending on which version you choose.

It can be done even count where you use an even number of beads, or odd count where you use an odd number of beads. It can be done flat or tubular as well as circular. You will see what I mean in a little while, but first, let's take a look at the history around Peyote.

History:
Bead work done with peyote have been found that dates as far back as to the ancient Egypt, and was also used by the native Americans who gave it the name Peyote.
Peyote is the name of a small spineless cactus used as a sacramental role among the Indians of Mexico, due to its hallucinogen effect. The use of the peyote cactus spread to the North American tribes in the last hundred years. But what on earth does this cactus have to do with beading?

Well, the beading stitch is used to decorate objects used in the Peyote sermons.
Peyote stitch is also called Gourd stitch, as it was used to decorate gourd containers.

Peyote resembles Brick stitch in how it looks. If you turn Brick stitch sideways, it looks just like Peyote stitch. Because of this it is sometimes very difficult to determine whether a bead work is done with Peyote- or with Brick stitch. The way they are stitched on the other hand, is very different.

Peyote stitch is very suitable for stitching bezels for cabochons, or for making beaded beads, only to mention some of its superb qualities. Well, enough of history, this is how you do it:

Even count Peyote:

Add a stop bead by going through it two times. String 20 beads on a comfortable length of Fire line. Pick up a bead and go back through the second bead. Add another bead and go through the next bead.
Try to keep a tight tension as you bead along, that will make it easier for you to see the pattern of one bead, two beads, one bead, two beads. Continue like this to the end of the row. In Peyote you actually make two rows the first round, which can be a bit confusing. When it is finished, you have three rounds with beads When you are at the end of the row, flip the piece around, add a bead and go through the first raised bead (which is the second bead in the row).
Add a new bead and go through the next raised bead. Continue through out the row, and follow this pattern until your desired length.

Here you can see it in a diagram:


Odd count Peyote:
Odd count Peyote stitch can be a bit challenging. There is no room to add a bead when you start a new row, like when you do even count Peyote. You therefor have to make some steps to start the next row. It may seem a bit complicated at first, but just follow the path on the picture, and you will be fine. This is how you do it:

Add a stop bead, and string 19 beads.
Add a bead and go through the second bead. Repeat until the end of the row.

When you add the last bead (bead 5), go through the last bead in the previous row (bead 1) backwards instead of forwards. Go back through bead 2, 3 and 4, then back through bead 2 and 1, and finaly through bead 5.
You are now ready to continue the row as usual.


Increase within a row:

When you come to the place where you want to increase, add two beads instead of one and continue the row. In the next row, you add a bead between the two newly added ones and continue as usual.


Decrease within a row:

When you come to the place you want to decrease, you do not add a bead, but go straight through the next bead. Pull tight to close the gap as much as possible. In the next row you add one bead in the gap, and continue as usual.


Peyote Bracelet - Stitched With Amazing Delicas

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