An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Monday, January 17, 2011

Odd count peyote turns: Which way do you do it?

Are you a beadweaver? Do you use peyote stitch? If you answered 'yes' to each of these questions you'll probably have a way to do odd-count peyote stitch. We need to use it anytime we are trying to centre a design or a join between two pieces of peyote beadwork. Sunburst Towers (see Photo) is one of the longest pieces of peyote I have woven that was based on odd-count peyote so it gave me plenty of practice at the turn. So, I know that I know how to do it - but have you ever tried to explain how you do this turn to others?

I have just taught my first beadweaving class at the Victorian Bead Society's annual Bead Retreat in Mt Eliza (Victoria, Australia). It was a lovely setting and I enjoyed my teaching until the moment that I realised most of the class participants had no experience of odd-count peyote stitch and to finish the project they would need to know how to do this variation on peyote stitch. I know of at least 3 ways to do the turn and each of them equally daunting to explain:
- using modified square stitch
- using a slip knot
- using a Figure 8 turn.

My favourite way to do the turn is using a modified form of the Figure 8 turn so I opted to try to explain that - all I can say is that my participants were very patient and to my surprise several of them actually learnt it. I think it was more good luck than good teaching so I have decided to write some clear instructions to take with me to my next class... one of those 'just in case' things to do. In thinking about how best to do this I wondered what most beaders find the best way to do this turn.

If you have a view, a good set of instructions you've found on the web or your own hints or tips I'd love to hear from you.

Here's a great animated site which I could have used as a helper with my participants:
Suzanne Cooper -


KRDesigns11 said...

I review Carol Wilcox Wells book Creative Bead Weaving, page 14, Odd-Count Flat Peyote which has the numbered bead diagrams to follow. I think it's a figure 8 version. I purchased this book as a new beader to make the Electric blues Amulet Purse by Kathy Robin on page 40--I love it and the strap uses odd count peyote. I marvel that I was able to complete it. There are many new things for me to learn in that book, if I ever run out of to do's.

Patricia C Vener said...

I first learned this weave from Carol Wilcox Wells' book but almost immediately I evolved to "do whatever works given angles, beads, and design to turn this needle around." Sometimes it's the more-or-less figure eight and sometimes it gets carried away.

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

I can add a method to your repetoire. I use a double needle technique for odd count peyote, which I love. It avoids the buildup of additional thread at the turning end, and is easily rip-out-able when you discover you made an error two rows back. You begin with a thread twice as long as you might normally use and string your first two rows, centering them on the thread, with a needle on each end. Anchor one needle in the upper left hand of your beading mat, and with the other needle, work your third row. When you get to the end, put on the final bead for the row, switch needles, and pass back through that last bead with the new thread and work rows 4 and 5, switching needles again at the end. For me it's the BEST!

Glenda of Dax Designs said...

Thanks for the suggestions. Patricia I think I have worked on the whatever works principle myself mainly but Marsha I'll give the double needle technique a try as it sounds very neat. I know I have used it just for the first couple of rows of even-count to get them going. Thanks again folks.

Chrisbeads said...

I learned the turn from Leslie Rogalski at Doodle Beads. She makes it very simple and I have found it works very well.

Lois Moon said...

Ditto what Marsha said - I use a double needle. I never had any problems with odd count before I switched to double needle (I used a figure 8), but I like my method now for all the reasons given above, plus it is fast and easy.

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op