Learn how to read peyote stitch instructions so you can create beautiful handmade beaded jewelry.
Reading peyote stitch patterns is easy once you know what you’re looking at. I suppose that applies to everything though, doesn’t it?
Usually peyote tutorials are composed of two parts — a graph and a word chart.
In this post, I’ll explain how to read a word chart. You can check out how to read graphs in peyote beading patterns here.
How To Read Peyote Stitch Instructions
What Is A Peyote Stitch Word Chart?
At first glance, a word chart can look like gibberish. It’s a combination of letters and numbers that show you exactly what beads you need to add to create a piece of jewelry using Peyote Stitch beading techniques.
There are several variations of Peyote Stitch and each one has its own set of rules. So, it follows that you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of the particular stitch in order to easily read the word chart.
Odd Or Even Count Peyote
Even if the tutorial doesn’t specify whether it’s Even or Odd Count, you can easily determine this. All you need to do is add up the number of beads in the first two rows.
If it’s an even number, then you’re working in Even Count Peyote Stitch. And, if it’s an odd number, then it’s an Odd Count Peyote pattern.
What Beads Should You Use?
At the top of the peyote beading pattern, you’ll find a bead legend or key with some or all of the following:
- A picture representation of the bead colors used
- The letter denoting the specific bead
- The manufacturer color code for each bead in the pattern
- The required quantity of each bead
Reading the Word Chart
When you create a piece of Peyote Stitch, you’ll usually pick up the first two rows simultaneously. So, the first line of the peyote word chart above shows the beads you need to add to rows one and two of the beadwork.
The only time you don’t begin with rows one and two at the same time is when you’re using Quick-Start Peyote cards or some other starter strip of Peyote Stitch.
When using this beading technique, you’ll alternate working from left to right and right to left. You’ll know which direction to go in from the letter in brackets found after the row number, i.e. (L) or (R).
Quite honestly, the direction doesn’t matter so much to me as I flip my beadwork around to start each row. I do this so I can bead easier. As long as you’re picking up the beads in the right order and alternating direction as you go, you’ll be fine.
After that, you’ll find a number in brackets, followed by a letter. The number lets you know how many of a specific bead you need to pick up.
And, the letter represents the specific bead. Refer to the bead legend or key to see which bead the letter denotes.
So, in the picture above, you’ll begin at the top right of the graph and work towards the left, picking up the beads shown in rows 1&2 of the word chart.
Do you see how easy it is to follow peyote stitch instructions once you know the basics?
Marianne M Whitchurch says
Most patterns state if even or odd. The current pattern didn’t! I was happy to see that you acknowledged this issue! I realize that most beaders know this but I’m an beginner/intermediate beader.
Thank you very much