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How to Read a Two-Drop Peyote Stitch Pattern

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Reading Rows 1 - 3
First three rows of a two-drop peyote pattern

Reading the first three rows of a flat, two-drop peyote stitch pattern. (Please click above to enlarge.)

© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Two-drop peyote stitch beading graphs are easy to follow once you get started. Here are my tips for reading them.

Decide Where to Begin

You can read a peyote pattern chart from the top down or the bottom up. Some patterns indicate where to begin with an asterisk or other symbol. When in doubt, look for a row at either the bottom or top of the chart that ends with a pair of protruding beads. If neither row ends with protruding beads, I recommend sketching in an additional row before you start.

In the example pattern above, the bottom row both begins and ends with a pair of protruding beads. This means that we can start at either side of that row. For the example, we'll start on the left side.

String the Beads for the First Two Rows

You always begin peyote stitch by stringing all of the beads for the first two rows. Those rows get pulled into alignment when you stitch the third row.

I've outlined all of the beads in the first and second rows of the chart in the second diagram above. The protruding pairs of beads make up the first row, and the recessed pairs of beads make up the second row. So, you begin by stringing 10 white colored beads (beads 1 - 10).

Stitch the Third Row

For the third row, you turn and read the pattern in the reverse direction. Pick up one white and one orange bead (11 and 12), stitch, picked up another white bead and orange bead, stitch, and so on.

Because this is odd-count peyote (i.e., there is an odd number of vertical, two-bead columns), you need to make a special turn at the end of the third row. However, this doesn't affect the way you read the pattern chart.

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