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Two-Needle Right-Angle Weave Beading Tutorial

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Right-angle weave traditionally is stitched with two needles: one on each end of the same length of thread. Although this technique takes some getting used to, it has advantages over single-needle right angle weave.

First, using two needles means that the thread passes fewer times through each bead. This allows you to use larger thread and helps to minimize the amount of thread that shows between beads.

Another advantage of two needles is that the beads tend to align at crisper right angles than you can achieve with single-needle right-angle weave.

If you'd like to give it a try, here's how:

1. Prepare Your Needles and Thread

Two Needles on One Thread
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Begin by pulling a length of thread that is the same length you're accustomed to working with. (You can experiment with longer thread when you become comfortable with using two needles.)

Thread a beading needle onto each end of the thread, and fold over the thread tails. I recommend using a size 10 or larger needle for your initial try.

2. Stitch the First Right-Angle Weave Unit

The First Right-Angle Weave Unit
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Use one of the needles to pick up one bead, and slide it to the center of the thread.

Then, pick up two more beads, and slide those down against the first bead.

With the second needle, pick up one more bead. Slide this bead down against the others. (You could just pick up and center four beads, but this helps you to better understand the stitch.)

To complete the unit, pass the first needle through the single bead that you just picked up (with the other needle) and slide it down. Pull both ends of the thread taut at the same time.

Tip: Unlike off-loom stitches that use one needle, you'll probably find it easier to work with your beadwork resting on your work surface, rather than held in your hand.

3. Stitch the Second Right-Angle Weave Unit

The Second Right-Angle Weave Unit
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

To begin the next unit, pick up two beads with one needle and one bead with the other needle, and slide those beads down against the beadwork.

With the needle that you used to pick up one bead, pass back through the second bead that you picked up with the other needle. Be sure to pass though in the opposite direction as the other needle; when you finish, thread should exit both sides of the bead.

Pull both threads taut at the same time.

Tip: Experiment to see which approach to this step you find most comfortable. You may prefer to set down one needle while you use the other needle to complete the unit, or you may find it more efficient to keep both needles in your hands while you work.

4. Continue Stitching the First Unit Row of Two-Needle Right-Angle Weave

More Right-Angle Weave Units Stitched
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Repeat Step 3 to stitch additional right-angle weave units.

Stop when you have just one more unit to go before moving up to the second unit row. In the example on the left (click the image for a larger view), there are currently five units in the row, but there will be a total of six units.

5. Stitch the Last Unit in the First Unit Row

The Final Unit in the First Row Completed
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

To begin stitching the last unit in the row, use the bottom needle to pick up two beads, and the top needle to pick up one bead.

Pass the bottom needle back through the single bead, and pull both threads taut. This completes the last unit and positions your needle for the first unit in the next unit row.

6. Stitch the First Unit in the Second Row

The First Right-Angle Weave Unit in the Second Unit Row
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Using the needle and thread that are exiting outward from the edge of the beadwork, pick up two beads.

Use the other needle to pick up one bead.

Slide all three beads down against the beadwork.

Use the needle and thread with two bead to pass down through the single bead on the other thread and back through the next upper bead in the first row (see the second and third photos on the left).

Pull both threads taut. This completes the first right-angle weave unit in the second unit row.

 

7. Stitch the Second Unit in the Second Unit Row

The Second Unit in the Second Row
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Now pick up one bead with the upper needle and one bead with the lower needle, and slide  beads down against the beadwork.

Use the upper needle to pass down through the single bead on the other thread, and back through the next upper bead in the first row (just like you did in Step 6).

Pull both threads taut. This completes the second right-angle weave unit in the second unit row.

 

8. Continue Stitching Toward the End of the Second Unit Row

More Units Stitched
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Repeat Step 7 to stitch more units.

9. Continue Stitching to Your Desired Length of Beadwork

Completed Swatch of Two-Needle Right-Angle Weave
©Chris Franchetti Michaels

Now you have all the skills you need to continue stitching right-angle weave, one unit row at a time. Pick up one bead on each needle to stitch each unit, and use the turn in Steps 5 and 6 to end each row and begin a new one.

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