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Double St. Petersburg Stitch
Double St. Petersburg chain is a deceptively simple bead stitch that originated in Russia. It makes a distinctive chevron or V-shape that can be accentuated with the type and colors of beads chosen for the design. It is most often used for as a chain for necklaces, amulet bags or purse straps, but it also makes a great bracelet and can be used for earrings.
The double version of St. Petersburg chain is the same basic stitch as regular St. Petersburg chain but it joins the two chains by sharing a center bead. It is also possible to join additional rows of St. Petersburg stitch to make a triple or quadruple St. Petersburg chain for a wide bracelet.
This stitch is particularly fun to play with using different types of beads. The first example is made with Czech size 11 beads and a size 11 cube bead in the center. The second example uses Toho size 11 round beads. These are more simple bead choices, since St. Petersburg stitch can make very dramatic chains with the addition of drops, daggers or crystal beads.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Start With Single St. Petersburg Chain
Double St. Petersburg stitch builds off of a length of single St. Petersburg stitch. Start by following the Single St. Petersburg Stitch tutorial to make a length of beadwork as long as needed for your finished project. For a bracelet, this is typically between six and seven inches depending on the type of clasp you will be using.
The one variation to the standard tutorial when making double St. Petersburg stitch is to start with a length of thread twice as long as you need for your project. So, if you typically need a full arm's length of thread for your single St. Petersburg stitch, start with two full arm's length of thread. Place your stop bead in the middle of the thread and begin beading the single St. Petersburg stitch using one side of the thread.
This stitch is supple so a full bodied thread like FireLine or WildFire works well to keep the tension tight and give the beadwork some body. A nylon bead thread like Nymo will also work, but may cause the beadwork to fold along the center or it could stretch over time.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Begin Double St. Petersburg Stitch
Begin by removing the stop bead. The center bead will be loose until you begin adding the beads for the second half of the St. Petersburg stitch. Be sure not to let it slide off!Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Pick Up Beads for the First Stitch
Pick up six beads for the first stitch. The first four beads correlate to the first row of double St. Petersburg stitch and the last two beads will be part of the second row. You will need to follow the pattern established on the first side of the St. Petersburg chain.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Make a Loop With the Beads
Make a loop with the beads by stitching back through the third and fourth beads you just added. Make sure the loop is right next to the beads you just added on the row. There should not be any thread showing between the beads. When you've made the loop of beads, you can slide them down to the beads by pushing against the group with your fingers.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Finish the First Row
Finish the first row of St. Petersburg stitch by picking up one bead and stitching back through the three beads on the first row. At this point, the beads are not connected to the center spine... yet!Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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Start the Second Row
Start the second row by stitching through the next bead in the center and the two beads you added in the prior step. This will link the new stitches with the existing St. Petersburg chain. From here on, you will add each row as you normally would but the center turn bead will always be a shared bead from the single St. Petersburg stitch.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Continue the Next Row of St. Petersburg Stitch
Pick up four more beads. The first two beads are for the current row and the second two of the group will be for the next row. Stitch back through the first two beads to make a circle with the beads.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Maintain Tension on the Row
Slide the group of beads next to the other beads on the row. This will maintain tension on the beadwork and prevent the thread from showing.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Complete the Row
Complete the row by adding an outside turn bead and stitching back through the next three beads on the row.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Stitch Through the Center
Stitch through the center turn bead and the two beads for the next row that you added previously. Continue stitching new rows until your chain reaches the desired size.Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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Double St. Petersburg Examples
Double St. Petersburg stitch is an ideal necklace or necklace chain. One of my favorite ways to use it is to make two sections of Double St. Petersburg chain between 7 and 8 inches long or longer and then connect them with a pendant in the center.