Double St. Petersburg Stitch Tutorial

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    Double St. Petersburg Stitch

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Two variations of double St Petersburg stitch. © Lisa Yang

     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.  

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    Start With Single St. Petersburg Chain

    Single St. Petersburg Chain
    Start double St. Petersburg with a chain of single St. Petersburg chain. © Lisa Yang

     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.

    Buy WildFire Bead Thread at

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    Begin Double St. Petersburg Stitch

    Double St. Petersburg Chain tutorial
    Remove the stop bead to begin the double St. Petersburg. © Lisa Yang

     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!

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    Pick Up Beads for the First Stitch

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Double St Petersburg uses the turn beads in the center as common beads. © Lisa Yang

     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.

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    Make a Loop With the Beads

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Double St. Petersburg is loose until you complete the second row. © Lisa Yang

     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.

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    Finish the First Row

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Add the end turn bead to complete the row. © Lisa Yang

    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!

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    Start the Second Row

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Stitching through the center turn bead and the two 'up' beads will start the next row. © Lisa Yang

     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.

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    Continue the Next Row of St. Petersburg Stitch

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Maintain thread tension to minimize the visibility of thread between rows. © Lisa Yang

    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.

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    Maintain Tension on the Row

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Be sure to push the circle of beads close to the other beads on the row. © Lisa Yang

    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.

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    Complete the Row

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    A single color on each row accentuates the chevron design of double St. Petersburg stitch. © Lisa Yang

    Complete the row by adding an outside turn bead and stitching back through the next three beads on the row.

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    Stitch Through the Center

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Stitching through the common bead pulls the two sections of beadwork together. © Lisa Yang

     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.

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    Double St. Petersburg Examples

    double st petersburg stitch tutorial
    Double St. Petersburg stitch variations. © Lisa Yang

    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.