About Flat Even Count Peyote Stitch
Peyote stitch is a perfect stitch for beginning beaders. There are many variations of peyote stitch, but flat peyote is a great place to start. It will make a strip of beadwork that supple yet sturdy and is perfect for beaded rings, bracelets, hat bands, belts, purse straps, etc.
The difference between even count and odd count peyote is whether the number of beads on the starting row is an even number of beads or an odd number. Even count peyote is a slightly easier stitch to learn since odd count peyote has a special turn at the end of every other row of beadwork.
One of the drawbacks with even count peyote is that you cannot make a pattern that is symmetrical from a center row. For that, you will need to use flat odd count peyote.
Beginning Flat Even Count Peyote
To get started with flat even count peyote, prepare a comfortable length of beading thread (usually a full arms span) and pick up a stop bead. To string a stop bead, pick up a bead and pass needle and thread through the bead in the same direction so that the thread wraps around the bead. Using a different color bead will help you to differentiate the stop bead from the peyote stitch.
Japanese cylinder beads work well with peyote stitch and will give you very even results. The uniform size and shape of the beads allow them to snap into place between the spaces between the beads in each row.
Pick up Beads for the First Rows of Peyote Stitch
Pick up ten seed beads and push them down the thread to the stop bead. These ten beads are the beads for the first two rows of peyote stitch.
Using an even number of beads makes the turn on the end of each row very simple. Flat odd count peyote results in similar results but requires a slightly more complicated turn at the end of each row.
Start the Next Row of Flat Even Count Peyote
To start peyote stitch, pick up one seed bead on your needle; skip the last bead you strung on the first row of beads and pass your needle through the next bead, going back in the direction towards the stop bead.
Pull the Thread Taut and Stack Beads
Pull the thread tight so that the bead you just added sits stacked on top of the bead below it. At this point, it will be a little difficult since the stop bead may slip a little. You can use your needle to help move the bead on top of the one from the prior row. The rows will tighten up and align better as you add more beads.
Stitch the Beads for the Rest of the Row
Continue to pick up one bead, skip a bead, and pass through the next bead until you reach the end of the row. Be sure to stack each bead on top of the bead on the prior row.
Completing the Third Row of Peyote Stitch
When you reach the end of the row, you will have completed the first three rows of flat even count peyote stitch. Since each row of peyote stitch is offset by one-half bead from the prior row, peyote stitch rows are counted diagonally instead of going up or down the column of beads on the end.
Make the Turn and Begin Stitching the Fourth Row
To make the turn and start the fourth row, pick up one bead; pass through the first bead that is jutting out from the previous row. From here on, you will be stitching beads into the spaces between the up beads. Up beads are the beads that just up on a row.
To turn at the end of each row, simply pick up a bead and pass through the bead you just stitched into place. You may have to hold on to your working thread to prevent the beads from loosening. Make sure you maintain consistent thread tension and there are no gaps between the beads on a row.
Even Count Peyote Problems - Twisted Beads
One other common problem with flat peyote stitch is beads that twist while they are moving into place between the up beads. Make sure that your beads are not twisted as you pull them tight. To fix twisted beads, you just need to loosen the stitch slightly to untwist the bead and pull it into place.
If you don't notice this problem until the next row, you will need to remove all of the stitches and go back to this point to fix it. Otherwise, the beadwork will loosen once the bead untwists and there is the excess thread around it.
Flat Even Count Peyote Problems - Skipped Bead
If you accidentally skip a bead in flat even count peyote stitch, remove the stitches up until that point and add the bead back into place. It might seem strange that this can happen, but sometimes the bead can slip off your needle, and you won't notice until you pull the stitch tight, or have turned the row and are working back in the opposite direction.
The Finished Flat Even Count Peyote Beadwork
Continue to stitch until your piece of beadwork is the size you want it to be. You can remove the stop bead any time after the third row is complete since the beads will be locked into place. It is also fine to leave the stop bead in place since it doesn't affect the beadwork either way.
To finish the flat peyote beadwork, weave the thread ends in, tie one or more half hitch knots between the threads. If the peyote beaded item will see a lot of wear, such as a bracelet, you may want to add a drop of glue on the knot.
Cut the thread close to the beadwork. You can use a thread burner to trim the thread end if you have one.
Edited by Lisa Yang