Today's tutorial is a little different, but it's based on a question I get all the time. "How do I read this pattern?" Which means today I'm going to go over how to read a peyote graph that came with your pattern. If you’re looking for how to read a word chart, check out my tutorial over here.
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After a long hiatus, I am back with some new tutorials. In this tutorial, I am going to be focusing on even count peyote stitch but will be covering other stitches in future tutorials.
So maybe you are new to beading or maybe you are just new to patterns. I know I learned how to do basic stitches before I ever figured out how to read a pattern. I remember my first few attempts at following a pattern. It didn't go well. I don't think it helped that I decided the first pattern I would try would be a large tapestry. Looking back, I see now that it really wasn't the best choice for my first attempt.
To save you that frustration, I'm going to walk you through how to read that pattern and get you started on peyote project.
This tutorial is for beaders that already know how to do even count peyote stitch. If you are looking for a basic peyote tutorial, please see my tutorial here.
And if you are looking for some awesome patterns, just stop by my Etsy shop and check out all my patterns. I suggest a simple pen wrap or small bracelet to get started with. Something that won't be too overwhelming. Well, that's enough self-promotion, let's get on to the tutorial.
Here is the little pattern we are going to follow today. Just a simple even count peyote project. I have used a different color for each row, this way you can visualize the word chart easier.
Before we jump in, let’s look at our pattern. Most pattern graphs will look like this. There might be a few differences, but once you know how to read one, you can figure out all of them.
In my patterns, the graphs are colored and has the corresponding letter in each bead (square). Some graphs will only have the color, some will have a letter, some will have a number, some will have a symbol. It all depends on the designer.
So how do you know? We can look at the color chart. This is the color chart for the pattern we’ll be using. You can see that it has “chart #:Capital Letter”, this is the letter that will correspond to that color. So, in this example, pink correlates to the letter A.
The color chart can tell you several other things as well. It can tell you the number of beads you’ll need. It will tell you the manufacturer’s number for the beads. Some color charts will have a color name on them but remember that both Miyuki and Toho don’t name their beads, they only give them a number. So, the color name may not correspond to the name given by different bead sellers. Also make sure to match up the manufacture’s number, not the name.
So, let’s get back to the pattern. To start a peyote pattern, you need to string rows one and two together.
You can also start with a starter strip, but that is a later tutorial.
For this example, we’ll be starting rows one and two together. We'll string both the first row (white/I on the color chart) and second row (blue/B on the color chart) at the same time.
These are the two rows we want to look at on our pattern. This is the trickiest part in my opinion to remember to start with both of these rows.
*Note: Why is this considered even count peyote stitch when there are a odd number of beads in each row? Well technically you can look as a complete row as both the up and down. So this pattern has an even number of beads in both the up and down rows. Most patters consider just the up or the down to be a row, so don't let that throw you off when looking at a pattern.
Here is what it would look like on your thread.
The red bead is our stop bead and then working left to right we strung one blue (B), one white (I), one blue (B), one white (I), one blue (B), and one white (I).
One thing I want to point out when you stringing the beads for your first two rows. Make sure you are stringing them in the correct order. You want to make sure you end on the bead that you are going to make the turn at. So in our example, the last white bead the arrow is pointing at above.
If you string them the other way, your patter will be off.
In our example, we start with a blue bead, which is technically our second row. This is why sometimes reading a graph can be confusing.
Now we have our first two rows completed, so let's make sure to cross off rows 1&2 on your pattern so you don't lose your place. You can see how I keep my place while beading here.
Now that we have row 1 and row 2 on our thread, we're going to start row 3.
In our example row three is 3 yellow beads (represented by the letter J and the color yellow on our graph).
Now we are going to pick up our first row 3 bead (yellow (J) on the color chart). We are then going to skip the first bead in row 1 (white (I) on the color chart) and go through the first row 2 bead (blue (B) on the color chart).
We are going to continue to do a basic flat peyote stitch for the whole row. When we are done, our beadwork should look like this.
Let's make sure to cross off the third row so that we don't loose our place
Once we are past the first row (both rows 1 and 2 combined), it becomes a little easier to follow the graph. The biggest thing is making sure you keep your place.
We are just going to continue now adding each row following the graph. Our next row is the forth row (green (F) on the color chart).
The nice thing about using a graph while following a pattern is you get to see the visual representation of the pattern. You can see the colors, you can see the design, you can see if you made a mistake or if things aren't looking quite right. It's easier to compare.
We are just going to continue adding beads, following the graph until we finished the pattern.
The three things to keep in mind are:
1. You are going to string rows 1 and 2 together
2. Make sure you are starting on the correct side and end with the bead where you will make your turn
3. Make sure to keep your place
Keeping your place is crucial the more complicated a pattern gets. I don't know how many times I've lost track of where I was and then had to go back and count or even pull rows because I added a row twice. It is not fun.
There are a number of ways to keep your place in a peyote graph. You can use a post it note to keep your place, you can use a ruler (a magnetic one works really well for this), or you can cross off each row. I do the last option. I cross off as I go. I do it two different ways, I use a plastic sheet cover, like here, or I've started using my computer and crossing off the rows as I go. I like this way because it uses less paper. Try the different ways and see what works best for you.
But once you get the hang of reading a graph, there will be no stopping you. You can tackle the most complicated tapestry out there.
Looking for more beady tutorials?
Even Count Flat Peyote Stitch - Click Here
Ladder Stitch - Click Here
Brick Stitch - Click Here
How to Read A Peyote Word Chart - Click Here
Increasing/Decreasing Brick Stitch - Coming Soon
Increasing/Decreasing Peyote Stitch - Coming Soon
Square Stitch - Coming Soon
Two Drop Even Count Flat Peyote Stitch - Coming Soon
Odd Count Flat Peyote Stitch - Coming Soon
And many more!
Other Helpful Goodies
Want to know how I keep track of where I am in a pattern? Click here to read about my method for staying on track.
What are my favorite beads to use for peyote? I love me some Delica cylinder beads. There are a number of awesome choices HERE.
What are my favorite needles? Check out these great Tulip needles. They are some of the best needles out there. Click HERE for more info
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Just a girl that loves to bead, take photos, and cuddle with her new baby and her pug.