Two Drop Brick Stitch Instructions
You may be familiar with two drop Peyote stitch, but did you know you can also work in two drop brick stitch? Well, you can! So, how would this work?
Any beadwork technique that is called ‘two drop’ basically means ‘two beads’. So, the stitch structure remains exactly the same, but each stitch contains two beads instead of one bead. For some techniques, it may be easy to work out how to do the two drop variation. But for others, it is less intuitive.
Personally, I think the two-drop variation of brick stitch is pretty intuitive. But let me take you through it. Then we can take a look at where you might use this technique.
Two drop brick stitch instructions
Before you continue with this, please make sure you already know how to do basic brick stitch. If you’re not sure, or you just need a reminder, check this link. You will need to read the blog posts on starting brick stitch and ‘learn brick stitch’. Then come back here to learn two drop brick stitch.
Just like any other variation, two drop brick stitch starts by building your foundation row. Now, in basic brick stitch, I gave you a choice of methods for doing this. But for two drop brick stitch, you will definitely need to use the ladder stitch start.
As this is two-drop, you will simply use two beads in each new ‘ladder’, instead of one…
So, start by picking up 4 beads. Pass through them all again and then arrange them so that they are sitting in two two-bead stacks, side by side. Then, pick up 2 beads. If you are exiting from the bottom of your last stack, then you will pass through this from top to bottom (reverse this if you were exiting from the top), then up through the two new beads.
Arrange these, so you now have three two-bead stacks next to one another. Add another two-bead stack (remember to pass in the correct direction through your existing final stack). And just keep on adding stacks until you have the number you need for your foundation row.
Now, you are ready to begin your first brick stitch row. Remember how your basic brick stitch starts with you picking up 2 beads for the first stitch? Well, two-drop brick stitch is just the same. Except, instead of two beads, you will need two two-drop stacks…
So, pick up 4 beads. Hook under your first exposed thread, then pass back up through the last two beads (beads 4 and 3, in that order).
Then, you continue the row as normal. So, in basic brick stitch, you would pick up one bead, hook under the next thread and pass back up through the new bead. Well, two-drop brick stitch is just the same, except your ‘bead’ will be your ‘two-drop stack’.
So, pick up 2 beads, hook under the next exposed thread in your base row, then pass back up through both new beads.
Now, just keep repeating this all the way along the row.
Then, you can continue to repeat steps 2 and 3 to add as many rows as your pattern requires.
A Sample to try
So, now you understand the idea, how about you give this a go. See if you can make the little sample from the image below.
Let me give you a couple of hints to begin. First, your ladder stitch row will start at the bottom left – working towards the right. Then row two works right to left, row three left to right, etc. Remember, if you need any help with reading a pattern, you can take a look at this blog post.
This little pattern sample is set up to repeat. So, you can extend it to make a bracelet if you wish. When you reach the top row, just return to the bottom and start working your way up the sample again!
Why would you want to use two drop brick stitch?
That’s a good question. Although this is a bona fide technique that has been around for years, I’m not sure how much it gets used. So, why would you want to use it?
Well, just like two-drop peyote, two drop brick stitch grows twice as fast! Think about it: you are picking up two beads (effectively adding two rows) in each stitch.
You can even extend this idea to ‘three-drop’ brick stitch. So, as you can probably work out, this would involve using three beads for each stitch. In theory, you could grow the idea further. However, in reality, if you try this, you will soon hit a problem…
If you try to use too many beads in your stacks, you’ll end up with a very loose weave to your beadwork. In effect, your beads will only be joined every three or four, or however many beads, are in your stack. So, those ‘un-joined’ beads will be able to move and flop around.
Now, maybe this could be an advantage in some cases. Brick stitch tends to give a very stiff fabric. So, perhaps a multi-drop variation would give you a looser fabric… Maybe a little experiment to try…
Cool effects with two drop brick stitch
Naturally, I felt the need to do a little experimentation with two drop brick stitch. So, I decided to try it in tubular brick stitch. Yes – you can do that very easily. Just use the basic tubular technique, but with two beads instead of one.
I made the exciting discover that, by mixing together basic, two drop and three drop, I could turn a brick stitch tube into a ring…
So, if you want to see how that idea would work, grab a copy of my Nautical Earrings pattern here. You can use any colouring you like, of course!
But that brings me nicely back to some of the points I made about the limitations of brick stitch. When I was exploring circular brick stitch, I noted how difficult it is to create circles with this technique. So, having the flexibility of being able to mix one drop and two drop brick stitch can overcome some of those difficulties.
If you came here because you needed some two drop brick stitch instructions for a project, then I hope this has given you the information you were after. If you arrived here because you were just curious, then I hope you will explore a little further. Start by seeing how you might be able to use two drop brick stitch.
Then, please share this post with your beading friends. And, think about exploring some more brick stitch variations, using this link to access all my mini lessons.
You can also bookmark this page to come back to whenever you need a refresher.