Two Drop Peyote Stitch: Your Guide
In essence, two drop Peyote stitch is just a variation of straight or tubular Peyote. So, if you are already familiar with those techniques, learning the two-drop variation will be so easy!
If you’re completely new to Peyote stitch, then take a look at the guide to learning even count. You can find that here. When you’ve done that, come back and I’ll explain two drop Peyote stitch.
Why should you learn two drop Peyote stitch?
Apart from the fact that some patterns use it, two drop Peyote stitch is just a great technique to have. Quite simply, it works up faster than the basic Peyote.
So, let’s say you want to make a Peyote bracelet, like the sample in the photo above. I made that sample with ordinary even count Peyote. But it would have been much faster worked in two-drop Peyote.
Why is that? Well, let me show you how to do the stitch and you should see…
How to do two drop Peyote stitch
Now, you can do this in both the flat variation and in tubular Peyote. So, let me explain the flat variation first.
Start just as you would normally, by picking up a string of beads (remember to use your stop bead or bead stopper). Let’s say you pick up 12 beads.
Then, you can begin your next row as usual. BUT instead of picking up 1 bead, skipping 1 bead, and passing through 1 bead in the string, you are going to pick up 2 beads, skip 2 beads from your string, then pass through the following 2 beads. Work the entire row like this, as shown in the diagram.
Then, you have your normal even count turnaround and you can just work back along the row. In each stitch you will pick up 2 beads and pass through 2 beads. So, your ‘up bead’ is now 2 beads. Similarly with the ‘down bead’ or gap. This is 2 beads wide, ready for your 2 new beads to sit in place.
That’s it – just keep working back and forth along your rows, adding two beads in each stitch and passing through two beads.
See why this now works up faster? If you were doing ‘normal’ even count, you would have six single beads (six stitches) in each row. This way, you’ve halved that number. So, it’s much quicker to stitch the rows!
Odd count versus even count
In the normal odd count variation, you would expect to pick up an odd number of beads in your first strip. (If you need a reminder of how to do odd count Peyote, check out this blog).
With two drop Peyote stitch, your first strip will still need an even number of beads (because you’re going to be adding two beads at a time). But here’s the difference…
For even count two drop Peyote, your initial string of beads needs to be a number that will divide by 4.
If you want to work in odd count two drop Peyote stitch, then your initial string of beads just needs to divide by 2.
As with the basic odd count, when you come to add the beads in your final stitch, you are going to need to use the odd count turnaround. You can still use any of the variations I suggested in this blog. All you need to remember is that you are passing through two beads, not one!
Tubular Two Drop Peyote Stitch
Again, the tubular variation works in the same way. You will start with a circle of beads. The number in this circle should divide by 4 (if it just divides by 2, you will end up working in odd count tubular Peyote. Check out this blog to find out the difference between odd and even count tubular Peyote).
Then, you pick up 2 beads, miss 2 beads in your circle and pass through the next 2 beads in the circle.
At the end of the row, you will still have a step up, but it will pass through the first TWO beads you added in the current row.
Basically, the structure and technique is just the same, but each component of every stitch will involve a pair of beads, not just one bead.
Variations on two drop peyote
Unless you’re a designer, you don’t need to worry too much about the intricacies of how to begin, or how to create variations. But it is interesting to be aware of them, in case you come across any in a pattern.
Three Drop Peyote
Yes, that’s right… In theory, you can use this idea to work in three-drop Peyote. So, you would be picking up 3 beads, skipping three beads, passing through three beads etc.
I say ‘in theory’ because this isn’t a technique that you will find commonly used. The reason is, the more beads you add into your ‘drops’, the looser the structure of your work.
The beauty of Peyote stitch is that it forms a stiff fabric. So, it’s great for creating structural beadwork. If you ‘lengthen’ each stitch too much, you end up with very little thread anchoring your beads, so they become more floppy.
However, you might want to use three-drop as a way of setting up a row to then change to working in netting. Or maybe you have some other ideas? It’s just worth knowing about the principle.
Mixing two drop and basic Peyote
Yes, you can mix the two techniques. So, you might find a pattern where you pick up 2 beads, but pass through 1 bead. Then, as you worked back along the row, your ‘up beads’ would be pairs, but your ‘down’ beads would be single beads. So, you would need to work by picking up 1 bead and passing through 2 beads.
This kind of ‘half and half’ technique can be useful in circular Peyote for creating a more gentle increase. So, think back to the technique for increasing in the middle of a row. Instead of forcing your single bead between the pair of beads, you could add another pair on top. Or maybe you add three beads on top of your pair to widen your increase again. Then revert to normal Peyote after that.
Don’t get bogged down and confused trying to work out what I mean here. I just want you to be aware that designers can ‘play’ with this two-drop or three-drop idea to create shaping. Especially in three dimensional work.
What to do next…
If you are intrigued by the ideas in this blog, I have used these techniques in a few of my patterns. If the jam tarts necklace (above) intrigues you, click on that image to get a kit for that project.
You can also explore these ideas in my Austin Powers necklace. This link will take you to that pattern.
You can also bookmark this page to return to if you need a reminder of how to work in two drop Peyote stitch. And don’t forget to share this with your friends!
If you’re ready to explore more variations of Peyote stitch, this page is the place to visit. Happy beading!