I saw a simple project in the June/July '13 Beadwork magazine designed by Pamela Kearns that I decided to try. It incorporates a small piece of odd-count flat peyote stitch work, plus licorice leather, a relatively new product to the beading and jewelry market.
After a few fits and starts, here's the finished piece:
While the instructions in the magazine call for two smaller peyote pieces, I decided I wanted to go wider. I found a great website that helped me design my own zigzag pattern. While I wouldn't consider myself an expert in peyote stitch, here's how I made my bracelet.
I used two colors of size 11 seed beads, a size 10 beading needle and about 2 yards of Crystal Fireline, size D, a nylon braided beading thread that is ideal for bead stitching.
After a trial run, I determined that I needed 32 rows of stitching to fit snugly around the licorice leather.
I put a stopper bead on my Fireline (threading it on, moving it to within 6 inches of the end of the cord, and putting the needle back through the bead to create a 'slip' knot.)
|To make a bead stopper, pass the needle through the bead in the same direction twice, then pull up the slack. Leave about 6 inches of thread to weave into your work when you are finished.|
To being peyote stitch, you thread on the first two rows of beads.
|These 17 beads will make up rows 1 and 2 of odd count peyote stitch.|
1 yellow, 3 red, 1 yellow, 2 red to complete Row 3.
|Work row three from right to left.|
|Half-way through adding row three, you can see that every other bead starts to 'pop up'.|
|Add row 4 beads from left to right.|
Row 6: 1 yellow, 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 red, 1 yellow
Row 7: 2 yellow, 1 red, 3 yellow, 1 red, 2 yellow
Row 8: 9 yellow
Row 9: 1 red, 3 yellow, 1 red, 3 yellow, 1 red
Row 10: 1 red, 2 yellow, 2 red, 2 yellow, 1 red
Row 11: 2 red, 1 yellow, 3 red, 1 yellow, 2 red
Row 12: 9 red
The pattern for Row 13 is the same as Row 5, and so on. Repeat the patterns for Row 5 through Row 12 to continue the design, until you get the length you desire.
To fit around my piece of licorice leather, I needed 32 rows...my last row was 9 yellow. At that point, I folded my work in half, and 'zippered' the two ends together by stitching them back and forth to create a tube. Once the tube of peyote stitching was closed, I buried my thread tails by working the needle through several beads. I used a Thread Zap II by singe the end of the threads, instead of tying a bulky knot.
You may want to check the length of your work against your leather as you go...remember that you want the peyote tube to fit snugly on the leather. You may need to add or subtract rows to fit your leather.
I finished my bracelet by adding two Regaliz Slice Spacer beads and a Regaliz magnetic clasp designed for the licorice leather. I used a bit of super glue to hold the spacer beads into place and the attach the clasp to the leather.
If you can't find licorice leather, or just really like the zigzag pattern, you can make your piece of flat peyote long enough for a bracelet. You probably will need to add more thread...just start weaving a new piece through the middle of your work until you get the needle into the position to continue stitching. I rarely tie knots in bead work, I just weave in a new piece of thread and continue on. The best clasp for this type of bracelet is the sliding bar clasp.
A really great source for Regaliz findings and licorice leather is Goody Beads (www.goodybeads.com). Their prices were among the best I could find. They also carry the Thread Zap II.
I'm so happy with the end result, it was worth all of the missteps to get there. I'm not sure I'll make another...the materials ran about $25, but I think it's worth at least double that!