Stitches: Adding and Ending Thread in Peyote Stitch

One of the questions I get asked so very often
in my classes is how I add and end thread in my pieces. And the answer is it depends
on what stitch I’m working on, right now I’m going to show you how I add and end thread
in peyote. In peyote I tend to not tie any knots so it’s just a matter of weaving around
but there are a couple of tricks to it, so let me show you what I’m talking about. This
is a little piece of flat peyote that I created and even though I still have quite a bit of
thread attached to this we’re going to pretend that this is short. I would want to, as a
matter of fact I’m going to cut this short, just to kind of show you guys at what point
I would start thinking about actually worrying about changing thread. So, kind of once you
get down to here and you could even go a little bit shorter than this but you wouldn’t want
to go significantly shorter than this. Ok, so at this point now I’m talking serious,
I need to go ahead and get this ended off because if you’re like me you’re always, you’re
on a roll, you don’t want to stop and end your thread and add new thread and what happens
is you keep working it until it gets shorter and shorter and then you start having a really
hard time when you’re doing the weaving around because you don’t have much room to maneuver
cause the thread is so short. And I have even had to be so dramatic as to, in the past,
I’ve had to take my stitch partway through a bead, thread the needle and then pull it.
Trust me, you don’t want to do that. It’s a very pathetic little thing so just get in
the habit of getting to this point going “okay, I’ve gotta stop” Now here’s the other thing
that I always used to screw up until I got into the habit of doing this. It’s everybody’s
instinct to want to end this thread off before they start a new thread because you don’t
want to have two threads attached, but what happens with peyote you forget where your
thread was coming out. And I did this more times than I care to admit, I would get to
the point where I’d end this thread off and then I wouldn’t remember, I knew I finished
a row, but did I come out this end or this end. It makes a great big huge difference
which one you’re coming out of so now what I do instead, is I add my new thread first.
And that way once that is finished and put in, coming out that same bead that your current
thread is coming out of then you can go ahead and end the old one off and not have to worry
about it anymore. So what I do is I get the new thread ready, and I’m just going to kind
of randomly pick a spot a couple rows back on the diagonal. I’m just going to pass my
needle through a couple of beads, doesn’t really matter where you’re working here, I
need to leave enough of a little tail for me to hold onto so I don’t just accidentally
pull this all out. Then I weave in the opposite direction so this, when I was going through
there, I was going, I was working away from myself. Now I’m going to work back towards
myself and what I want to make sure I do is just pass through a bead that is right next
door to it, because what’s going to happen is as I pull this new thread, the thread is
going to suck up and just sit right in that intersection right between those two beads.
And you can kind of see it pop in there and disappear. So that’s why you want to make
sure that you’re going into a bead that’s right adjacent to the one you were coming
out of. And in this case I’m just going to go down another extra bead just so, I went
up two, went down two, I’m going to keep going down one more so I’m going down three. And
then, I know that I need to work my way back up over here, so now I’m going to kind of
start targeting what direction I’m going. My rule of thumb is that I want to change
directions at least three times, so this’ll be my third time changing directions. If possible,
I want to also weave back through the same bead two different directions, which I already
did when I was over here in this area, when I went up and came back down I crossed over
in the one bead, and now I’m just working my way right on up to the new location for
this guy to come out. Like that. And now this new one’s ready to go, depending, you might
not be able to see this but these beads that I went through, they’re sitting up a little
bit, because of the extra passes of thread, all you have to do is just kind of wiggle
them a little bit and then it makes it sit right back down again. I immediately want
to get rid of this tail that I had held onto only for the purposes of keeping me from pulling
that thread out, because otherwise I would forget whether that needed to be woven in
or not. So now I’ve got that new one started, I can end off the old one. And I’m going to
end off the old one in the exact same manner. It’s just a matter of weaving back and forth
a couple of times, I try to actually pick different beads than where I started the new
thread, cause you don’t want to fill those up with so much thread that you start having
a hard time getting through them. So I just came down three beads, now we’ll go up three,
actually we’ll only go up two, I’m going to be a wild child. Like so, and then I’m going
to come back on one of those beads that I had come through before, on the adjacent,
and come down two or three, and I’ll probably actually come down three but I’m going to
have to do it one with two, and one with one. Peyote stitch is very tight, depending on
your tension, but I tend to bead it fairly tight, and so you may have to move those beads
one at a time, and that’s fine, there’s no reason why that’s a problem. So at this point,
it has changed directions three times and you can just clip that off, and you are ready
to go again with your new thread. So don’t let adding and ending thread be a problem
for you, one of the rules that I set for myself really early on is when I’m finishing a project
for the night and I’m at that point where I need to add new thread, I make sure that
I add the new thread before I go to bed at night and the reason is because honestly,
we all dislike it so much that that can be a reason not to go on with your project the
next day, you look at it and go “oh, I have to add new thread, hm, maybe I’ll go do something
else” So don’t let that be a problem for ya. Go ahead, get it taken care of, be a grownup,
you can do it! And you saw how easy it is, so don’t let it be a problem. Thanks.