Stitches: Ladder Stitch

Let’s talk about some ladder stitch. Ladder
stitch is not something that you generally see an entire project made out of, it’s basically
a building block to other stitches. But it’s also really important to know how to do it
so that you can do those other stitches. For instance, it’s frequently the building block
of herringbone stitch. Today we’re going to just learn the very basic ladder stitch. Let’s
take a look at the beads. This is very simple to do once you get in the rhythm of it, I’m
using some cylinder shaped beads here right now because they stack together really nicely
and that will make it very easy to see what’s going on. You’ll start by picking up two beads,
pull them down your thread until you’ve got about a 4-6 inch tail left below them, you just
need enough tail to weave back in later so you don’t need to go crazy on the tail. Then
I’m going to pass through the bottom bead, the one that’s closest to me from the tail
end, and up. Once I do that see how those 2 beads just snug up together, right next
door to each other, so that is our first ladder. Now we need to get to this outside edge here
to be able to add more beads, so to do that, to get in position, we’re going to pass through
the bead on the outside edge. Now we’re ready to add another bead. We’ll pick up one, because
our thread is coming out of the bottom of this bead we’re going to go through that bead
on the top edge. I think of it is as chasing my thread. And then that snugs right on up.
Then to get in position to the outside edge you’re going to need to pass through the bead
that you just added and pick up one more bead. This time my thread is coming out of the top,
with ladder stitch it’s going to alternate between the top and the bottom every time
you create a stitch so here this time since your thread is coming out of the top you wanna
go in on the bottom, chasing that thread. Then you need to get back to the outside edge,
so you’ll pass through the bead that you just added. And you will keep adding beads until
you get the length that you need. One of the things about ladder stitch is that it can
be quite loosy-goosey depending on what beads you’re working with, in this case because
I am using these cylinder beads they are sitting fairly nicely and snug up right against each
other but let me show you this. If you end up with lots of extra thread showing (let
me show you what I’m talking about here) Here I’ve got some extra thread showing , right
here, I’ve got some extra thread showing right here, you can see where they’re kind of a
little bit wiggly-wonkly. Depending on how many times you need to go back through those
beads again, in this case I’m using gigantic beads so I can get my needle and thread through
there a whole bunch of times, if you’re using a much smaller bead whether you can get your
needle and thread in for as many passes as you need can become an issue. But one way
to tighten these up is just to weave back through them and this time I’m not going to
worry about circling or anything I’m just going to zig-zag back and forth through those
beads from top to bottom. And as I finish pulling each time I give it a little bit of
a tug and now there we go, those beads have a lot less thread showing, they’re straighter
and they’re sitting like little soldiers. So that’s the ladder stitch technique and
you’ll be using that for all sorts of different things including the Ogalala lace bracelet.