Beadweaving Basics: Reading Charts

I really enjoy making flat bracelet pieces,
it’s the thing that I kinda tend to wear quite often because especially if you do a lot of
computer work, you want something that’s going to be kind of easy on the wrist, and so I
do a lot of flat peyote pieces, flat square stitch, and so one of the things that you
have to learn when you’re creating these flat pieces is how to read a chart. It’s not as
simple as it might seem, especially with peyote. Let me show you kind of, some eye candy here
first, these are all bracelets that we have kits available for at
and what I have here is these ones on the outside are actually square stitch pieces,
and so this is a very simple chart to read because it just goes back and forth and it’s,
the row is straight, so those can be very simple to do, once you start getting into
peyote which is what the rest of these pieces are then your beads are offset by a half step
on each row. And so it can be confusing trying to follow your row along because it skips
a bead and that can be very confusing, the other thing that can add into the confusion
is a chart looks ever so slightly different if it’s in odd count peyote versus an even
count peyote piece, and actually this odd count, this is odd count, this one’s even
count although it’s hard to tell because we kind of threw this asymmetrical look in, the
reason you would do an odd count is because you would want it to have something centered
down the center of the bracelet. Let me show you in charts what I’m talking about, this
is a very small peyote pattern, and this is an even count peyote pattern, one of the ways
you can tell it’s an even count is well you can just count the beads across and know that
it’s an even number, but the other you can tell is an even count pattern, as I look here
on the bottom, one of these sticky outies will be on one side and then you’ll have an
indent on the other side, and that actually means that it’s an even count pattern, if
it were an odd count pattern, you’d have sticky outies on both sides, and same up here. Odd
count makes it a little, and that’s really the only difference in actually reading a
pattern between an odd count and an even count peyote, there is a trick to doing odd count
peyote turns, and I am going to have a video on that and I’ll pop a link up here for you
on the various ways you can do odd count peyote turns. When you’re reading a chart what you’re
going to do is pick which way you want to start, most people I think tend to work from
left to right and across the bottom, and then they’ll move up their half step and return
back this way so it’s zig zagging back and forth, but you always start at the bottom
left. However, because most people do that, that doesn’t mean you have to, if it’s more
comfortable for you to start up here, you can do that, but what you’re going to have
to do is re-orient your chart so that it starts with an indented spot. In this case, your
indented spot is over here, so to start out at the top, you would either have to physically
reverse this pattern and you could do that by, you could scan it and flip it in a program,
or you could start at the top here, and just start from right to left. But you have to
start at the indented location. Now the next thing is, how do you keep track of what beads
you’ve picked up. Especially because, with peyote, you’re picking up your first 2 rows
when you pick up your first set of beads, so here I would be picking up here, here,
here, here, here, and going back and forth between these two and picking those all up
at once. Then when I come back around and start row 3, now I’m picking up here, here,
here, here, and here. so you can see how visually that can be hard to do if you’re just trying
to do it with your eyeballs, so there’s a couple things that you can do. One is, if
you only want to print this pattern out once, or if you only have one copy of it, what you
might want to do is laminate it, and actually use a dry erase marker, and as you pick up
beads, you can take that dry erase marker and check them off. And that way, you know
exactly what beads you’ve taken care of, another thing that you can do is what I’m doing right
here, I tend to, when we sell our patterns, we send you a pdf version, so you can print
them out as many times as you want. So I would just print them out and take a regular old
pen and mark them off as I’m working. The other thing is keeping your direction can
be a bit of a challenge, and that’s where this arrow comes in, so here I would have
picked up all of these beads for the first 2 rows, and then I would have drawn my arrow,
and then here I am picking up my beads for the 3rd row, and if it helps you, you can
even write in so now here’s row 4, and check off those beads as you pick those up and stitch
them. Now here’s row 5, and row 5 goes this way so here, here, here, here, here. So these
are all different ways to kind of help you work that, but one other thing that you can
do that can be really helpful some people will tell you to take a ruler or something,
here, we’ll use this as a pretend ruler, and that way, say I’m on row 4 here, you can put
it like this, and then you’re only taking, picking up, the full squares, I actually personally
find this half square here very visually distracting, I tend to want to try to bead that anyway.
So, a way to get around that is, here I printed out a second copy of this pattern, and I printed
it out on card stock so it’s a little, has a little more thickness to it, and then what
I did is I cut along that bottom edge, so that I have a zig zag going on, I’m going
to flip it over so that it’s all the white side, and now as I move from row to row, let’s
say I’m on row 4, here I can do this, oops and actually what I really wanted to do was
this, like that, so now there’s my row 4, is in the little indents. And then when I’m
ready for row 5, I’m going to just shift it by 1, and here’s row 5, so I actually find
this really helpful and you can just use a paper clip to paper clip the 2 pieces together,
so that it doesn’t shift accidentally on you, so that’s another option. Now here’s the other
thing, you’ll see a lot of projects in a pattern, in a chart like this, one of the things that
a lot of people will do, including us, is we now include both the chart for those who
are used to a chart way of working this, but then we also include a written out pattern,
and in this case, you would just take a pen, the same thing, and I just mark these off
as I go along. So, for row 1, this tells me that I am picking up 31 of color D, and so
there you go, I’ve got row 1 taken care of, because remember that first row is actually
rows 1 & 2, and you get to row 3 it’s only going to be 16 beads here. So they’re all
D, on your next row here we’re picking up 2 D, 1 A, then 9 D, 1 A, 2 D, and so that
will get you. So this is the way I actually personally prefer to work, is off of a word
chart, and if your actual visual chart doesn’t include a word chart, and you’re finding it
very hard to follow this visual chart, you can always, it takes some time, but you can
actually sit down and write out your own word chart, to make that work. The other big thing
is if you are using a visual chart like this is when you walk away from your piece, you
want to make sure that you mark what direction you were working in, so I like to finish if
at all possible, at the end of a row, so in this case let’s say that I finished here at
row 5, I would go ahead and mark row 6 in here with the arrow and now I know that that’s
the last thing that’s marked is the 6, and so when I come back where this indent is,
that’s always going to be where your tail thread was, so keep your tail thread attached
so that you can orient it with your chart and then as long as your tail thread down
and to the right you know you’re ready to start by adding bead 6 here and go across
on row 6. That is, your little primer on how to work with charts and word charts. So we’ve
got lots of different patterns for you that are available at and
you’ll also find lots of them out on the internet some of them are free. I can always give you
some tips and links for those kinds of things, on my blog, so there’s a link to my blog on
my website, and you can find me on Facebook, please go ahead and like this video if you
found the information helpful, and be sure to subscribe to the channel so that you can
make sure that you get all the new videos as they come out, we’re releasing them once
every week on Wednesdays, thanks!

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