Beading With Hekking80ne Stitch

Tubular Variations

You < an play with thread paths lo « reale different looks. II you go down through one head and up through two eat h lime, your lube will lean and begin lo spiral.

Herringbone Stitch BeadingHerringbone Beading Stitch Images
r a\ittnp. ,i s/w.?/

You c an go down through .! and up through 1 to spiral in the other direction.

New Threal )

Most beaded items require more than one needleful of thread So, wiien your Ihread gets down lo ahoul -I im lies, it's time lo lie off,the old and add a new thread, The first time you add new thread, you ran also lie off the tail (iilter vou've tied oil your working thread and beton - you add new thread) Kemember lo remove the stopper bead il you used one

It's easiest to lie off and add new thread in I he middle ofa row. Doit like so; "go down through a tew heads. Tie an overhand knot around the («»re thread by bringing your nee die from Ihr troni to the back and then from the back to the front leak hing the core thread just below the bead your working thread is coming out of).

I rave a small loop of thread on the front -.ide Figure Ii

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fur your needle through the loop from right to left, and pull everything up tight (Figure 2).

Follow the thread path .mil repeal from me ' ai least twice more. I like to Hun;1,»» direction a couple.of limes lor added sen urity II igure 5). l til the thread off as dose to the work as possible.

Stvirt v«>111 new thread c olurnns back and -t or » beads down front where you tied off and tie on in the same way (I igure -t). See why it's easier to tie oil in the middle of the row' That way you don't run into any knots irom tying ol'l ,md on in the same area

Bead Herringbone StitchHerringbone Stitch Beading


I here are lots of ways to increase your herringbone headvyork. Yciu can in< rease within the beadwork creating ruffles or humps in the body of the work. You can force .1 rapid in< rease, or work a gradual increase over several rows. You can increase within the • olumns (I'll abbreviate this as W inc), or between the columns IB inc J- You 1 an also increase on the edges to < hang« the outline of the work.

Between the Columns Increase (B inc)

To increase rapidly within herringlxjne you can force 2 beads between the 2-bead columns on one row, arid then inc urporate the 2 beads into your herringbone on the next (Figure 11.

Inc rease every other column for a very ruffled edge

For a gradual increase add I bead between the < olumns on I row (Figure 2). then add 2 beads at that place on the next (Figure Ji: on the third row of the inc rease, incorporate the heads into vour herringbone.

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It vou ¡nutcase 1 bead between each column, .! beads on the next row then • beads, and so on ¡1 c reates a dragon-wing eilec.l (I igure -I). Don't incorporate the increases into the herringlx>ne, leave them as tree-iloat ing strands.

I igwc -i

WOrk this increase from a 5 or (> column tube, and von get a morning glorv type tlower ! I igure S).

Herringbone Stitch Beading
i'ijfitrv 7

Within the Column Increase (YV inc)

Add i beads instead of 2 (Figure <>>, then add 2 beads between i-<ic 11 6t lh< $ on the

Figure 7
Ladder Herringbone Tube

next iuw ili^ure 71. finally incorporating ihem info your stitching <1 wire i5/

Edge Increase

In im ie«ise nn the oiilslde «.rtl^fs. ladder stii< li beads onto the end of Hit- desired row. (use the single-needle method on paw '.Mi then lurri and head back at rnss. Il you add multiples of 2 beads Ihe lurns will remain the same, bul il you add an odd niirnbei'of Ixsids, the turns will charge to the alternate method (from a triple row turn to a brick slitch turn or vice versa) •! i^ure ci>.

I'ifWrc 9

Herringbone Bead Increase

11 you want lo increase on both edges on the same row, just ladder slit» h to one edge, then bead Iwck across. When you get to the opposite edge make ladder that's 2-beads high, with the second bead lining up under the first (Figure 10». ihal w<ry the mi rease will start at tlie same row on each side.

I it 111 do auofhei W int, and bead across the row and bat k I Figure 12)

Herringbone Stitch Beading

Figutr I I

limine l()

Herringbone Curl

If you make a W nu in the last column on one edge on every row. youi beadwork will lorrn a shell-like« url I Figure 11).

Repeat this turn on every row, and your l>eadwork will make i sharp c url For a more gradual curl, increase on eveis other row li.e.. W inc, turn, and bead back ar ross the row) See Figure I

Ftftwi- 11

Figutr I I

Vicki Star Beadwork
HcrrinnlHMf (.art by Vicki Star.
Vicki Star Beads


In decrease, work the previous methods in reverse. It's like taking a dart in fabric, causing I he bcadwork to narrow

Between the Column Decrease

To decrease rapidly withih the Ixwlwork you can mn your thread through «1 2-bead < olumn without adding any beads on one row, arid then completely skip llieni on the next (Figure 1). I'ull your thread really tight to t lose up any spaces and prevent thread from showing.

For a gradual det rease, add only I bead (instead oi 2i on one row (Figure 2k On the next row of the decrease, skip thai bead completely.

Herringbone Stitch Beading

Fikwc J

11ère, columns have turned into 2. Be sure to pull your thread tight I

Within the Column Decrease

Go up the lirsl head of I column, arid I beads, and go down through the sec ond bead of the second column on the first row of this decrease irigure {).

Oh the next row, add only 2 beads on top ot the 3 you added (Figure 4), rvcW

l iquet' 4

Edge Decrease lb det rease on the edge, simply turn around early, using the turning method necessary (Figure >).

Herringbone Stitch Beading

Be*di\c with Herringbone Stitch

Ciro. h ar Herringbone !m r,k 'îr"'1',"'1 or r,">i'1 f^

ofis, depending ».m Ih>w liai <>i curved you t. . , . ,, want youi pforâ (Figure 4).

Start with .) ring ol heads (ligure I), then .tri«i

I bead between each (Figure 1\, and then 1




lo kéep the circle even, increase in régulai im reuu'iils around Ihr ring As with herringbone, you must Wall h for Ihe step up. Voli < ;i/i use .1 hit of different colored threat! loi a row marker, as knitters do.

If yon stop int teasing,, but keep beading, the beadwork will rvenlu.illy turn into a straight-sided lube.This takes several tovvs to become apparent 1'u.ll the thread tight on cmc h row until the beads behave!


By using graduated si/e-. of beads, you can t reate a ("-shaped piece oí beadwork I tirsi saw lilis ruHhod used for fabulous beaded i ollars ilone by ("afole I lorn. The height of the beads makes this technique work. Stack the rxime number o| vm h Ix -ad (say 10 or 12) ou a needle to see how they relate. Sti< k each needle into a pincushion, .uni line up the towers of I wads according to height.

Make a single needle ladder lor the iiisl row Use one or two 01 eai h size bead 111 order, (rom shortest to tallest. Now brad bac k across the low from tallest to shortest Always use Ihe same si/e alx>ve oac h bead. \ou II see the beadwork magically« urve as you bead. Create 1 fan shape anil sew it into a < one to make Ixnvl or vessel, or keep going lo make a nearly c omplete eirt le i< »r a < ollar.

Herringbone Stitch BeadingHerringbone Stitch Beading
B<\kUxI Hook bs Vicki S/<ir.
Herringbone Stitch Beading


Finishing Herringbone

A nice way to finish ihe top and iiotfom «fees of herringlx>ne stitch is to add a bead between every other bead all the way across. Ibis "pit (»1" edge straightens tlie herringbone edges, makes them lie flat and helps to even oil I the tension on a wobbly first row. II also provides a great foundation row for netting or other stitches.

You < an finish the last row with -I beads at a time to automatic ally create the pic ot in one step instead oj two.

Ndebele Bead Stitch ImageNdebele Bead Stitch Image

This little card case is my ode to (he Ndebele. I created the design to be reminiscent of their designs, but I used VERY non-traditional colors. It's just big enough for business cards or a credit card and your driver's license.


Size 11c Japanese seed beads in 3 colors (wine red with a blue luster, dusty pink lined crystal, muted green lined)

2 accent beads (6 to 8 mm) with large holes

Beading thread (I used size B Nymo—if you use different thread, you may have to use it single instead of double.)


Size 12 beading needles


Thread conditioner

Step 7: Your card case will get a lot of wear, so use a doubled thread. Start with about 4 yards of thread (that's 2 yards after doubling) because the first few rows take up a lot of thread. Remember to condition your thread.

Step 2:Tie a stopper bead on the end of your thread, leaving a 6" tail. String 150 red

Beaded Vessels

beads. Leave about 6" between the working beads and the stopper bead. This group of beads on your thread will become the first Iwo rows ot" the beadwork. Step 3: String 1 red bead. (This bead is the first bead of the third row.) Skip the bead just added and sew through the next bead, toward the tail. Skip 2 beads and pass through the next bead. It's very important that you not split any threads. If you do, the beads can't pull up correctly.

Step 4: String 2 red beads and pass through the next bead. Skip 2 beads, pass through the third bead. Step 5: ^String 2 beads and pass through the next bead. Skip 2 beads and pass through the next one. Repeat from the * all the way across. You can use your thumbnail to help the beads "fold" into place. Try to keep the beads fairly straight, but don't worry too much about how they lay; the next row pulls them into place. It's important to keep the tension the same on both the tail and needle threads. If you pull too much on either one, the beads won't lay right.

When you get to the end of the row, string 2 red beads—the last bead of row 3, and the first bead of row 4. (You are adding the last bead of the current row and the first bead of the next row.)

Skip the first red bead, and pass through the next red bead (the one that you just

strung). Bring your needle through the first bead of the next two-bead set. To snuggle the beads up tight, hold the last bead between your thumb and finger, arid pull on the thread.

Flip your beadwork over and work across the row, adding 2 beads and going down through I bead, then up through the next bead (those added on the previous row) all the way across. Be sure to follow the pattern, alternating between left to right, and right to left.

Turn and keep on beading, always adding 2 beads and going through 2 beads. (You'll add only 1 bead for the very last bead of the case.)

Once you've beaded the case '-fabric," add a 1-bead picot edging (page 55) along the flap and back edges (see Pattern). Step 6: Now fold up the front of your card case on the fold line. Join the edges by connecting the front edge to the single bead from the back edge. One side will have a single bead at the bottom corner (Figure 1).

Step 7: Add a 4-bead tubular spiral handle to the top left corner. Start with a 4-bead-long, 2-bead stacked ladder alternating 2 red and 2 pink beads. Join the ends of the ladder into a tube.

Bead around the tube, going up through 1 bead, and down through 2, always adding a light bead above light beads, and a dark bead above dark beads (Figure 2).

Herringbone Beading Corner
Figure 1

Figure 2

Don't worry about the step up, just keep spiraling around. Make your handle about 8" long—long enough to fit over your hand. You'll have to add new thread, but don't tie off the (ail thread just yet. When the handle is long enough, thread a needle onto the starling (ail and use il lo connect the ends, then tie it off. Leave the needle thread attached so you can sew your handle to the purse.

To join the ends of the tube, fold the ends flat against each other (as opposed to joining the ends in a smooth tube as you would for a bangle bracelet) and stitch back and forth through beads. It doesn't matter how you accomplish this, just so the thread shows as little as possible.

Using the needle thread, pass through your accenl bead and into a bead on the upper corner of the case. Sew back and forth, through the ends of the tube and the corner of the ease until you can't fit through the beads. Tie off your thread.


I used a special Tassel Tool by Judy Walker (see Sources) to make a looped tassel for this project.

Set up your starting threads. Start with about 18" of thread and double it. Tape each end to the top crossbar of the tassel tool. Thread your needle and tape the thread to the crossbar, leaving about a 6" tail. String the following beads: 3 red, 21 pink, 1 green, 3 pink, 21 red, 3 pink, 1 green, 21 pink, 3 red. Tie a halt-hitch knot around the crossbar and threads and string the next loop the same way. Each time you finish one loop, tie another half-hitch around the bar. Make 9 loops.

Carefully take off the tape, slide the tassel from the tool, and find the doubled thread that you started with. Put the loose ends through the looped end, and pull everything up tight. Now divide all but the needle threads in two and tie a couple of square knots. Trim and singe the ends, being extra careful not to harm the threads with the needle attached. If fire scares you, you can put a drop or two of glue on the knot, after you've attached the tassel to the case.

Sew through the other accent bead, pulling up the knot to hide inside, and attach it to the opposite corner (from the handle) of the card case. Again, sew back and forth until you can't fit any more threads, and tie off.

If you want your case to be more secure, you can sew a small piece of Velcro® under the flap to keep it closed. You can loop your case through a belt loop, or carry it around your wrist.

enth Kingdom Kaleidoscope

This magical kaleidoscope got its name because I did a lot of the beading while watching The Tenth Kingdom on television. They showed the whole miniseries in a ten-hour marathon! For those of you who've not seen it, its a modern-day compilation of classical fairytales. I just loved the Wolf!

I used a plain tubular cardboard kaleidoscope with a clear marble in the end. Since my kaleidoscope was red, I covered the tube with gold hologram paper. The paper shows a little between the AB finished gold beads, and it adds a subtle shimmer.

Do a little experimenting to figure out how many beads fit around your kaliedo-scope, and make sure it's an even number. I did several trial strips before I started the actual project.



Size 12 sharps needles Thread conditioner Scissors

Step /:With matte gold beads, work a strip of flat herringbone 4 rows tall; the strip should fit around the kaleidoscope. When you finish the first 4 rows, join the edges to make a tube (Figure 1).

Herringbone Stitch Beading Patterns
Figure 1

1" x 10" plain tube kaleidoscope

Size 11 gold-lined crystal AB, matte gold AB Size B white beading thread Hologram paper and double-sided tape or glue (optional)

Step 2: Slide your herringbone tube onto the kaleidoscope, and continue working the tube in herringbone stitch, creating a random spiral pattern of shiny and matte gold beads. For example, in the fifth

Bead Spiral Vessel

round, I added shiny gold beads in a random pattern of 3 shiny, 2 matte, 5 shiny, 3 matte, etc. On the subsequent rounds, follow your pattern by adding whatever bead sits just below and to the right. Work off the end of the kaleidoscope, and keep sliding the beadwork tube up as you go (Figure 2). Watch for the step ups!

Herringbone Stitch Beading

Step 3: Use all matte beads for the last 4 rounds. Bead to just over the edge of the marble and end with a picot edge. Go back to lhe bottom edge and add a new thread. Decrease on the bottom edge to help the beadwork curl a little over the end of the kaleidoscope (enough to cover the cardboard tube). Add a picot edge to finish it.


Violets are my birth-flower—I was born in February—and I've always loved them. For ihis project I made about fifteen in different shades of purple, but I didn't use them all. I wonder where I can sew the rest of them?

Herringbone Stitch Beading


Size 11seed beads in 3 different purples and 1 green

Size 8r' opaque yellow seed beads

Size B white, purple, and green beading thread


Size 12 sharps needles

Thread conditioner


Step 7; You need only about 18" of thread for each flower. Use a single thread and start with a single-bead tall ladder 12 beads long. I used the back-stitched ladder because the thread has to go through these beads lots of times.

Step 2: Work 6 herringbone stitches (Figure 1). Working on the opposite side of the ladder, add 6 single bead picots (Figure 2).

Step 3: Work 2 herringbone stitches, *pass through to the ladder and pass back up, then add 2 beads.Repeat from * 4 times. Turn. Note the beginnings of one wide petal and four narrow ones (Figure 3).

Step 4: Work a 3-bead picot, pass all the way through to the ladder and back up. Repeat 4 times. Work 2 herringbone stitches and pass all the way down through the ladder (Figure 4).

Krone Basteln Muster
Figure 1


Figure 2
Ladder Stitch Beading

Figure 3

Figure 3

Herringbone Stitch BeadingHerringbone Stitch Beading Images

Figure 6

Ladder Beading Method

Figure 6


Make 4 or 5 of these little leaves.

Step 1: You need only about 18" of thread for each leaf. Using a single thread, start with a single-bead tall ladder 8 beads long. Use the back-stitch method.

Step 2: Work 1 herringbone on top, 1 on bottom, 2 on top, 1 on bottom, 1 on top. Turn. (See Figure 1.)

Stop 5: Remove the stopper bead. Join the ladder to make a tube, then pass up through the edge of the wide petal and add a 1 bead B inc. Pass down through the other edge of the wide petal. Gather the flower by sewing through the single beads on the bottom of the ladder, tying knots as needed to maintain tension (Figure 5).

Figure 5

Step 6: Bring your thread out the center front of the flower, string 2 or 3 yellow beads, pass down though a bead on the other side of the center, and tie a knot or two to hold. Pass back through the center beads again to reinforce. Tie off the tail thread, but leave other thread attached to sew the flower to the kaleidoscope (Figure 6).

Herringbone Stitch Beading
Figure 2
Beaded Herringbone Petal Flower
Figure 3

Step 3: Work 2 rows of herringbone stitch on top.

Step 4: Work 3 rows with a 1 -bead decrease on each edge (Figure 2).

Step 5: Run your thread around and through the edge to align the beads. Pull tight to cause the leaf to cup. Come out the center bottom and tie off the tail thread, but leave the other thread attached to sew the leaf to the kaleidoscope (Figure 3).

Assembling the Kaleidoscope

When you've made all your flowers and leaves, arrange them on the table in pretty clusters, then transfer them to the scope, one at a time. Use the threads left on each one to sew through beads, back and forth from the kaleidoscope to the flower or leaf, until they're anchored securely.

This part takes patience, since there are lots of petals I hat want to catch and tangle your thread. You also want to be sure that your thread is hidden. Just lake your time and watch your thread closely as you pull it up! It's lots easier with a short needle at this stage, because long ones tend to break as you try to force them through those awkward angles. Flat-nosed pliers come in handy to grab the needle and to help coax it through tight spots.

Herringbone Stitch Beading Images

hevron Crown Mini-Vessels

These nesting vessels help you learn how to increase for circular herringbone. Start with circular herringbone, change to even tubular herringbone, and then add increases on the top edge. Use the same concept to make larger vessels.

You must step up on each round. If you find you're having trouble figuring out which round you're on, and when to step up, count out the beads for each round ahead of time. That way, when you're out of beads, it's time for the next round. If you're still getting lost, try beading each round with a different color until you master the technique.


7-Bead Vessel

Size 110 seed beads in I color 7 drops for accents Size B beading thread

9-Bead Vessel

Size 11 ° seed beads in 2 colors 3 or 9 optional accent beads Size B beading thread

1 large bead big enough to sit on top of the 7-beacl vessel without falling in, with a large enough hole to accept 18-gauge wire

18-gauge wire

Other accent beads, as desired


Size 12 needles

Thread conditioner


Wire cutters

Flat-nosed pliers

Round-nosed pliers

7-Bead Chevron Vessel

Round / .'String 7 beads, pass through all of them again, and then pass through I more bead to make a ring.

Round 2: Add l bead between each bead all the way around, for a total of 7 beads.

Round 3: Add 2 beads between each bead for a total of 14 beads.

Round 4: Add 2 beads between each sel of 2 to make a herringbone addition of 14 beads (Figure 1).

Chevron Stitch Beading

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