Beadweaving Basics: Reading Charts


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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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Beadweaving Basics: Reading Charts


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