Square Stitch Instructions

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  2. September 27, 2012 6:28 am

Square Stitch Instructions




To Start: Cut your thread as long as you can manage it and thread your needle.

Diagram 1: Tie a stopper bead onto the tail end of the thread. Don’t knot, as this head will be removed later. It’s purpose is to stop your beads falling off the thread. Leave a tail of at least 10 cm (4″), this will be woven into the beading later.

The First Row Diagram 2:  Following the pattern, string up the first row of beads from the bottom to the top.


Square stitch


The Second Row Diagram 3: (Right handers work clockwise, left handers work anti-clockwise).

The second row will be your hardest row as you are attaching heads to heads that can slide about. Use your stopper head to adjust the tension when working this row. 

Following the colours in the pattern, pick up one bead. Leave it on your needle and pass the needle from the bottom to the top of the last bead and then back down from the top to the bottom of the new bead Diagram 4.


Diagram 5: *Pick up a bead and attach it to the adjacent bead in the previous column by passing the needle from the bottom to top through the bead and then top to bottom through the new bead*.

Repeat this step to the end о f the row.
Diagram 6 shows the second row finished.


Square stitch


Third Row: There are three ways you can work the third row.
Diagram 7: Working the third row in reverse.

Pros & Cons

+  It is much easier to follow your chart as you don’t have to turn your work.

+  The beading is stretchy and drapes, suitable for pictures, amulet bags, clothing and fitting over items.

 —  I couldn’t get a perfect tension, and my work distorted. My tension was different working square stitch from the bottom to the top, than it was working from the top to the bottom, which caused the distortion. I use either Method 7a or 7b when working square stitch now for a perfectly flat square piece.

Just because I couldn’t manage it, this method may very well work for you!


Diagram 7A: Turn your work so you are always working from the top down.

Pros & Cons

+  I could achieve a perfect tension.

+  Beading is stretchy and drapes, suitable for pictures, amulet bags,
clothing and fitting over items.

+ Easy for symmetrical designs, (one half of the pattern is a mirror image).

 It is harder to read the chart as every second row is upside down. You have to read the chart from the bottom up while working from the top down. To do this, I tie a piece of coloured thread onto the ‘back’ of the beading and mark every second column of the chart with a small dot to correspond with this so that I remember to read the chart from the bottom up when working these columns.

+  Great for stretching your mind!



Diagram 7В: Running the thread back up through the previous row and working from the top down.

Pros & Cons

+ This is one of the stronger methods.

+ It is easy to follow your chart.

+ Ideal for narrow firm/rigid pieces such as belts and bracelets.

There will be distortion or buckling with larger pieces if you don’t pull the thread back up through the previous row at exactly the same tension each time.

Causes extra thread build up inside the beads.

The thread along the outside edge is a little more noticeable.

It tightens up the columns but not the rows, and this can further distort a design.

Source: Jill Oxton’s Cross Stitch & Beading Issue No. 64

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