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Net stitch is a pretty, lacy stitch that works up very quickly. It's my personal favorite for mini amulet pouches. Like Peyote stitch , this stitch also has a "step-down."
As usual, we will not be working with enough thread in this example to actually finish a project. If you care to create a bag, please feel free to use as much thread as you like. The bead count is adequate to create a miniature amulet bag, which I usually sell as Crystal Keeper bags. But what the heck, add a few more if you want (in units of 4 as described below).
Start with about 2 feet of Nymo on your needle. String on 40 beads, alternating one blue and three red (or whatever colors you choose). Leave yourself a 3 inch tail, then bring your beads into a circle and tie off, forming a loop. You will want to leave 2 or 3 beads worth of space between the first and last beads, where you tie your knot.

If you have read the Brick stitch instructions, you may remember that we talked about tying off an "anchor bead" at the end to keep the beads from sliding off the thread. This time we'll be dealing with another sort of anchor bead, in this case, our blue beads. Draw your needle through the first blue bead in your loop and pick up one red, one blue and one red bead. Insert your needle through the next blue bead to anchor it to the loop. Throughout this example, the blue beads will always be your anchor beads. Continue around the loop in this fashion.

Okay, you've gone all the way around your loop, forming these three-bead "swags." Now you are back to the beginning and, as in peyote, there is no place to add a new swag. So, we "step down" into our next row. Go back into the original blue bead, AND through the lower red and blue bead of the first swag. Exit this blue bead and begin to place your swags again. The pink thread illustrates your course.

Proceed in this manner for as many rows as you like. Remember that your step-down will shift over one swag per row, just as in peyote stitch:

Adding the swags has the effect of turning the red beads to a 30-degree angle, as shown below. Also remember that your beads will, for the most part, touch.

And that's it! This is one of the easiest stitches I've found, and its swiftness of work-up makes it fun and keeps it interesting.
Weave your thread in-and-out at the bottom, zig-zag style. I usually ignore the center beads (blue), because this is where I most often add my fringe and I like to leave my thread-path as open as possible. Branch fringe works very nicely on netted bags, and in that case, you can use all the bottom row beads for fringe.
Culling beads is still, as always, important, but in net stitch you can get away with some irregular beads if the irregularity is not outrageous. You can vary the look of your stitch by using large beads for the center anchor bead of the swag and smaller beads on either side. If the size difference is great, you may have to use a two-one-two bead (or more) arrangement to make the swags hang properly. You can also use bugles on either side of the anchor bead instead of seeds. Black thread works best with most beads in this stitch, only because black doesn't show as obviously as white. If you are using pale transparent beads, you might want to go with white anyway. but expect to have a minimal amount of thread slightly exposed. It's just the nature of the stitch. I am trying to make some graphing "paper" (printable as well) for net stitch, but turning the beads to the 30-degree angle causes them to pixel slightly around the inner edges and affects the look when you color them in. I'm working on it, though. I think Paula Morgan at ( has a link to some paper created by former Guide Emily Hackbarth.

If you have a question, e-mail me using the address (reproduced in text format only) found on this site's home page: HOME. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.

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