Studio Musings

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little Something for Boxing Day

Recently, several of my bead weaver friends have commented that right angle weave simply gives them fits. Since it happens to be one of my favorite stitches, I thought I'd put together my own take on the basic stitch, single needle style. I've got a quick overview here.  After the holidays, I'll put together a more in-depth look, including basic increases and decreases on my website, so be sure to check back in early January!

Add 4 beads 1st unit, 3 beads 2nd
The Basic Right Angle Weave Unit
String four beads onto your thread.  Stitch through your first two beads to create a loop (your stitching should form a spiraling loop and a half).  Congratulations!  You've just created the basic right angle weave (RAW) unit!  Each basic RAW unit is composed of exactly four beads.

Building our First Row 
Looking at a circle of right angle weave, you'll note that each unit has a top, bottom and two sides. We will build our next RAW unit off of one of those side beads. (I choose the right hand bead in my diagram).  Reposition your needle if necessary (diagram 2). 

Since we already have one of the beads we need, we will only pick up three beads this time. Stitch back through the side bead of unit one to finish the unit, and reposition your needle by stitching through two of your new beads.

Looping Figure 8 stitch pattern

The stitch pattern is a looping Figure Eight.  If you can see this, you're good to go. 

I'll keep working off of the right-most bead to build additional units.  One time I'll loop up from the bottom, the next I'll loop down from the top.  But in this row, each new right angle weave is built with three additional beads. 

Building Row Two
Building our Second Row
We will work off of the top or bottom beads to build our second row.  I've chosen to work off of the top beads in my diagrams at left.

To build your first unit of row two, pick up three beads, and complete the circle through the top bead of the last RAW unit from row one. 

The trick:  You already have two of the beads necessary to build the second RAW unit in this row.  Take a look a the diagram - you already have the bottom and right side beads, so you'll only need to add two beads this time.

Reposition your needle by stitching up through the side bead of your current unit.  Add two beads.  Complete the circle.

Following the stitch pattern, reposition your needle and add two more beads.  Keep going until you reach the end of your row! 

Three rows of RAW.  Secure thread by stitching
Additional Rows
Build Additional rows the same way you built your second row.  Always start a new row by adding three beads.  Continue building the row by adding two beads at a time for each new RAW unit after that.

Securing Your Thread
The best way to secure your thread ends is simply to stitch back into the main body of your bead work and stitch through several figure eights.  The direction changes in the stitch pattern will keep everything tight and secure. 

Do this with both your beginning and ending threads. 

And that's it.  That's basic Right Angle Weave (with a single needle). 


  1. This is the best RAW tutorial I've seen! I had a lot of bead weaving books when I was a teenager, and they made no sense.

    I'll have to give this a try when I get home to my beading supplies. Just a couple more days!

    Thanks! :)

  2. Ok, I recently read somewhere that a beader who was left-handed discovered that her problem with RAW was because she was a leftie, so she needed to do it "the leftie way" That's all she said, so I'm still a bit in the dark. I can do RAW, I just don't feel "comfortable" with it like I do with other stitches. And the funny thing is, after watching Heather Collins video on CRAW, I totally got it, and enjoyed it tremendously. Go figure!

  3. Being able to visualize the stitching pattern is the key for me in learning a new stitch.

    With raw I typically start out counterclockwise, but clockwise works equally welll. Either way, the very next circle you flip directions. :)

  4. Thank you so much for this simple yet very informative tutorial! I have been struggling with this stitch forever! I can't believe it was so simple all along!

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