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Alternate Single Needle Ladder Stitch

The ladder stitch is used as a base or starting row for a brick stitch. If reinforced, it can also be used to connect two other pieces, or form a loop for closures. These instructions illustrate one version of a one needle approach to making the ladder stitch.

Other versions:
We also have alternate instructions for a one needle version of this stitch, as well as instructions for a two needle version of this stitch.

Ladder Stitch Problems and Their Solutions  


1. Begin by threading 3' (1 m) of thread onto your needle.

If needed, we have tips on thread and needle selection, needle threading, thread conditioning, and seed bead selection

2. Create an anchor bead by adding a bead, then looping the needle back through the bead. Leave about 3" of thread off the end of the bead. You can weave this end back into your piece later.
3. Add another bead to your thread, and loop the thread back through the first bead.
4. Pass the thread back through the second bead in the same direction as the first pass through the second bead.

You have just added the second bead.

5. Add the third bead to the thread, and loop the thread back through the second bead to anchor the third bead to the second one.
6. Again, continue the stitch by passing the thread back through the third bead so that you can add another bead.
7. You probably see the ladder stitch pattern now: add a bead to the thread, pass the thread through the previous bead....
8. .. then back through the new bead.
  Continue until you have the desired number of beads added to the ladder.
  If this stitch is being used to form a closure loop, strap or other article that needs to be secure, we recommend strengthening the stitch by weaving the thread back through the beads at least once.

Variations  > >   Another One Needle Version

Two Needle Version

Reweave to Strengthen the Stitch

Other Techniques << Seed Bead Techniques

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