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Basic Right Angle Weave

1. String four beads onto your thread. Stitch through your first three 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.

2. Building our First Row

Looking at a circle of right angle weave, you'll note that each unit has a top, bottom and two side beads. We will build our next RAW unit off of one of those side beads. (I choose the right hand bead in my diagram because I'm right-handed). Reposition your needle if necessary (diagram 2) so that your thread exits the side bead you wish to work from.

This bead will form the first bead of our next RAW unit. 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.

3. Reposition your needle by stitching through two of your new beads so that you exit the side bead farthest from your first unit.

You are now ready to add your third RAW unit.

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

Keep working off of the right-most bead (left-most if you're left handed) to build additional units. Your stitching will alternate looping up from the bottom for one unit, then down from the top for the next.

In this first row build each new right angle weave with three additional beads.

5. Building Your 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.

To build the second unit in row two, reposition your needle by stitching through inner side bead (not the one on the outer edge. The trick to the next unit: You already have two of the beads necessary to build the second RAW unit in this row. Take a look at the diagram - you already have the bottom and one side bead, so you'll only need to add two beads this time.

Unit two: Reposition your needle by stitching up through the inner 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!

6. 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.

Right Angle Weave - Simple Increase

You will work the right angle weave increase over the course of two rows. The first row adds a single additional bead per increase. The second row adds an additional RAW unit.

In the first row, build a raw unit with an extra bead (so there are five beads in that unit instead of four). This particular unit will have two top beads instead of one. The extra top bead will act as an anchor for the additional RAW unit in the next row. Continue stitching as normal until the end of the row.

Increase - Row One

In the next row, work a separate right angle weave unit off of each of the top beads. Your stitching will likely try to buckle a little to accomodate the extra beads. You can adjust your tension to alleviate this as much as possible, if necessary or desired.

Tip: the top beads of the RAW increase unit will tend to ride lower than their neighbors, make sure you don't miss one or you won't have a true increase.

Increase - Row Two

Stitch the next row as normal, unless of course your pattern calls for additional increases.

Right Angle Weave - Simple Decrease

Each decrease reduces the number of RAW units in the current row by one.

To work a decrease, stitch through two of the top beads from the previous row, rather than one. Your raw unit will have five beads: a top, two sides and two bottom beads. Pull your thread taught and continue stitching.

Stitch the next row as your normally would.


titch an extra loop around a decrease to help cinch it into shape.

The top bead of a decrease tends to ride lower than other units - be careful not to miss it as you work on the next row.