St. Petersburg Chain
This simple Russian stitch has a graceful appeal.

St. Petersburg Chain

This stitch begins with a group of beads divisible by three. These instructions use nine beads, but you can create wider or narrower chains by adjusting the number of beads picked up. Three bead colors are used here for clarity. Once you have an understanding of the stitch, adjust the colors to suite your tastes.


Seed beads in 3 colors (A, B and C)



You May Also Need:

Bead cups



1) Attach a stop-bead to a comfortable length of thread.

2) Pick up nine A beads and slide them down.

3) Stitch back up through the middle three beads. Make sure that the first six beads remain stacked together, and pull the thread tight.


4) Pick up one B bead, and stitch back down through four A’s. Pull tight.



5) Pick up one C bead, and stitch up through the stack of three A beads. Pull tight.



6) Pick up six A’s and stitch up through the first three. Keep the beads snug, and pull the thread tight.



7) Repeat steps 4-6 until the chain is the desired length.

8) On the last row, complete step 5, then pick up three As and one B. Skip the B and stitch back down through the A’s and the C.

  • Finish the ends as desired, secure the thread and trim.


  • Stitch the ends of the chain together, making sure that the chain is not twisted before weaving of the threads.

Adding and Ending Thread:

With about 6 inches of thread remaining, complete step 5. Skipping the B from the previous row, stitch down through the adjacent stack of A beads. Continue through the C bead. Stitch across to the next row through the connecting A. Continue weaving down the stacks, tying knots on bridge threads if desired. Trim excess thread.

Attach a stop-bead to the new thread, and enter the third C bead from the end. Exit below the B bead of this stack. Stitch across to the next row through the connecting A, then up through the last C added. Exit at the top of the stack, then resume stitching at step 6.


  • To create rows of single colors, begin by picking up six As and three Bs. Use the appropriate color beads in steps 4-6 to match the colors in each new stack.
  • Experiment with different sizes and shapes of beads. Use drop beads in place of C’s, or pick up multiple B and C beads. When adding fringe, skip the last bead picked up and stitch back through the remaining beads.