Bead weaving is making objects by stitching beads together. Sometimes these objects can be soft, textile like and used for clothes, jewelry and accessories. Sometimes they can be very stiff and sculptural. The choice of beads used ranges from tiny seeds and bugles to large glass, acrylic, paper, gemstone or whatever you like beads using many different stitches. I'd like to cover one stitch per feature.
About.com has good instructions for beginners with step by step explanations of every stitch.
Peyote or Gourd stitch is one of the most popular bead weaving stitches and usually the first one new beaders learn. There are two variations - even and odd count Peyote stitch - owing their names to the number of beads in the first row. Peyote stitch leaves two zig-zag edges that are ideal for adding embellishments like fringes or picots. They can also be zipped up to form tubes. Tubular peyote stitch done in different colours produces beautiful spiral patterns that get even more beautiful if done in different sizes of beads (Cellini spiral). I'll cover only flat peyote here.
Even count peyote stitch
Odd count peyote stitch
Square stitch Loom work Ladder stitch Brick stitch