an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
Just a note- if you are getting this in your email, please remember that it is a public forum. Any reply that you make will post as a public blog comment, so please keep comments to the project at hand. Books are coming soon – and this BeadALong is in fact the front end of the new ideas, and represents the reason we changed all of our starts. So if you are eager for the books, BEAD THIS WITH US. This is the first project, and you will be amazed by it.
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This Exploding Set might not look like a big deal, I know. But I think it will surprise you. After this little starter is built up to the beaded bead you see on the left, we’ll Deconstruct it, and off of the edge will come a six-round Hexagon Wave, which we will make into something, and a beautiful, supple Casting Spine, a tool you will use again and again to start work.
STEP 1, yesterday, created the starter PodCast Bead, with 24 peaks (12 up and 12 down) and STEP 2, today, will make the Hexagon Wave.
In the photo above, the Wave is sitting quietly as a stack of hexagons. But if you unfold it into a single ring, you can arrange it into a variety of connected geometric or molecular shapes. Lookie. This is just a couple of the many arrangements possible for the Wave, once it’s off of the PodCast. These could be finished as bracelets or they might become geometric links in a spectacular chain.
The PodCast Bead is simple to make. It’s just peyote stitch with two-bead Split Increases (also known as Herringbone or Triangle increases) and this is very much like making a flat peyote triangle or a Warped Square, 24 increases are so dense and lively, though, that they have no hope of laying flat – all they can do is make a little spiky tube.
Be sure to use two alternating colours for your PodCast increases, so that you can easily see how to sort the legs of the PodCast up and down once it starts to get wiggly. I kept the blue up and the yellow down while I built this one. Finish your PodCast with hot red tips at the increases, to make it easy to Deconstruct the set, weave in your working threads and trim.
Summary: Add a stop bead to a fresh thread and begin beading immediately without weaving in. Add six rounds of Hexagon Increase. Weave in your working thread to finish the section, but leave your starting tail so you know where it is.
Above, Step 2, completed
The Hexagon Increase is a 3-round Increase Cycle, starting with any one of these three rounds:
1 Increase: An Increase Round comes after a Fill Round, and before a Point Round.
Place 2-bead Herringbone Increases on top of each corner or peak, and regular peyote stitches in all side slots.
2 Point: A Point Round comes after an Increase Round, and before a Fill Round.
A splitter bead is placed between each increase set, and regular peyote stitches are placed in all side slots. This round, when finished, converts the two-bead increase placed in the previous round to simply another two slots for peyote stitch.
3 Fill: A Fill Round comes after a Point Round, and before an Increase Round.
Place one regular bead in every slot.
Interestingly, this Hexagon Increase Cycle can be done a couple of different ways. In my sample, I did this:
1 INCREASE (gold beads, turns into a Fill Round when Deconstructed)
When the Wave comes off of the Pod, the first Increase Round will spread out, and become a regular peyote Fill Round. It doesn’t matter if you go INCREASE, INCREASE, POINT, FILL, INCREASE, POINT or if you go INCREASE, POINT, FILL, INCREASE, POINT, FILL. Each will provide the correct start for the third section.
Have a look. See my first round of gold beads, is an Increase Round, and then my second round of white beads, also goes in as an Increase Round. Then a white Splitter Bead on each peak for a Point Round, a Fill Round of black, an Increase Round of black, and a Point Round of red finished my section.
Above, Step 2, completed, another look
When the Wave is removed from the Pod, the gold beads spread out and become a Fill Round. I like this so much that I usually build my Waves this way. You can see in this illustration that the Point Round at the end becomes simply a line of regular peyote stitch.
The first round of gold beads (placed as an Increase Round, and now spread out to be a Fill Round) could easily host a finishing round of regular peyote stitch (size 15 rounds are lovely for this). You need some kind of reinforcement on Deconstructed edges, because after you snip them free, they will only have one round of thread inside them, and that is no way to finish beadwork.
Start this section as usual, with a nice long fresh thread, do not weave in to start, and bead your six rounds either way. It doesn’t matter if you finish with a Point Round or a Fill Round, because each of them leaves a regular peyote line for Section 3 to begin.
If you are beading with a partner, it can be fun to do both and compare the finished results.
When you are finished with Step 2, weave in your working thread and trim it, but leave at least a little inch of your starting tail, so you will be able to see where your Section began. This sometimes helps make Deconstruction easy.
See you tomorrow for the final section, the Casting Spine, which will be worked in a turnaround method, not in the round. See the little loops? Those are handy on the Spine, and help us remember to TURN AROUND.