an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

BatCycle Beadalong: Saturday, May 1

Greetings, all!

Good news on all fronts, as more of us on team are getting vaccinated every day and we can begin rescheduling things like press runs, book shipping, workshops, beadalongs and team meetings. I still think that enough of us will be able to gather in July and August to print and ship the Pattern Book & CGB Volume III, and Sam Norgard, Kathryn Shriver and I plan to finish up the textbook this fall. If you are on our pre-order list, please don’t worry about address updates yet, we will be professionally checking our mailing list before we ship and we will be sure to be in touch with you to be certain we are current.

One of the first things we have to announce is that the long-awaited BatCycle Beadalong is coming. Join us right here, on Facebook and Zoom for the free, comprehensive BatCycle pattern release. I will present the linkage, show the parts, walk you through the pattern, and for the month of May our team will be available to help everyone who wants to make one.

This is an example of a BatCycle that is almost (but not quite) closed up- amazingly this is the same piece, just in 18 different orientations or folds. Even if you are a cycle wizard, I think you will be astonished by some of the things I have to show about what this linkage can do.

BatCycle kits are available, and they are a fundraiser for our Fellowships and Stipends fund. They have 16 unique colour blends and are made up of all of our favorite, most luscious beads. Find them here for $120 each. The kits have enough beads to make two complete BatCycles, and a great deal of variety is possible by combining the colours further or in different ways.

The BatCycle linkage was designed /discovered by Claudia Furthner.
It is similar to a Kaleidocycle, but uses Warped Hexagons in addition to triangles.

The BatCycle kit, with softly blended colours in beautiful finishes. Beads are Miyuki Delica size 11 cylinders, and size 15 rounds in two different shades. Please see kit page for description, or visit our science team, The UnLAB, to learn more about our Fellowships and Stipend fund.

To buy a bead kit ($120) click here

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

15 comments on “BatCycle Beadalong: Saturday, May 1

  1. Lynn
    April 23, 2021

    Any chance you could give us a clue what time the Zoom will be? I have another Zoom on May 1 and would to know whether the two will conflict. I have ordered the beads so will be doing the BatCycle with or without the Zoom.

    • katemckinnon
      April 24, 2021

      We will Zoom and Facebook Live at 10 am, but no fear, it will be recorded and there is no need to be present live – although it’s fun to have people there with their energy. What I will be presenting is simply the pattern, along with a technical lesson on what the linkage is, and how to construct the basic units very simply.

      It is far better, I think, to listen to the presentation first, and then decide on what size of elements and what beads to use after learning the architecture, and the implications of those choices. Hugs!

  2. Janet Sherman
    April 18, 2021

    So glad to hear it is safe for you to gather the team soon. Looking forward to the beadalong.

  3. Evelyne
    April 17, 2021


  4. Alex Ehlert
    April 16, 2021

    Hi Kate and team….very exciting…so we can use our own stash…is that right? Thankyou thankyou.

    • katemckinnon
      April 17, 2021

      always! I will post a materials list this weekend.

  5. Charlene
    April 16, 2021

    Thank you so much for hosting the BatCycle Beadalong! I’ve been wanting to make one for so long but have felt a bit intimidated. Could you please post the bead requirements for those of us who are unable to buy the kit so we can be sure to have enough beads on hand for the beadalong? Thank you again!

    • katemckinnon
      April 16, 2021

      Thank you for asking, I will certainly do that in a new post about the Beadalong, probably tomorrow. It’s simple though – 45 -60 grams of beads, honestly whatever you like. Best results come from precision cylinder beads – we use size 11 Miyuki Delica. Smaller cycles use fewer beads. We use size 15 round beads to join, again, the better quality the beads the easier the work – I buy precision Japanese rounds for this as well.

      As far as colours go, I recommend having at least 6 different colours, and 10-16 colours is even better. You just need a small amount of each one, under 7 grams, so odds and ends come in handy. Or, you can make the entire cycle from one type of bead. It’s up to you.

  6. epetrock
    April 16, 2021

    I plan to order a kit, but in FL I have a PO Box address if delivered USPS and a house address if delivered FedEx or UPS. Please let me know which address to use. Thank you, Edie Petrock

    Sent from my iPad


    • katemckinnon
      April 16, 2021

      We will ship via UPS Priority Mail, in a padded soft envelope that will fit through most mail slots.

  7. pattybeads
    April 16, 2021

    Hi Kate Thank you for sharing these good news. How can I join the bat cycle beadalong? Would you sent us a link for the zoom or FB classes? I am looking forward to seeing the long awaited CGB book III!!! Regards Patty

    Sent from my iPhone


    • katemckinnon
      April 16, 2021

      Yes, a link will be posted a few days before, thanks Patty

  8. April Ann Smith
    April 16, 2021

    I am SO excited!! I’m excited for me, but I’m excited for you to be getting together, doing what you love and helping your team and others. Kit already bought. Can’t wait to see you May 1st. What an incredible journey this has been in so many ways. I think you should do another book…. On all the ups & downs and then you can sell it and have it made into a TV movie!!! Ha!

    • katemckinnon
      April 16, 2021

      What a nice thing to say, April Ann! Thank you. And yes it would be a tragi-comedy with a nerdy ending.

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2021 by .
April 2021
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