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

Preparing for the BatCycle Beadalong

Preparing for our beadalong is simple. No specific beads are needed, although we like to use size 11 Delica cylinder beads for our geometric beading. The number of beads needed to create assemblies depends on how large you choose to make your pieces and parts. For learning, we recommend small side counts, like 8 beads per side. Our YouTube tutorials for the BatCycle forms are beaded to this size (see below).

Do you have enough beads to make 2 small Warped Hexagons and 2 small Triangles? Then you have enough beads to learn the linkage. There is no need to accumulate large piles of 16 colours of Delicas… you’ll see. The things that are best to learn and practice first are how to make a Geometric Triangle, and how to make a Geometric Warped Hex. Luckily, we have step-by-step tutorials on our YouTube Channel, free to all!

Many of us prefer using round beads to join our elements into cycles, but cylinder beads or other shapes or sizes of bead can be used for this too. I strongly encourage you to watch my tutorial and view our pattern before choosing your beads for the project.

Please share these animations as widely as you like, they are free to all, a gift from Julia Pretl and CGB.

Animation by Julia Pretl for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork

The one thing that makes them easiest to learn is using beads that are all the same size and shape. More expensive beads are usually also more precise, but even the best Japanese round beads are very affordable, and can absolutely be used to create and join geometric work.

Your completed triangles and Warped Hexagons can have any number of beads per side, but for simplicity of assembly, they should all be built to the same number of rounds / beads per side.

This is how we count beads per side- we count the beads that make the increase lines on the side that they are on. For example, in the Triangle screenshot from the video (above) the fourth round is in the process of completion.

It doesn’t matter which of our polygons you are beading, the method of counting is still the same. Conveniently for your counting, when you are beading with one-drop peyote (one bead per slot in peyote spaces) the number of rounds beaded is the same number as the beads per side. (Should you choose to step up to two-drop or other placements, the round count and the side bead count will be different.)

We will broadcast live (just for fun) on Facebook and Zoom, but there is no need to attend live. The video and the pattern will be available, free to all, here at the Book Blog, and will be posted on Facebook, and shared freely by all who attend.

If you plan to join on Facebook Live, please sign up to join at this link. A Zoom link will be posted here, there and everywhere the day before, for those of you who prefer that portal.

The time of the live stream is 10 am, EST, and our team will be around online to help people for the month of May.

As a personal note, I really appreciate all of the emails, messages, etc. asking about what/when/how/where, and that everyone is still so excited about our release after all of this deep time working in the shadows makes my heart sing. My God. I am so lucky. Unfortunately, though at this time I am also the only person (quite literally the only actual human being) doing this work, sending out kits, making demos, finishing book pages, scheduling workshops, sending out stipends, arranging the press run, answering messages, filing tax returns, gathering a team, making their travel arrangements, you get the idea. It is extremely challenging, and as yet still unpaid (we are all volunteers until we publish and ship) and I love you very much. More than you can guess.

Try to be patient on the cycle beadalong, and wait for May 1. No kit is needed, no special beads are needed, and I really look forward to connecting with you on that lovely day. Stay safe when you think of BatCycles, I tell you, it is a strong and powerful form. Do not wander while contemplating its mysteries.

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.

2 comments on “Preparing for the BatCycle Beadalong

  1. Debra Wozniak
    April 30, 2021

    Hi Kate , I’m looking forward to seeing you online tomorrow. My beads are ready and I am working on practice pieces today. Have a great class and a wonderful weekend!

  2. Astrid Pitrans
    April 26, 2021

    thank you from the “land down under” for pushing boundaries. Eagerly awaiting everything…

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This entry was posted on April 26, 2021 by .
April 2021
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