an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
Welcome to the New Year! I am happy to be full of progress and forward motion, and hopeful for a new kindness to rise in us all as we turn away from 2021 and face the future. Thank you to those of you who are working to help others, who are not abusing healthcare or service workers, shouting at school board meetings, trying to ban books, or plotting to overthrow the government. My hat is off to you.
I am almost finished with our new Cycle pattern, but I’ve really been going through it carefully, looking for any and all places that we can be helpful. In the meantime, I am posting triangle patterns.
It is true that not all of us use or love word charts. But a mastery of the peyote triangle is essential before attempting an assembly, and word charts are really actually a beautiful thing, as they represent the pure information needed to build an architecture.
If you are just learning the concept of a geometric peyote triangle, we have a nice step-by-step animation free to all on our YouTube channel. (You can click the “Settings” wheel at the bottom at any time during playback to control the pace of the action.)
This hand-drawn animation was created by Julia Pretl for CGB, and you should feel free to share it, use it, and even embed it in your own tutorials.
If you would also like to learn to make a Warped Square, a Warped Hexagon or a PodCast Bead, those animations are also available in the same place, free to all. This is one of the goals of the technique library- to provide basic information to all in an open-source way. Our Fellowship program continues to fund the development of new beadwork, new videos, programming, the academic textbook, and general outreach to the educational community. All of our bead kit sales go directly to this fund.
To learn the triangle, it is best to follow the animation, and use two alternating colours. It is imperative to learn the way to pass through two beads at the end of each round (the Step-Up) before beginning the next round.
When you feel that you understand the process, it’s time to branch out to different patterning. Please note that if you want to create triangle designs for a Kaleidocycle, try to make sure that you have at least one unique corner to your triangles, so that you will have more fun watching the designs cycle through the rotations of the turning toy.
A simple three-colour triangle will give a lot of happiness in a Cycle, and this is actually a good one to compare with a word chart as you build it, so you can see that it’s just a row by row knitting chart, basically. These triangles start with three beads in the center, each one a different colour. Then in the second round, when two beads are placed in each space, two colours are used, so that each of the two beads matches its neighbor.
Below is a downloadable draft sample of one of our introductory word charts. There are some innovations here to help people get started- see what you think, I’d love your feedback, and of course feel free to share. I am determined to get our word charts into a friendly format that anyone can access.
We found a few relic B beads in my first upload, so this is an updated copy, and I also added brackets after a suggestion in the comments. I like them, but would value your comments. The draft below incorporates comments and suggestions received so far.