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

An animation and a word chart for those learning to make peyote triangles (updated)

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.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better.

8 comments on “An animation and a word chart for those learning to make peyote triangles (updated)

  1. quilterbeaderweaver
    April 25, 2022

    Kate— I tried to open the Download below and could not get it. Could you please send it to me? Also, am I still getting the books I ordered a long time ago and donated the money to you last year? I am also the person who asked if you would be willing to have a workshop like you had in Savannah on the West Coast in Seattle? I have been talking to a wonderful beadstore that carries every color of the Japanese seed beads and they are interested in helping me help you. Eda Lee Haas


  2. Betsi Newbury
    January 1, 2022

    Also, it may be time to make another one of Julie’s wonderful boxes. I know there are quite a few in her book I have not tackled yet.

  3. Betsi Newbury
    January 1, 2022

    Your team’s generosity continues to amaze me. Thank you to all! And a Happy New Year, too.

  4. Chris
    January 1, 2022

    Some people write the herringbone increase enclosed in round brackets, which is a great way, because it keeps them together and it doesn’t need to be highlighted in another color or font style.

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This entry was posted on January 1, 2022 by .
January 2022
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