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

Illustrated Word Charts

Greetings, all. Karen Beningfield, Kristen Ho and I have been working on our final Illustrated Word Chart formats, and this is one of them that shows each round as it progresses as an outline. Please feel free to leave your comments. As you can see, many of your previous suggestions were included, and I’d be interested in more. As soon as we finalize our format, we will release our entire packet of illustrated wordcharts for free, to all, along with the Foolproof Kaleidocycle pattern (which is just waiting for our word charts).

Click here to view or download the PDF version, and feel free to share.

Illustrations, Karen Beningfield
Photography, Kate McKinnon
Chart, Kristen Ho

Foolproof Kaleidocycle

For those who know how Cycles go together, and are curious about how this pattern will be different than others we have shown, the crux of the idea is that the first and third faces are locked into pattern pairs before Cycle assembly even begins, so that if those pairs are joined correctly (with the center pattern elements at the seams) the patterns will be guaranteed to be correct in the Cycle.

The second face (which holds the hinges) is done the same way, sorted into pairs, with two of them joined before assembly begins.

If you have questions about this pattern, hang tight, it shouldn’t be much longer, we are just finishing up the charts.

Illustrations by Karen Beningfield

You can see that the sample wordchart above for the third face (the Complex Spiral) shows at lower right the three little groups of pattern pairs, locked in. This could be a real game-changer for beginners.

Just as another interesting note, have a peek at this. We have the choice to show each line in context, in the shape of the line we are really making, or to show each line spread out, in the shape of the code (below) and I intend to show and discuss that in the book as well, to help people visualize how the code letters, colour blocks and round outlines are all ways to communicate the creation code for this triangle.

Illustration by Karen Beningfield 2022

About katemckinnon

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

26 comments on “Illustrated Word Charts

  1. K. A. Tate
    November 3, 2022

    Oh wow! What a game changing way to go about this. Every time I make one at least one triangle ends up backwards and I have to take it apart. I can’t wait for the pattern!

  2. scar467
    January 20, 2022

    Hello Kate Happy New Year! Thank you for your constant and heartfelt communications during the past 2 years of world mayhem in our human community. Your compassion and empathy has resonated with me. Thank you so much for being a bead warrior and a warrior for humanity. You and the geometric beadwork crew are a true champions. 🙏🏼 I remain always a your beading disciple Maria Scarlett

  3. Diane Schroer
    January 19, 2022

    I like the word chart with letters. The brackets are fine in place of parentheses. Providing a step up reminder is always a plus.

    Thanks for your hard work. Looking forward to the finished products.

  4. Andrea
    January 18, 2022

    Although I can’t remember if I preordered your new book or not, I will devour it whenever I can get it – just as I did the first two books. Most of what I created ended up looking nothing like what they started out to be; those lessons really did a number to sparking my brain’s better side.

  5. Gale
    January 18, 2022

    Great work. What program do you use?

  6. Linda
    January 18, 2022

    You’ve got the total amount of beads used, 1.2 grams, but not the breakdown for each colour.

    • katemckinnon
      January 19, 2022

      Do you know, I normally would have, but it’s such a tiny quantity. I will add them.

  7. Susan Goodrich
    January 18, 2022

    This is amazing and wonderful! As are all of you!

  8. Paula Pogosian
    January 18, 2022

    Hi all,

    I really like your word chart. I like that you tell which bead I should be stepping up on. I feel you need to explain the parentheses, with the two beads listed. I know what you mean but a newbie might not. I also find the triangle color code easy to understand. My only concern is when shades of similar colors are used it might be hard to tell which color to use. The chart on page two something I find hard to read and follow. It might be because the example used had so many colors. I might use it as a reference to see if my triangle looks like it, but I would not be able to follow it, if that is what it is intended for. But I did notice for the first time how to tell what row I am on. I simply counted the number of two beads to figure out what row I am working on, something until now I did not know how to do. But my problem has never been making the triangles, but the assembly. I have made a kaleidocycle, but putting it together was not fun or my best work. Thank you and your wonderful team for all your hard work you do, l look forward to each of your emails.


    Ps sorry I when on for so long.

    • katemckinnon
      January 19, 2022

      Oh, right, thanks for mentioning the brackets! I actually left that instruction off by accident, and I thank you for pointing it out.

  9. zannaht
    January 18, 2022

    Hi Kate

    Have you tried putting the letter into the colour blocks?



    • Chris
      January 18, 2022

      Similar like cross stitch charts?

      • Kate McKinnon
        January 19, 2022

        I really like that style! Yes, I want to do one like that too.

        Of course advanced beaders just want the code in a straight block, they are like dark coffee drinkers, they want it straight and clean.

        So my goal is to show one chart that is just code (organized with brackets for increases) and then one visual model for people who are learning to read code. I hope to include an example of each one of these that have been mentioned, definitely a cross-stitch model.

  10. Risa Diamond
    January 18, 2022

    Love! Thank you so much! Risa

  11. Janet Sherman
    January 18, 2022

    Love this. Thank you!

  12. Marilyn
    January 18, 2022

    For the photograph of the complex swirl triangles attached in pairs, it is very difficult to see the clear zipper beads along the outside edges. Perhaps put a darker background behind the image of the beads.

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2022

      This is just one of the photos – we have lots of views of them in the pattern, thanks for the feedback – I’ll work the image a bit.

  13. kathy
    January 18, 2022

    That is so excellent! Thank you for existing.

  14. Melody Mcmath
    January 18, 2022

    Interestingly I find the colour line chart very easy to understand. The written one less so.

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2022

      How do you find other written line word charts? By that I mean can you read other people’s word chart codes easily but ours is difficult, or do you find most word charts hard to read also?

      • Giselle
        January 18, 2022

        I really like the beautiful illustrated charts, easier to follow than words. Except if I want to try a new colorway in that pattern I think it might be easier to assign my own colors to the word chart legend. Really cool would be an ability to swap out colors in the illustrations, which I suppose one could do with a graphics app.

      • Linda
        January 18, 2022

        I don’t use graphs (I never have), I use word charts, and I prefer them simple with spaces instead of comma’s and using round brackets (). I’ve only ever seen square bracks used for bad spelling [sic].

        • katemckinnon
          January 19, 2022

          I like the square brackets better graphically, and hope that people will find the distinction between the ( ) and the [ ] not too material when using the codes. The reason that I made the change was that one of the things I am striving for is to make the code-reading easier for people who are visual learners. Sometimes tiny changes like that can help us (for I am a visual learner) read a line better.

    • kathy
      January 18, 2022

      I absolutely agree. I wonder what that says about how we think.

  15. Diana
    January 18, 2022

    I am so excited about this. I’ve wanted to make a kaleidocycle for years. This is giving me hope that I can actually make one. Thank you. I look forward to the full pattern. You are so generous.

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2022 by .
January 2022
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