I start off with a confession. I am horrible at following patterns. I am not making this up. OK, I can follow sewing patterns because they are all flat on the table and you have a basic idea of what you are supposed to come out with. But I could never pull off a paint-by-number picture when I was a kid and my first attempts at origami went into the trash can. I can, for the most part, follow simple beading patterns. (In fact, one of my first published articles was a beading project.) But unless I can count beads easily, I am lost. This means I am mostly ok with loom graphs, Cellini Spirals, bead crochet and flat peyote graphs. So I learned how to make a peyote triangle with little trouble.
When I began to salivate over beaded kaleidocycles, (you can read all about them and download a free pdf from the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork website here) and wanted to try making one, I hopped over to YouTube to learn how to make peyote triangles. ( VPBiser has an excellent video tutorial here.) But for the life of me I could not figure out how to make anything more interesting than a two-color basic triangle and I wanted some more exciting variations for my kaleidocycles.
After making a few peyote triangles, I began to notice some patterns emerging. I figured out how to make a three-color pyramid! (See chart below. I am assuming you already know how to make a standard peyote triangle).
You can use the same reasoning to make a two-color pyramid. If you simply alternate colors for each row, you can make a striped pattern.(See kaleidocycle picture in the bottom row.
You can see that for some triangles, I merely beaded rows in different colors much like you would crochet granny squares. For the triangles in the bottom left-hand corner, I started the triangle with white Delicas for the first two rows and began adding red Delicas in the third row. From then on, I added a red Delica whenever I could see that it would be totally surrounded by white Delicas. This gave me a lovely chicken pox pattern. If you double click on an image, you can view it full size.
I realize this might not be clear to some people, but the real aim of this post is to encourage you to find new ways to solve problems even if you think they’re over your head. That’s the only way we learn. Now that these peyote triangles make more sense to me, I think I’m ready to start tackling some more complex designs.