No Pattern-Count Peyote: It does exist!

I met Amy Loh-Kupser at a local bead store the same summer I worked on Reveille. She had some gorgeous work displayed, and was selling the corresponding pattern books and kits. I fell in love with the Chinese Thimble-Catcher. It’s basically a peyote tube with a bottom and a top that can come on and off, and it has the Chinese character for Happiness on it. I was determined to make all of my Christmas gifts that year, and this was perfect for my sister. She loved it, and I didn’t have to count the pattern!

thimble-catcher designed by Amy, beaded by me

Amy flipped through the book, talking about the other 11 patterns, and I noticed some graphs in the back. The patterns are on each page, so I asked her what they were for. She told me you cut them out and tape them to a form so you don’t have to count the pattern! You just see what color you need next and bead it!

3 Steps for No Pattern-Count Peyote

  1. Make a Pattern. Cut out your pattern from her book, or make your own using beading software (or excel if you’re really good with the program) and scale it down to actual size. The pattern beads don’t have to be the correct width (you can move or piece forward on the tube), but they do need to be the correct height. Then tape the ends together so the edges line up.
  2. Make a form. To make my form, I cut a toilet paper roll in half. For larger projects like amulet bags, you can make your form from an empty 3 liter bottle. Then push your form through the paper tube.
  3. Bead it. String the first 2 rows of peyote, tie in a circle, and slip it on the form. (Exactly like starting a beaded pen.) Line it up so you can see row 3 on the pattern. Look at the pattern to see what color bead you need to add next. Add the bead, and when you complete your stitch, it will cover up the bead shown on the pattern. Then just keep following the pattern on the form, and push you work up to match the row you are working on.

I strongly recommend using cylinder beads/Delicas for this type of project. Amy also says that a pattern normally taking 40 hours may only take 10-15 hours! I’m a more advanced beader than when I completed this project, so I may be ready to take on the Bluebell pattern.

What do you think? Have you tried this, or plan to give it a try? Please share with us in the comments!

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • avatar Walden May 12, 2010, 6:24 pm

    That is extremely nifty. That would help so much with the flimsiness or smaller sized projects. If you repeatedly did projects of specific size you could also purchase pvc in certain diameters. I love the thought of making beaded containers too.

  • avatar Duchess May 13, 2010, 1:41 pm

    This is a great idea Mandi! Absolutely love it and will try to spread the word about the No Pattern-Count Peyote. Thanks for sharing this.


  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth May 18, 2010, 6:18 pm

    @Walden PVC: That’s a pretty good idea! I’ve used dowel rods for other projects, and it really helped keep consistent tension.

    @Duchess I can’t take credit for it, but I love spreading the word about it : )

  • avatar Ruby May 21, 2010, 8:10 pm

    I tried it and was disappointed, as the delica beads I used were bigger than the beads on the paper. Nifty idea – just needs a little tweaking. I’m interested to see if this worked for anyone else and how you got it to work.

  • avatar Pam Chesbro December 27, 2010, 6:21 pm

    I took a class from Amy. You have to push the rows up as you complete them as the bead graph is taller than the individual delicas. You just realign each row upwards as you finish them. They are the same width. I finished a thimble catcher and had a great experience.

  • avatar Ruby January 18, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Wow! Guess what? I got to meet Amy at Wild Beads in Arlington Texas this past fall. In less than 3 minutes she showed me what I was doing wrong and that is all it took! Wait until you see her new designs, they are stunning Of course I purchased a couple. She will be back in May of 2011 and will be teaching at Wild Beads, so keep an eye on their website calendar! She is a wonderful person and teacher so make the time to take a class with her.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 19, 2011, 9:35 am

    Awesome, Ruby! Thanks for letting me know about her schedule; I’ll be checking it : )

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