One of the things I love about Gwen Fisher is the way she uses beads to create complicated mathematical shapes. Her Conway Beaded Bead is a perfect example.
The tutorial is aimed toward experienced beaders. Gwen designed the Conway bead using tetrahedrons and triangular prisms made with a modified cubic right angle weave (or, in this case, tetra right angle weave?).
Gwen gives instructions for two different bead sizes, but suggests trying the larger size first (with good reason).
Not one to go the easy route, I started on the smaller one.
The first step gave me a bit of trouble because I couldn't visualize the shape or the beaded structure. Gwen's illustrations and photos were very helpful and I followed her thread path, confident that she wouldn't lead me astray.
Step 2 was easier and, after the third step, it "clicked."
After that, it was (mostly) smooth sailing.
If you try this pattern (and I highly recommend that you do), remember that the first few stitches are fiddly, but it gets much easier (and faster) and you progress.
The next bead went very quickly. The bigger beads were easier to work with and I had the pattern down. Gwen mentioned in her blog post that the design is intuitive and she is totally right. I was able to do the second without double checking the pattern.
I even made a small one using size 15 seed beads.
These little beads are fun to make and, once you get the hang of it, they work up very quickly.
I might have a problem.
You can find the tutorial for the Conway bead here. You can find more of Gwen's patterns on her etsy shop and you can find other designs by Gwen and Florence Turnour on their website, Bead Infinitum.