Learn Triangle Weave

Apr 22, 2009

I Can, I Did, I Don't

I was at the grocery store the other day and ran into Julie, a friend from high school. As we were catching up she mentioned how much she disliked nagging her kids into practicing the piano. I asked if she played the piano, too. She got this faraway look on her face and said, “I can.” She paused, looked at the floor, and said, “I did.” Then she looked me straight in the eye and said “I don’t!” I thought I was going to wet myself I was laughing so hard. Not only because those three phrases beautifully illustrate most people’s piano-playing trajectories, but also because it brought to mind the plethora of “I can/I did/I don’t” skills I have. The piano, of course . . . but also castanets . . . tap dancing . . . calligraphy . . . ironing . . . you get the gist.

There are a lot of those “I can/I did/I don’t” skills in my beading bag of tricks, too, which brings me to triangle weave. Ah . . . triangle weave! This beautiful stitch, which produces a series of triangular units instead of square ones, is one of those stitches that for some reason I forget to dust off and use. It’s a very versatile stitch that can be used to create straight, round, and 3-D beadwork. You can see the possibilities of working flat in projects like Meri Nash Aderhold’s pretty Sparklefest Bracelet. Or you can treat yourself to a full-on triangle weave sculptural challenge with Lori Stroner’s incredible Elizabethan Necklace.

Triangle Weave How-To

Even though “I don’t” much with this stitch, “I can,” and I think “I will” more often. Here’s how it’s done:

Row 1
Unit 1: String 3 beads and tie a knot to form a tight circle. Pass through the first 2 beads strung to clear the knot.

Unit 2: String 2 beads; pass through the last bead exited from Unit 1 and the first bead just strung. Pull tight. 

Units 3 to your desired length: String 2 beads; pass through the last bead exited and the first bead just strung. On the final unit, pass through both of the beads added to step up for the next row. 

Row 2
Unit 1: String 2 beads; pass through the last bead exited and the first bead just strung. 

Unit 2: String 2 beads; pass through the last bead exited, the 2 beads just added, and the bottom bead of the next Row 1 unit.  

Unit 3: String 1 bead, pass through the side bead of the previous unit, the adjacent Row 1 bottom bead, and the bead just strung. 

Units 4 to the end: Repeat Units 2 and 3 to the end of the row. 

Have you tried triangle weave before? Is it on your “I don’t” or “I do” list? What else is on your list? Please share on the website.

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website.

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gotrice wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 6:18 AM
Wow --Fabulous - can't wait to try this one out! Thank you!!
JanetD@36 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 6:20 AM
Hi/ I enjoy your articles and they are very informative. At times I want to print the info for my reference so I can practice the skill you have shown. BUT there is no easy way to print it. I get the whole screen with all the ads. Text wrapping around odd pictures. Would it be possible to include the article as a pdf so I can print it? Right now I copy the text into WORD and paste it in, then copy each picture and try to place it where it belongs. Just an idea. Thanks, Janet
Sharon@356 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 6:27 AM
This is great! I I don't recall seeing this stitch yet. I will definetely try it. What endless possibilities. Thanks for sharing.
BethanyH@8 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 6:39 AM
I've never done woven bead type stitches before and this looks not only simple but like something I can do without too much thought. I think it would be a great way to use up some beads in my stash and that it would look really neat with any type of bead. I think I'll try to use a mix of beads though for something more abstract. Thanks for sharing! This is exactly the type of post I look forward to!
on Apr 22, 2009 7:43 AM
How cool is that! I love what you're saying about "I can, I did, I don't" too. So true. Mine would have to be using the sewing machine -- our current one was given to us by my husband's family, and it will only work properly for HIM, so any major costuming we do, he ends up doing any of the machine sewing that has to be done!
on Apr 22, 2009 8:28 AM
This looks like something I could possibly do! My "I can, I did, I don't" is tubular peyote. I have a horrible time with it.
Masmith wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 8:39 AM
I can't, I tried and I don't is right angle weave!! How you get round beads to stay in a square orientation is beyond me.
sunny@29 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 10:47 AM
I started beading about 3 months ago, this is the thrid technique I learned it is quit easy. I use seed beads, I can't do peyote, but I am going to learn it just need more practice with handling small beads.
Lina58 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 11:57 AM
I like the stitch but could you offer some ideas as to what you could make with this lovely beading technique? Thanks!
SharonS@94 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 12:42 PM
I have used this technique for several years after picking it up from a friend. It can be used to make a terrific bracelet with either czech crystals or Swarovski crystals, using a seed bead or silver/gold bead on each side of the crystal to make a set that is treated like 1 bead. Try it - you can make all kinds of patterns. However, I saw a comment above that said it looked like something that could be done with little thought - maybe if you use only one cylinder bead, but if you use a combination of beads it takes a lot of concentration.
Kathy@396 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 4:15 PM
I think I say this in a something, I just can't remember where! But I thought it was cool then and it is cool now! I going to try to use it to make an bracelet, wish me luck!
joanne_sg wrote
on Apr 23, 2009 4:59 AM
I made a single hexagon using this triangle weave technique but the hexagon didn't turn out to be flat like what was in your picture. Could it be because I tied the strings too tightly?
janeteva wrote
on Apr 24, 2009 9:26 AM
When I saw the sparklefest bracelet, I wanted to make it, but due to limited time and budget, there was no way. I made two "flowers", added a loop on each and made earrings instead. The weave itself is easy once you get the rhythm.
VelinaB wrote
on Apr 25, 2009 9:41 PM
The DNA Strand....I started it and then ran out of thread. I couldn't add thread and hide the knot.
nlepitre wrote
on Sep 2, 2009 2:32 PM
I think this could be adapted to be a key chain neclace braceles earrings or shaped to cover a bottle or glass.
SusanJ@63 wrote
on Nov 22, 2009 6:22 AM
Hi, Ms Cambell, I was wondering if I can put a link to this location on my PDF pattern. I have made 2 different designs using the Triangle Weave stitch, which I learned from your tutorial. I had never done this stitch before so your "I do I did I don't" worked for me. I love this stitch. So I guess what I am asking is do I have your permission to add a link to this tutorial? I tried to write a tutorial with graphics but just can't get it . I will await your answer before doing anything more Kindest Regards Sue Jensen SuJen Jewerly Design
vanita s wrote
on Aug 12, 2014 3:32 PM

Can't get to the above mentioned tuts.the Sparkle Fest bracelet and the necklace. I get a page no longer there , go back or go onto store. thanks just wanted you to know.