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Where creativity & imagination go hand-in-hand...

Monthly Newsletter                                                                                                         May 2012

Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat - Spain 2013
NEW Stuff...Beads, Glazed Donut Kits....
Ever Tried Patchwork Knitting?
Color Inspiration - Barn Quilts
Kumihimo Artist of the Month
Kumihimo Tip of the Month
Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links...

Dear Knitters and Kumihimo-ists!




I am HAPPY to report that our snow is melting and the sunshine feels great! I am so ready for Spring. 

Thanks to all of you that inquired about my dad. He's doing great and is planning to "run with the bulls", a year from now, at our Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat in Spain! Sure to be another trip of a lifetime, you might want to see what it's all about. See details.


Our next Kumi-night is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 at my house around 6:30. If you don't already have a Kumi group, I enthusiastically recommend that you start one. I love the gals in our group and the things they bring for show-n-tell each month are inspiring. We all learn from each other.

Thank you very much for your continued support and incredible enthusiasm.




Best, Karen



P.S Got sometihg you want to share? Send me an email.
Email Karen

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Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat - Spain 2013

SpainBill and Irene York of the Knitting Basket will once again lead one of their unforgettable international "Knitting, Kumihimo & Relaxation Retreats" - this time in Spain. Bill York will plan and coordinate the retreat and tours, Irene York will provide knitting instruction and inspiration and Karen Huntoon will share her love of Kumihimo! 

From beaches to gourmet cuisine, to incredible architecture, fabulous weather all year long, to rich cultural history, to traditional festivities, music and Bull fights...Spain has it all. We will stay 4 nights in Madrid, 4 nights in San Sebastian and 4 nights in Barcelona with day trips to Toledo and Bilbao.

This is sure to be another "trip of a lifetime". We are taking 30 participants; there are only a few spaces left and room on the waiting list. For more details click this link and visit the Knitting Basket website.

NEW Stuff....

Beads, Beads, Beads - Miyuki & Toho 6/0 Seed Beads
Summer Brights are here - Great NEW Colors   
Click here to see all  Beads and NEW Kumihimo Necklace Kits - Painting with Beads #1 and #2.


Painting with Beads #1
Beads, beads, beads...I love them. I have jars filled with every color imaginable and I even love just looking at them. Everyday I see a color combination that I didn't see the day before.
There is no limit to the fun combinations. 6/0 Miyuki & Toho seed beads pair beautifully with the C-Lon Tex 400. I stock enough colors of each that everybody can find
Painting with Beads #2
something that is right for them. Don't be afraid to experiment.


Miyuki and Toho seed beads have an excellent reputation for having the greatest consistency in hole size, however, be aware there can still be differences in the overall size of the beads. Simply put, some 6/0 seed beads are larger than others and if you take two different beads, like opaque beads and matte beads, and put in them in the  "same" size bead tubes you may have fewer beads in one tube and more in the other. Figuring out how many beads you need is not a perfect science. While there are some guidelines, alot depends on the beads, the necklace pattern and the length of the necklace!  When I put kits together, I figure out the amount of beads for you. When you are creating your own designs, I recommend "braiding up a swatch" so you will have an idea of how many beads you will need, take notes or just buy extras!  Take a look at some of these fun brights. There are alot more new colors in the Kumihimo Pendant and Bead Shop.








Pepper Red


NEW - Kumihimo Split Braid Glazed Donut Pendant Necklace Kit - 6 Beautiful Colors

This is a great "Class in a Kit". The Kumihimo Split Braid is a versatile technique with a variety of end uses. In this kit you will learn the technique for splitting a 16 strand braid. You will then braid an 8 strand section which will serve as the loop to attach your donut pendant. Then you will rejoin and continue with the rest of your 16 strand braid.  Kit Cost: $14.00

Kit includes: (Glazed Donut, 4 skeins DMC Embroidery Floss, 4mm All in One Magnetic End Caps, Instructions with photos, Tips for finishing ends and attaching end caps)

You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 16 Bobbins plus 1 extra, Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle and Thread, Glue (like Weldbond)
You should know: Kumihimo 16 strand Round Braid Basics (left bottom up, right top down, clockwise turn to next pair)

Click here to see Kumihimo Split Braid Glazed Donut Necklace Kits 

NEW COLOR! Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace Kit - Variation 1

This Edge Bead Necklace is a little bit different than the others. Notice that the beads are two different colors and they fall in a particular pattern. Color: Bright Pink & Peach Satin with Silver Lined Orange and Silver Lined Red Beads. These colors are gorgeous. Imagine that necklace with a bright colored tee-shirt and a nice tan! Perfect.


Kit Cost: $14.00 (includes satin, beads, all in one magnetic end cap, instructions with photos and tips for finishing ends and attaching end caps)
You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins plus 1 extra, Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle and Thread, Glue (like Weldbond)
You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid Basics (left bottom up, right top down, clockwise turn to next pair)

NEW COLORS! Petite Satin Cord

Bright Pink, Silver, Light Pink and Dark Grey

10 yard packages


Patchwork Knitting
Ever tried Patchwork Knitting?  
This is a super fun and creative way to knit. Patchwork shapes can be squares, rectangles, triangles, shells, blossoms, etc. The patchwork shapes are knit individually and joined while you are knitting.  In this way, the piece you are knitting, grows with each knit shape and in the end, whether knitting a scarf, a purse or a pullover, you don't have patchwork pieces that need to be sewn together. It's already in one piece!
The creative possibilities are endless with patchwork knitting and this is a great way to use up your "stash". All those bits and pieces of leftover yarn become the textures and colors that make patchwork knitting so exciting. Also, because each shape is a quick knit, there is a degree of "instant gratification"  in patchwork knitting.

You can find free tutorials for knitting the various shapes on the Knitting Basket website. Click on this link and you'll find the Patchwork Knitting Tutorials in the right hand column.
Pictured above is the Patchwork Shell Shawl designed by Irene York. The shawl measure 45" x 85". The pattern costs $11.95 and there are instructions for both the shawl and a vest. Click here to view the Patchwork Shell Shawl and Vest Pattern.
Find Color Inspiration Everywhere....
This past weekend Robbie, my husband, and I decided to "get out of the snow" and take off on a bike riding /camping weekend in nearby Taylorsville, California. With a population of about 150, Taylorsville is one of a handful of towns in Indian Valley. It is surrounded by a stunning mountain backdrop, a valley dotted with ranches, old barns and grazing cattle. Quiet roadways and beautiful vistas make Indian Valley one of the best places to start the bike riding season. We "camped" at the Taylorsville Campground located across the street from the rodeo grounds.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Barn Quilts of Plumas County. With no prior planning (or knowledge) and since we had no map, we were left to discover the barn quilts as we rode our bikes and the barn quilts appeared! These barn quilts were like carrots dangling in front of my bike and our ride was punctuated by frequent stops to snap photos. I love color and seeing these gorgeous and colorful quilt blocks on the barns was incredible.  

Barn quilts started about 300 years ago when immigrants from the Rhine region of Germany came to the United States. Many settled in Pennsylvania. Today, beautiful quilt patterns are seen on the Pennsylvania Dutch barns. Prior to the 1830s, most barns were not

painted due to the high cost of paint. Barn decorating peaked, with the lower costs of paint, in the early 20th century. Many folk designs, including quilt squares began showing up. 

Today barn quilts are becoming popular once again. "Quilt Trails" are being developed in many states. After a number of barn quilts have been displayed in an area, a map can be developed that can be used as self-guided tours for visitors to the area. The next self-guided Plumas County Quilt Trail Tour is scheduled for September 15-16, 2012.


Next time you are stumped on which colors to select...look around you. Take note of colors that you like, combinations of colors that appeal to you and find your own way to translate that into what you are making. I snap photos all the time and then refer back to them when I am working on colors. Try it!

Kumihimo "Artist" Showcase - Sara Hartman


What kid wouldn't want one of these? 

Sara Hartman designed bracelets for the entire basketball team!  And key fobs for the moms!


She used embroidery floss in two colors and used the 12 strand Ridged spiral pattern and then added the basketball charms. The 12 strand Ridged Spiral is alot of fun but make sure you read the instructions to get the braid sequence right!





12 Strands, 2 Colors :

Color A = 8 strands (Yellow) "Main Color" (red in diagram)
Color B = 4 strands (Blue) "Ridge" (blue in diagram)

For Color A, determine the desired finished length, double that and then add 4 to 5 inches. Ridge strands (B) are 1 1/2 times longer than (A)!

Set-Up: As shown on disk with Color A in 6 & 7, 9 & 10, 22 & 23, 25 & 26 and Color B in 32 & 1 and 16 & 17.

Movement: 26 to 5, 7 to 24, 23 to 8, 10 to 21, 17 to 31, 1 to 15 and so forth.

Have fun!

Kumihimo Tip  #11

When choosing bead colors, I have found that throwing in a "splash of clash" or mixing up the types of beads adds nice character. For example, mix up some opaques with some silver lined beads.  I like what the "sparkle" adds. As I write this, I hear my mother whispering in my ear. She is the best when it comes to color and I am repeating what she has shared with me! Salt and pepper (a little white and a little black) are good too. Experiment and have fun. And if you don't like something - take it out and try again.

WHAT A KNIT !  Newsletter Archives
For those of you that are new to What A Knit, you'll find some good info in the archived newsletters.

January 2012 
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012

All Newsletters 2011  



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I have 5 "Kumihimo Shops" to meet all of your Kumihimo needs. All orders are through PayPal (or use the credit card option) and I ship orders via USPS First Class Mail. This has been amazingly reliable and incredibly fast. Most orders are shipped the same day I receive them.

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