What a Knit Banner

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

Monthly Newsletter                                                                               January 2014

La Brique Focal Beaded Necklace Kit
Kumihimo Tip #22
San Miguel de Allende Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat
Kumihimo Books!!!
Kumihimo Links...

Dear Kumihimo Braiding Friends - 

Karen teaching
Happy New Year!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are excited about what 2014 has in store for you!

For those of you braving the freezing temperatures and too much snow, I hope you have plenty of Kumihimo projects to keep you busy. I also send positive thoughts for the safety of those that have to endure the elements. In our California mountains, we are praying for snow and rain.


Thanks to all of you, I was one very busy gal last year. I want all of you to know how much I appreciate your enthusiasm and business. Most days I get some sort of email or note from one of you that "makes my day" and I think to myself, with a smile, "that's why I do this"! Kumihimo offers something for everyone. And regardless of the type of braiding you do, everyone seems to be unanimously "addicted"!


In 2014, I will continue to try to inspire you with new ideas and projects. I will do my best to find new things and introduce new techniques. If you go through my past newsletters, now archived for 3 years, you can pick up alot of good tips. As many of you know, I design my kits to teach you different techniques that you can then apply to your own projects and unique designs. I like to share things that allow you to develop your own style in Kumihimo. 


In February I will spend a week being a "kid in a candy shop" as I meet with vendors and seek out new things, at the biggest Bead Show, ever in Tucson, AZ. This is super great as my parents live near Tucson and I will get to spend the week with them. My shop will be closed while I am away and I will remind you later. 


Happy 2014 to all of you.


With much gratitude, 


Like me on Facebook



NEW! - La Brique Focal Beaded Necklace
This is my new favorite.  
The La Brique Focal Beaded Necklace is an adjustable, all-beaded necklace with a gorgeous handmade lampworked borosilicate glass focal bead. With this kit you will make an all beaded necklace (you should already know how to drop beads - it's easy, see Kumihimo Tip #14), you will learn the "starting in the middle" technique and you will finish the necklace with an adjustable closure. These are techniques that can be used over and over and over again. 
I really like the adjustable closure which allows you to wear the necklace shorter or longer. For example, I can shorten the necklace when I am swearing a scoop neck top and I can wear it longer over my turtleneck making this a perfect "all season" necklace. The finished length of the beaded portion is right around 15 1/2" (depending on beads and braider) and the braided tails are about 6" (could be longer) on each end. You can wear this necklace as short as 16" and as long as 27" or so (a longer necklace would have more braid showing and a shorter necklace would have less braid showing). This is a very versatile, fun and easy necklace to make. See the Kumihimo Tips #18 and #22 (below) for some hints on making counting and threading easier!

You will Need: Kumihimo Disk, 9 Bobbins, Measuring Tape, Scissors, Fray Check (optional) and reading glasses if you use them! 
You Should Know: Kumihimo Round Braid, how to "drop" beads. If you aren't sure how to "drop" beads, it's very easy and you can check out Kumihimo Tip #14.


Kit includes:

- La Brique Handmade & Lampworked Borosilicate Glass Focal Bead (1 7/8" x 3/8")

- 1 Spool C-Lon  Beadcord (you will have plenty for additional projects)

- 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
- Barrel for Closure

- Wide Eye Beading Needle
- Instructions with Photos


Colors: 4 color ways 

Cost $29

Click this link to see ALL Kumihimo Project Kits!


Kumihimo Tip #22
A simple tip about for counting beads.
This is a great tip if you are threading all the same color beads on a cord. We have all pulled out a pattern and looked at the part of the pattern that says, "thread 50 (and you're lucky if it's only 50!) beads onto each cord, tie a knot in the end and do this same thing to every cord". You look at those little tiny beads and you think you can't even see the hole. You wonder how you are going to count all those beads. You start stringing your beads and it's not very much fun. You keep thinking, "I should get my reading glasses or at least turn on a better light". 

This is a trick that works great if you are threading all the same color beads on a cord. It's simple but not everyone knows about it. First, you string 50 beads on the cord. This is the number I chose for this example. It could be 150. The first time around you need to count. Once you have threaded the correct number of beads, take out a measuring tape and measure the length of the strung beads. In this example, I now know that 50 beads is approximately 4". On the remainder of my cords, instead of counting I just need to string 4" of beads on each cord. That is alot easier than counting. If you go over it doesn't matter. You just simply stop "dropping" beads when you come to your first cord without any remaining beads. From there, braid with cord only. Is that easy?!

How do you actually get the beads on the cords? Some things you can do include using the thread as a "self-needle" (very easy with C-Lon Tex 400 and also works with C-Lon BeadCord), you can use a wide eye needle and if you have a Bead Spinner you could use it. Need a reminder? You might want to take a look at an old Kumihimo Tip #18.
Knitting & Kumihimo Workshop/Retreat 
San Miguel de Allende - 2014 
Mexico here we come!
Many of you know that each year Bill & Irene York of the Knitting Basket plan an adventure to an exotic location. Bill meticulously plans out every single detail and the trips run like clock work. Irene York inspires and teaches new knitting techniques and I will teach a couple of Kumihimo mini-workshops. In between the classes, we are busy exploring all of the many things that each place has to see. This will be my 4th trip with the Knitting Basket. I have had the good fortune to travel to Oaxaca, Guatemala, Spain and this year San Miguel de Allende. We have seen volcanoes erupt, braved the Chichicastenago market and even run with the bulls. From what I hear, in San Miguel I will probably "shop til I drop". These are trips of a lifetime and anyone who has gone on one (or two or three or four or five or more) can attest to this!

San Miguel de Allende is a city and municipality located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico, It is 274 km from Mexico City and 97 km for the state capital in Guanajuato.

Session One: March 4 - 11, 2014
Session Two: March 11 - 18, 2014

We are taking 22 people each session. Both sessions are filled. If you would like to get on the waiting list, in the event of a cancellation, you can send an email to Bill York at BillandIreneYork@gmail.com.


Kumihimo Books!
These books are sensational. There is nothing like a great book to give you inspiration. They are invaluable resources. And the more you learn about Kumihimo, the more you will glean from these fantastic resources. Keep watching my "Kumihimo - Book Shop" as I have some new titles that will be here soon! I can't wait. 

Braids: 250 Braids from Japan, Peru and Beyond by Rodrick Owen
is one of the first books I purchased for my Kumihimo library.
This book is packed with inspiration for braids created on a disk as well as the Marudai. 
Cost: $19.95  

Beads & Braids by Jacqui Carey 
is another one of my all time favorites. This booked is packed full of  endless ideas and inspiration for creativity. It's a little pricey but it is well worth every cent! I love this book. The longer I own it the more it speaks to me. 

Cost: $39.95
This is a phenomenal price for Beads & Braids.
I have 6 "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. 
 Kumihimo Books 
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

If you have any friends that might be interested in receiving this newsletter, make sure you forward them a copy. Click this link to  

Join Our Mailing List!