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Monthly Newsletter                                                                               April  2014

Karen's Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet
Kumihimo Artists of the Month
San Miguel de Allende
NEW COLORS! "Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace - Duo" Kit
NEW COLORS! Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
Kumihimo Links...


Hello Braiders and Knitters,

Happy Spring. I hope those of you that have had a cold winter are finally thawing out. The weather here has flip flopped. Last week it snowed (the photo is the view from my workshop) and this week it's bright and sunny and my daffodils are blooming. It's warm outside and I am so ready for Spring!
The 2014 Annual Knitting Basket Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico was a tremendous success and a trip to be long remembered with many, many great memories to cherish. It could not have been more perfect. Loved every minute of all 14 days!
Good laughs, good times and lots of camaraderie. We all had an excellent time! Thank you everyone! See my slideshow below. I've heard rumors, from a reliable source, that Guatemala may be on the calendar for 2015 so stay tuned!!
I have some great stuff to show you this month including three new colors of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, three new colors in the Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace -Duo Kit and a really fun new kit of the month "Karen's Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet". 
As always, thank you for your orders. You are keeping me busy and I guess that keeps me out of trouble. Muchas gracias.
P.S. I received exciting news! I am one of twelve people that were selected for the Japan Adventure Trip in October. I will spend 12 days in Japan immersed in Japanese culture and Kumihimo. I couldn't feel any luckier. I am really looking forward to meeting Makiko Tada and also seeing Adrienne Gaskell again. Am I lucky or what? 
Happy Braiding, 


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Springy, bouncy and lots of fun, Karen's Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelets are quick, fun and easy to make. The possibilities are endless. In this kit, you will learn a quick tip for measuring circumference, how to start with an "interlaced" end and braid around a core. This bracelet is approximately 4 "wraps around" and comes in two sizes; smaller and bigger. There is not alot of difference between the two sizes but if you are "bigger" boned then order the "bigger" size. There is some flexibility as the bracelet is stretchy in nature. This kit starts you out with a basic spiral patten but you can change the patterns and try your own colors once you learn the techniques for making the bracelet.

This was one of our Kumihimo projects that we did in San Miguel de Allende and I thank my students for making me such great samples!  

You will Need: 6" Kumihimo Disk (use a 6" disk rather than a mini), 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape, Needle & Heavy Duty Thread, Glue (I like WeldBond) and Scissors.

You Should Know: Kumihimo Round Braid


Kit includes:

- 2 pkgs Satin Cord
- 1 Corkscrew Wire with preformed tip & tail
- Hammered Barrel Bead

- Instructions with Photos

10 Colors: Red & Dark Gray, Turquoise & Royal, Black & Silver, Peach & Caramel, Navy & Williamsburg Blue, Black & Coffee, Royal & Black, Black & Avocado, Teal & Caramel, Turquoise & Caramel


Cost: $14.50


Kits available now!!


 Kumihimo Artists of the Month  
Irene York - Green Valley, AZ

One of this month's Kumihimo Artist of the Month is my own mom, Irene York. She has a way with color and she is always experimenting and helping me out with samples. She used my Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet pattern and made the bracelets (left) using Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon (KRR) and combined the KRR with Petite Satin Cord. The look is elegant and rich. 

She used 4 stands of KRR and 4 strands of petite satin arranged in the basic spiral pattern (AA BB AA BB). The KRR comes in a variety of color ways and some color ways are more tone on tone while others have distinct color repeats. In the three bracelets pictured, she matched the color repeats of the 4 strands of KRR and then chose one color of petite satin for the other 4 strands. The petite satin is the singular color that runs from start to finish. The look is incredible. Kits with KRR will be available around the middle of the month. Here's the link to the Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Gimp.

Katherine Buenger - Woodbury, MN
After you master the Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet using fiber, you can experiment with beads. It is definitely a bit trickier but I think Katherine, who took the Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet Class in San Miguel de Allende, did a super job. I love her colors, I love her end pieces....what a brilliant job. In this example, Katherine combines "Painting with Beads" with the "Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet". 

Thank you ladies!!!
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico    March 2014

San Miguel de Allende is a culturally, historically and artistically rich community located in the hilly highlands of central Mexico and this is where Bill and Irene York hosted the 2014 Annual Knitting Basket Knitting & Kumihimo Retreat. Over a course of two weeks, they brought 44 people, in two groups, to SMA where we explored, shopped, braided, knitted, laughed, celebrated birthdays, enjoyed spa treatments and ate magnificent food! Planned to perfection and not missing a beat, Bill did his usual great job. Irene inspired the knitters with her colorful knit "fantasy" cacti sculptures and Karen Huntoon led braiders on both Marudai and disk to create braided Kumihimo treasures. Thank you to everyone that participated.  You made both trips absolutely perfect. When I put this slideshow together, I had a smile from ear to ear recounting the very special times that we all shared. Thank you.


We stayed at the Villa Mirasol a  lovely and centrally located artistic boutique hotel. The Villa Mirasol was perfect for our group as we inhabited all of the rooms and we had the place to ourselves. With numerous private patios and sunrooms there was never a shortage of space to sit with fellow knitters and braiders and catch up after our fun and full days.

Irene York taught her "Fantasy Cacti Class" and the knitters in her classes made 3-dimensional cacti and then embellished them with colorful flowers, beads, etc. A beautiful garden, eh?
Karen Huntoon taught 2 classes: Beaded Petal Fringe Adjustable Necklace as well as Karen's Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet. Braiders used either a Marudai or foam disk for the necklace and the bracelets were braided on 6" foam disks. At the end of two weeks we had an admirable collection of finished necklaces as well as armloads of bracelets. We could have opened a shop.






In addition to our Knitting & Kumihimo classes there was plenty of time to for other things. A favorite in San Miguel is shopping at the San Miguel Shoe Store. Talk about a frenzy. At any given time there could be 25 women trying on shoes and buying them as fast as they could. In addition to shoe shopping, there was no shortage of excellent food. We went from restaurant to restaurant enjoying ourselves. Art galleries were abundant and the mercados and markets were colorful and full of personality. We went on guided Home Tours, we ventured to Guanajuato, we visited the Santa Rosa Pottery studio and we indulged in full body massages, facials and leg treatments. 


Among the most special of events was celebrating my dad's 80th birthday. I will try to keep this short...my dad is one heck of a great guy and a wonderful dad. Planning these trips is something that he is passionate about. Every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. He loves planning these special trips for the very special people that attend and that is why he wanted to celebrate his 80th birthday with this group of traveling friends, that have become like family over the years. Even the new-comers know what I am talking about. And so it was, we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday in San Miguel de Allende. Happy, Happy Birthday Dad. 


If you want to see more of San Miguel de Allende, please click on this link to see the slideshow. 




NEW COLORS -  "Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace - Duo"


Kumihimo Necklace the"Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace - Duo"

To achieve the "petal fringe" on the bottom edge and the accent bead on the top edge, the beads are strung in a particular sequence. The necklace is designed with approximately 5" of beading on either side of the 6" focal section of "petal fringe". The adjustable closure allows you to wear the necklace longer or shorter.  The finished length of the beaded portion is right around 15 1/2" to 16" (depending on beads and braider) and the braided tails are about 6" on either end (could be longer if desired). The necklace can be worn as short as the beaded section (around 16") and as long as 28" (flexible).  
You will Need: Kumihimo Disk (a new one that will hold tension on BeadCord), 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape and Scissors.

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 #14This project is best for braiders with some braiding and beading experience. The success of the necklace is dependent on "perfect" counting, "perfect" braiding" and "perfect" dropping of beads. It's beautiful when it's done!


Kit includes:

- Pressed Glass Petals

- 1 Spool C-Lon  Beadcord 

- 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
- 6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 

- Barrel Closure

- Wide Eye Beading Needle

- Instructions with Photos    

- 8 Colors: Bronze (top), Opaque Luster (below), on website Amethyst, Green Iris, Hematite, Aquamarine, Purple and Brown Iris. The Bronze, Opaque Luster and Brown Iris are the only samples that show the upper edge bead accent. 

 Cost $34.00 - $38



Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon - Overseas Shipment Arrived - Restocked and 3 NEW Colors!
Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon or "KRR" The votes are in and this new braiding fiber is a winner. We experimented with it quite a bit in Mexico and the results were fabulous. It is a 5mm wide hand dyed knitted rayon ribbon that creates a silky, shimmering braid. An 8 strand round braid yields a finished braid about 4mm in diameter (can vary between colors and braiders). Because of the collapsible structure of the fiber, with the help of a wide eye needle, it is easy to thread most Japanese 6/0 seed beads and Magatamas onto the KRR. So many possibilities, so many colors and so much fun! Each skein is 5 grams and 10 meters and yields about a 21" 8 strand round braid on the disk  
(this may vary from braider to braider). If you want a long braid, order two skeins. The KRR is hand dyed to match the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. Use the KRR as a stand alone cord or team it up with the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp or the Petite Satin Cord. Experiment and have fun! 

15 Gorgeous Colors
$6.00 each 

3 New Colors!



Click here to see Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Petite Satin Cord, C-Lon Tex 400 and C-Lon Beadcord. 

New! Kumihimo Tools

Weighted Kumihimo Bobbins are made to be used with the Kumihimo foam disk or plate. The beauty of the disk is that the slots in which you place your braiding strands are usually snug enough to maintain tension on the strands while you are braiding. However, there are times when the slots get "stretched out", maybe from lots of use or from using a very thick fiber or cord. When this happens, the slots do not hold tension as well as you may need them to to make a nice, even tensioned braid. That's when weighted bobbins come in handy. Each bobbin measures 1 7/8" in diameter, and weighs 24 grams. That's just enough weight to keep the tension you need.  8 Weighted Bobbins / $8
These weighted bobbins have been a big hit. You might want to buy a set and see for yourself.
I have 7 "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 
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