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Monthly Newsletter                                                                               August  2014

New! Kit of the Month: Multi-Focal Beaded Necklace with Adjustable Closure
More Kumihimo on the Disk & Plate
More Kumihimo on the Marudai
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Kathy Rebro
Large Hole Beads & Pendants
Christmas Kumihimo Kits...
WHAT A KNIT Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links...


Hello Braiders,
As some of you know, we postponed our vacation until September. Some 
real estate opportunities came along for my husband and we decided that we needed to stay put and carry on with business. No complaints though. We live in a beautiful place and we made the most of our "stay-cation" and had a blast in our own backyard. It's all good!

The August Kit of the Month is called the Multi-Focal Beaded Necklace. The focal section is made with a selection of focal beads including Hollow Glass Beads made by a fabulous artist, Jari Sheese. I found her gorgeous beads, and met her, when I was at the Tucson Gem Show earlier in the year. Her beads are beautiful and I was fortunate enough to get some. I have been wearing my "sample" necklace and have received many great compliments. 

I would also like to share some news that is very exciting for me. After many years of living in Green Valley, Arizona my parents have moved to Reno, Nevada (about 30 minutes from me). They trusted me to find a home for them and they bought it sight unseen. My parents are VERY special people and to have them live close enough to visit on a regular basis is about as good as it gets. I look forward to sharing "creative" time with my mom! They have been here for almost a week!

Once again, thank you to all of you that keep me so busy. I am always just an email or phone call away if you have a question or need help.

Happy Braiding,   

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Adjustable Closure & Starting in the Middle

Earlier in the year I traveled to Arizona for the BIG Tucson Gem Show. I was so lucky to stumble upon the artist, Jari Sheese, and fell in love with her Hollow Glass Beads and Buttons. She is  a fabulously talented artist. With a puffy mandrel, Jari Sheese blows air into each bead as it is forming and creates a beautiful, lightweight, thin walled, hollow bead that is surprisingly durable. The Black & White Polka Dotted Beads caught my attention. I gathered up as many as I could and then accessorized with some of her solids and coiled glass caps.  I walked away from her booth with a smile from ear to ear and tickled pink with my "find". I just love them. 

This necklace is made up of a series of focal beads hence the name "Multi-Focal Beaded Necklace". The necklace utilizes the "starting in the middle" technique and incorporates an adjustable closure. The adjustable closure is nice because it lets you wear your necklace longer or shorter depending on the style of your neckline or simply your own personal preference! The finished length of the beaded portion of the necklace is around 17" (depending on beads and braider) and the braided tails are 6" in length on each end. If you follow my instructions, you can wear the necklace as short as 17" (give or take a smidgen) or as long as 29" (or so)! If you cut your cords longer to start, you could make the necklace longer!
You will Need: Kumihimo Disk (a new or newer disk with tight slots is best - the mini disk works great), 9 Bobbins, Measuring Tape and Scissors, Hemostat Tool (optional)

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.  

***While this necklace is pretty quick and easy, you do need to take your time stringing the delicate focal beads. Once you are set up, the braiding is a snap. Probably not the best project for a rank beginner.

Kit includes:

- Focal Beads (as pictured; each necklace is different)
- 1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord
- 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads (Main Color BLACK - all kits)
- 8/0 Toho Miyuki Seed beads in 3 Accent Colors 
- Barrel Closure
- Wide Eye Beading Needle

- Instructions with Photos    

Cost: $44 - $48



Click here for kits 


Comprehensive Treatise of Braids VI: Kumihimo Disk and Plate  $42.00

 just received another shipment of Makiko Tada's wonderful books for braiding on the Kumihimo Foam Disk (round) an
d Plate (square).
If you don't have it already, you really want to get yourself a copy of "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids VI: Kumihimo Disk and Plate".

ZigZag Anda and ZigZag Edged Anda using Hamanaka Square Plate

I must say, it is alot of fun to experiment with braiding. I LOVE making jewelry but there are many other thing to do with Kumihimo and sometimes you don't have to make anything in particular. It is like dessert for me, when I put cords on my disk and the only goal is to complete a new braid that I haven't braided before. And then, if I like the braid, I might experiment with colors and textures and play around with where the colors are placed on the disk or plate. In the picture to the right, the top braid (red & black) is a ZigZag Edged Anda and the others are ZigZag Anda. The Black & White braid looks like Houndstooth to me and that was the result of experimenting with color placement. These braids could make great trim embellishments on a garment, pillow top, purse, etc. 


Below are examples of Flowers with Pointed Petals. The flowers can be used as embellishments or how about pinned onto a lapel? And check out the hollow braids, flat braids, etc! There are so many options. It's endless. 

Instructions for all of these braids can be found in Makiko Tada's book, "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids VI: Kumihimo Disk and Plate". There are enough braids in this book to keep you busy for a very long time.  Click here for Kumihimo Books.


Flowers with Pointed Petals using
Hamanaka Square Plate
Hollow Braids, Flat Braids,
Ridge Spiral,  Reverse Spiral
using Disk (round) and Plate (square)







In addition to the foam Disk (round), I have also started stocking the Hamanaka Plate (square) that is used for many of the braids in Makiko Tada's books. 


Click here 

for Disks, Plates, Bobbins, Weighted Bobbins. 

It is great to see so many people enjoying Kumihimo. For those of you that are experimenting with the Marudai, the best thing is to take a class. If you can't take a class, there are some good videos to help you learn correct techniques.

One of the best video / tutorials, for proper tama handling, is by Michael Hattori. I first met Michael Hattori a few years ago at a Rodrick Owen Kumihimo Workshop. Michael is SUPER talented. His collection of braids is enormous and each braid is braided to perfection. Even greater than his collection of braids is his knowledge of Kumihimo and even more he is patient and generous about sharing what he knows. When I ask Michael a question, I get an answer beyond anything I ever anticipated. THANK YOU Michael!

Michael Hattori has also, recently, authored a publication titled "Supplementary Translation of Makiko Tada's CTB1: Marudai Braids with Commentary by Michael Hattori". Michael's publication is a great companion to Makiko Tada's "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids I: Maru-dai Braids". You can purchase Michael's publication from Braidershand. Of special interest to me (and any of the other braiders going to Japan in October), Michael has included a great "Japanese Pronunciation Primer" in the back of his publication. My husband laughs when he hears me wandering around the house practicing my Japanese. 

A special thanks to Michael for all of the information he has shared with me to make my travels in Japan a little easier and the experience richer. 

Basic Marudai Technique 1: Tama Handling
Basic Marudai Technique 1: Tama Handling

Kathy Rebro - Tucson, AZ

I first met Kathy (and her husband Mike) when they travelled to Truckee for the Carol Miller Franklin Kumihimo Workshop that I hosted last summer. Kathy then joined another of our events and came to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for the Knitting Basket Knitting and Kumihimo Retreat (February 2014). She will also be joining us on our upcoming (March 2015) Knitting Basket Knitting and Kumihimo Retreat to Guatemala (Guatemala City, Antigua and Lake Atitlan).

Kathy does beautiful work and sells her jewelry on her Etsy site "Lucky Sammy". In addition to her Kumihimo, she also does alot of other gorgeous beadwork! You should check out her beaded collars. 

Pictured here are her adaptations of the Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet (a class I taught in San Miguel de Allende). She has used a variety of fibers with great colors and textures and has embellished her bracelets with large hole beads and charms. Really nice Kathy!

Thank you!
These are great items to "float" on a braid. The Large Hole Beads as well as the bale on the pendant will accommodate an 8 strand Kumihimo Rayon Gimp round braid, an 8 strand Petite Satin round braid, a combination of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Petite Satin, etc. Use you imagination.  
Large Hole Beads

6 stands Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon & 2 strands Petite Satin with Mixed Media Bead

Sante Fe Pendant...
8 strands Gimp with Sante Fe Pendant 

I guess it's never too early to start preparing for the holidays. 

Clunky, Funky & Fun Christmas Bracelet Kits
(Magatama & Seed Bead Bracelets)

Peppermint, Crystal & Glitz
and Boughs of Holly 
Isn't this fun! The Clunky, Funky & Fun Bracelet is a combination of 4 x 7 Long Magatama Beads and 8/0 and 6/0 Toho/Miyuki Seed Beads. The fabulous Button and Loop Closure is a great technique and can be used in many applications. The nature of this closure allows for flexibility in sizing and allows for easy on & off. I love this and I am sure you will too! There are enough beads and cord in your kit to accommodate a variety of sizes. You will Need: Kumihimo Disk (preferably a new one), 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape, Heavy Duty Thread, Needle, Glue (like WeldBond). You Should Know: Kumihimo Round Braid, how to "drop" beads.

Kit includes:
1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord
Magatama Beads
6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads
8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads
Big Eye Beading Needle
Instructions with photos
(Button and Barrel Bead may vary from photos - will be equally as nice if not even nicer)!

Cost: $19.50 to $24 

P.S. Please note that this kits uses C-Lon Beadcord which is a thinner cord than the C-Lon Tex 400. 

In order to maintain consistent tension on your cords, you should use a disk that is newer and has not been "stretched" out by larger diameter cords. I suggest the Mini Disk.


Satin Candy Canes Kit

The Satin Cord Candy Cane Kit is a favorite and it's very easy to make. The first time I made 
Kumihimo Candy Canes was for an ornament exchange in my book club. The ingredients are simple and the results are great. Once you've made a few, you can decide how you want to embellish your candy canes, i.e. add beads, little jingle bells, bows, etc. I'm giving you a start on the basics and I hope you add your own creative touches. Have fun!

The Kumihimo Candy Cane Kit contains

 enough materials to make 3 candy canes

The candy cane stick measures around 9" and when shaped into a candy cane the finished length is about 6 1/2".With this class-in-a-kit, you'll learn how to start your braid with a Lark's Head Knot, braid around a core (in this case a wire stem) and you'll learn a versatile wrapping technique to finish off the tassel.


Kit includes:

30 yards of "Petite" Satin Cord; Red, Green and White
Three 9" wire stem cores
Instructions with lots of step-by-step color photos

Patterns for 3 different 12 Strand Spiral Braid 

Kumihimo Candy Cane Kit (makes 3) $14.00 

Beaded Candy Canes

This is a super fun project. It takes a little more skill than the satin cord candy canes but if you take your time you will be successful . This kit provides enough materials to make 3 Kumihimo Beaded Candy Canes. You will earn how to start with an "interlaced" end and braid around a core (wire stem) . An interlaced end comes in handy when you want to start with a "finished" end. These are techniques that you can put in your Kumihimo "toolbox" and use in other applications. Follow the directions carefully and you will enjoy making your candy canes. When braiding /beading with the C-Lon Beadcord (finer diameter than C-Lon Tex 400, I find it easier if I use a disk that is new or newer with "slots" that hold the finer cord under tension. You can purchase the mini disks for $3 each (see below).

You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 bobbins, tape measure, scissors, heavy-duty thread & needle, Glue (I like WeldBond).

You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid and how to "drop" beads (if you aren't sure how to "drop beads" see Kumihimo Tip #14).

Kit includes: 
Materials to make 3 Beaded Candy Canes
1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord
8/0 Miyuki/Toho Seed Beads
Three 9" Wire Stems
3 Different Bead Patterns
Wide Eye Beading Needle

Instructions with Photos

Cost: $18 (makes 3)

Click here for these Kumihimo Project Kits as well as many more. Kits are great to MAKE for Christmas gifts and Kits are great to GIVE as gifts!


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