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

Monthly Newsletter                                                                               October  2014

A Welcome Note to Newcomers!
New! Kit of the Month: PAINTING WITH BEADS
16 Strand Christmas Tree Pattern
Books, Books, Books
Kumihimo "Ready to Wear"
Kumihimo Links...



Hello Braiders,
Greetings from Truckee! Busy here. As always, thank you for your orders, pictures, notes, etc. With the amazing growing popularity in Kumihimo, you have many choices and I appreciate all of my loyal customers. Thanks!

Time flies. I will be gone on my Japan Adventure from October 23rd through November 5th. I will pack and mail orders up until I leave (last day 10/21) and you know I will pack your orders as soon as I return. I fill requests on a first in - first out order. So, order early. To say I am excited about this trip would be an understatement. Time and technology permitting, I will

send some updates via my Facebook page. If you

Like me on Facebook

haven't done so already, "Like me on Facebook".


I have a wonderful new Kit of the Month. I had alot of fun working on some new necklaces for my "Painting with Beads" collection.  I have come up with an easy process - you'll have alot of fun making them. 

Because I have had so many new subscribers, I decided to include a "Note to Newcomers" that just shares  a little bit about me and my business. 

Happy Braiding and ボンボワイヤージュ,
A Note to Newcomers....
Welcome to What a Knit. 

Why is it called What a Knit? Good question! When I started my website, my interest was knitting (my mom's an amazing knitter). Then I learned about Kumihimo and it became my passion. My introduction to Kumihimo was very innocent - my mom simply thought some creativity in my busy life would be "good for me" and she gave me a quick lesson. That was 5 years ago. Little did I know that that Kumihimo lesson would change my life. I, like many of you, started braiding and literally never stopped.

What a Knit is a full-time business. I am the designer, buyer, bookkeeper and shipping clerk. All of the kits are designed by me, packed by me and shipped by me. I am in business because of you and I thank you from bottom of my heart. 

I braid almost everyday and divide my time equally between the foam disk and and Marudai. My teachers (besides my mom) include Rodrick Owen, Carol Miller Franklin, Adrienne Gaskell and soon to be Makiko Tada. Their varied approaches and wonderful lessons have taught me alot! Lucky, luck me!

I love teaching as well and have taught Kumihimo at workshops in Oaxaca, Guatemala, Spain and San Miguel de Allende. I teach local workshops, travel to teach workshops and I taught Kumihimo classes at the CNCH Conference a year ago.

I share my ideas with you through:
  • www.whataknit.com is my website where I offer Kumihimo Project Kits as well as all the supplies you need for Kumihimo. I have 11 little shops of goodies on my website ranging from Kumihimo project kits, to disks, to books, to findings, to cording, to beads, buttons, etc.
    Here's what a recent customer had to say about one of my kits, ""Just finished this kit and had to tell Karen - how great her kit is! Extremely well thought out, written, organized, stocked, photographed - everything! The price is very good for the excellent value I received!! Cannot give it enough stars."
  •  What a Knit Monthly Newsletters: Every month I write a newsletter with a new "Kit of the Month" and other fun things can include the Artist of the Month, Kumihimo Tips, new items, etc. This is my 46th newsletter! If you know someone that would like to receive my newsletter please forward this Newsletter.Join Our Mailing List!
  • What a Knit FACEBOOK Page: This is how I keep in touch with you between newsletters. I might announce a new kit, tip or sale! Stay up to date.
    Like me on Facebook 

That's my s
tory. I am easy to reach at karen@whataknit.com.

Thank you and Happy Braiding!
NEW! Painting with Beads Necklace Kits with 8/0 Seed Beads
The October "Kit of the Month" is a new addition to my "Painting with Beads" collection. These "Painting with Beads" necklaces have more variation in beaded patterns and I am using 8/0 seed beads instead of 6/0 seed beads. For those of you that need a reminder, 8/0 seed beads are smaller than the 6/0 seed beads and this makes for a smaller diameter beaded rope and the beaded patterns appear more detailed or refined.  The necklaces are designed with 7 sections of beaded pattern/color and the instructions are written according to these sections. You will bead and braid each section before moving on to the next section. This works beautifully and it sure makes it easier if you
missed a bead or counted wrong when you were stringing. Because of the way the pattern is written, if you have the inclination, you can later take the beaded patterns and do some of your own creating. If you do some of your own creating, you will find that where you put your light and dark colors will significantly change the "look" of a beaded pattern. The "Painting with Beads" necklaces are made with 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads and the necklace kit comes with an All-in-One Magnetic Glue-in closure. Of course, you can embellish the ends any way that you like. From one end of the beaded rope to the other is approximately 17" with 3" of C-Lon braided tails on either end. Per the instructions, you can make a necklace up to 24 " and as short as about 17".  A longer necklace would have some braided C-Lon showing at each end of the beaded section. You have plenty of C-Lon to cut longer lengths of cord if desired.

You will Need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape and Scissors, Glue (I like WeldBond; available at Ace Hardware stores and some Michaels and other locations depending where you live)!

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:
- 8/0 Toho and/or Miyuki Seed Beads
- 1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord
- 4mm All-in-One Magnetic Glue-in Closure
- Wide Eye Beading Needle
- Instructions with Photos
- Cost $38.00 - $42

Click here for "Painting with Beads"  Necklace Kits and more... 

Christmas Braiding Pattern
Here's something fun to try - a 16 strand round braid that looks like Christmas trees! 

Incorporate this pattern into necklaces, bracelets, candy canes, wreaths, napkin rings or whatever you can dream up. 
How to: Decide what you want to make and determine the finished length. Cut your cords a little more than 2X the desired length. Set your cords up on your disk, like the diagram, and start braiding with the round braid sequence ("left bottom up, right top down" or visa versa)! Enjoy!
Kumihimo Tip #26
Check your work frequently; especially when Braiding with Beads.
A friend of mine sent me an email the other day and said, "I got to the end of my beautiful beaded necklace and when I looked at it, I had missed a bead".

This tip is to serve as a reminder to periodically check your work. Sometimes I can get carried away with my braiding and then I get to the end and I find that I have missed a bead. Without hesitation, I braid backwards until I reach my mistake, fix it and then move forward. It's pretty quick to "un-braid". If, however, you make a mistake and you think you can "live with it" then move forward happily. This is okay too.

When braiding with beads, missing a bead can do a few things to your braid some of which include:
1. Creating an empty spot, "a hole".
2. Throwing your pattern off if you are beading a braid with a repetitive pattern.
3. Can throw off the alignment of accent beads that are dropped along an edge.

I have a customer that was working on the "Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace" and she could not get the petals to line up. She checked her beads to make sure they were strung correctly. Her bobbins were marked. She was doing everything right but just could not get those darn beads to "line up". So I suggested that she send me her disk, braid and bobbins with the work she had done so far and I would take a look at it. I received it in the mail, fixed it in the Post Office parking lot and returned it. About a 1/4" before she started dropping the "petals" she had missed a bead and that one missed bead threw off the entire braid. A simple, simple mistake. But frustrating. Check you work as you go and watch for those missed beads! 

Hope this helps!
Kumihimo Tip #27
Check this out.
CraftDesignOnline.com has a really fun interactive program that allows you to place colors and see what your braids will look like. You can become your own designer. Some of you already use this tool, but for those of you that don't, you're in for some fun! Enjoy.
KUMIHIMO BOOKS make Great Gifts 
Braiders need books and books make great gifts.  

I have these wonderful Kumihimo books, in stock, by my favorites: Makiko Tada, Rodrick Owen and Jacqui Carey. Each author offers something different. I refer to these books over and over and over again. 

Makiko Tada: (Disk & Plate books)

Comprehensive Treatise of Braid VI: Disk & Plate ($42)
Comprehensive Treatise of Braids VII: Disk & Plate 2 ($42)

Rodrick Owen:
Braids: 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond ($19.95 - excellent book for Disk, Plate and Marudai)

Jacqui Carey:
Beads & Braids($39.95)

The Book of Braids: A New Approach to Creating Kumihimo ($39.95 - excellent resource for Marudai braiders) 

Click here to go to my Kumihimo Bookstore! 

Jewelry Shopping
Buy it already made! I am an advocate for promoting the process of creativity and creating. However, there are those times when we aren't afforded the luxury of enough time to make something yet we want something handmade. I make ALOT of Kumihimo jewelry when I am trying new designs, color ways or sampling ideas. If you are interested, I have made some of my necklaces available for purchase. I will add more pieces as time permits.

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.

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I have 11 "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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