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

Monthly Newsletter                                                                            October  2015

Kit of the Month #1: "Kaleidoscope"
Kit of the Month #2: "Blended Beaded with Donut Focal"
NEW! Toho & Miyuki 8/0 Seed Bead Colors
NEW! Flat Magnetic Clasps
Holiday Kumihimo Kits
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Shelley Grant
Putting it All Together!
Marudai Fun!
My Brother's IRONMAN Triathlon
Kumihimo Links...



Hello Braiders,
Wow! October already. Time flies, doesn't it? What happened to September? 

I want to let you know that I will be "taking a break" for 2 weeks. I will be gone from October 9th to October 24th. The first week will be a motorhome / mountain biking trip with my sweet hubby to Sun Valley, Idaho. We arrive during the Trailing of the Sheep Festival and while we are there the Jazz Festival begins! The second week, drum roll, I will be taking a five day braiding workshop with the "one-and-only" Rodrick Owen. I couldn't be more excited. This workshop is an annual event and I missed it last year when I was in Japan taking classes from Makiko Tada and Adrienne Gaskell.

Most of you know this....

Feel free to place orders while I am away. I always pack orders immediately upon my return and orders are packed on a first in, first out basis. There is a possibility that when I am home, between adventures to swap suitcases and pick up my Marudai, I will be able to pack and mail orders. Thanks!

I have 2 NEW KITS this month; an extra bonus for you! Kumihimo jewelry is a much loved gift so don't hesitate, pick out some kits and start braiding - the holidays are fast approaching. Kit #1, called Kaleidoscope, got it's name from the gorgeous  & colorful Lampwork focal bead. I found these at a show and just had to have them (alot of them)! Kit #2 incorporates the Blended Beaded Necklace with a Donut Focal and it's quite nice too. Both kits are quick and easy!
If you haven't "Liked" What a Knit on Facebook, please do! Click here to "LIKE" What a Knit and get mid-month updates and sneak peeks on new kits!

hank you to all of you! 

Happy Braiding,

 If you have a friend that would enjoy this newsletter, please click the "Forward to a Friend" link! Thanks.

October Kit of the Month #1 - "Kaleidoscope"
This one is a BEAUTY! The Kaleidoscope Lampwork Glass Focal Beads are works of art. They are gorgeous. The beaded ropes are subtle with a single dotted line of variegated color. Just enough pop for interest but doesn't take away from the beautiful focal bead. I had to think about this necklace alot and I am very pleased with the final design. This necklace incorporates the adjustable closure. This means you can snug up your necklace and wear it shorter (as short as 16") but you can also wear it longer (about 25"). This is another easy project. It can be made on both the disk and the Marudai. (Instructions are written for a disk). You will need: Kumihimo Foam Disk (treat yourself to a Thick Mini), 9 bobbins, scissors and tape measure. You should know: Kongoh-gumi braid structure (often called the round braid) and how to "drop" beads. Refer to Kumihimo Tip #14 for a refresher on how to drop beads. 

Kit includes:
- 1 Spool of C-Lon BeadCord
- 7 colors of Toho/Miyuki 8/0 Seed Beads
- Kaleidoscope Focal Bead
- Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
-Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos 

Cost: $48 to $52 

Click here for Kits! 
October Kit of the Month #2 - Blended Bead Necklace with Donut Focal and Adjustable Closure

Here's another easy project with some fun techniques. You get a variation of the "Blended Beaded" bead pattern, a new alternative for attaching a Donut Pendant and the adjustable closure. This can be made on the disk or Marudai (instructions are write of the disk). You will need: Kumihimo Disk ( I suggest the THICK Mini disk), 8 bobbins, tape measure, scissors. You should know: Kongoh-gumi braid (also referred to as round braid) and how to "drop" beads. Check out this link if you need a quick refresher for dropping beads. It's easy!

Kit includes:
- 1 Spool  C-Lon BeadCord
- 2 colors Toho/Miyuki 8/0 Seed Beads
- Jasper Donut (1 5/8" diameter - just the right size!)
- Ceramic Accent Bead
- Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure 
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos

Cost: $27 

Beautiful New 8/0 Toho & Miyuki Seed Beads
This month I added some new colors of 8/0 seed beads to my collection! I love these colors. I have both Galvanized as well as Matte Galvanized and think they are just beautiful. These are the accent beads I used in the October Kit of the Month #1: Kaleidoscope. 

Great New Magnetic Clasps!
These should keep you busy thinking up new projects just so you can try them out. The "Riveted", "Tin Punched Square" and "Tin Punched Rectangle" are to be used with flat braids. The "Curved Tubular" has a rounded opening. The flat magnetic clasps are perfect for your cuff bracelets. 

Cost: $11.00 - $13.00
Holiday Kits!

Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Shelley Grant
Shelley Grant - Maine

About Shelley:
"I retired to southern Maine a couple of years ago after a career as a federal prosecutor in Washington, DC.  I've been beading for more than 15 years, have taught in bead shops and co-wrote a book on bead crochet.  I've done stringing, wire work, assorted woven stitches...a non-stop quest for something new!  Beading took a back seat to knitting and weaving for a while, but seeing the work of another artist a few months ago drew me right back in, and I am now completely re-addicted.  My newest bead interests/obsessions are wrap bracelets, right angle weave, and kumihimo.  I especially like Karen's alternative finishing technique-it's adjustable and offers an additional opportunity for embellishment, and it doesn't involve glue!"

I think Shelley did a wonderful job on creating this necklace. She came up with her own bead pattern and utilized the adjustable closure. I always hope that my kits/patterns can be springboards for your own imagination. Shelley took the basics from my pattern and came up with her own "original". She has 5 short sections of "solid" interspersed with longer sections of double spot.

She used:
-C-Lon BeadCord
-2 colors of 8/0 seed beads (I allow 17 grams per color)
-Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure

She shared her bead/loading set-up:

Bobbins: #1,2,3,5,6,7:
3 A, 3 B, 22 A, 3 B, 22 A, 3 B, 22 A, 3 B, 22 A, 3 B, 3 A

Bobbins: #4 & 8:
109 B

Braid 6" plain, braid beads, braid 6" plain.

Finish with barrel bead & beaded fringe.

Beaded fringe:  4 cords:  1 gray, 3 gold, 7 gray, 3 gold, 1 gray
                         4 cords:  1 gold, 3 gray, 7 gold, 3 gray, 1 gold

I also got a nice note from Shelly and she shared some of her own insights:
1.  If there's a length of plain braided cord, and a pattern for the beads, be sure to start the beaded section in the "starting position" (disk and bobbin photo above).

2.  If there's a pattern for the beads, count the beads over and over again after they are loaded on the cords.

3.  Check the beaded cord regularly to make sure I didn't miss a bead (there was one on this necklace-I sewed it in afterward).

4.  Load the beads on the cords AFTER the cords have been placed on the disk, not before!!  (What a tangled mess!!!)

These are all valuable tips!

Thank you Shelley!
Putting it All Together - The Sampler Necklace
Over the course of the last few months (July, August and September) I have provided Tutorials for several new braid structures that can de done on the disk as well as the Marudai.

Here are the quick links to the newsletters that contained the braiding instructions.

July 2015 - Yatsu Kongoh "Z" and "S" (round)
July 2015 - Edo Yatsu  (hollow)
August 2015 - Kaku Yatsu (square)
September 2015 - Kusari Kaku Yatsu 

Putting together a sampler necklace is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and it's a nice way to use and enjoy your braids. I aim to make my braids at least 18" long. I vary the colors, the number of ends per element, the types of fibers and when I have an assortment that I like, I put them together. It's that simple.

You can use Satin Cord, Gimp, Ribbon and any other fibers you might want to try.

Have fun and get creative! Send me a photo and you might just be the next Kumihimo Artist of the Month!

My Marudai Fun - Sasanami, 24 Tama
I am very lucky and I get to braid alot. But, between designing new kits and braiding samples and all the experimenting that comes with the territory, I don't have much time for my own personal braiding and development. I am working on a new habit and that is to get up a little earlier every morning (or alot of mornings) and dedicate one hour to new braids. I don't hop from one structure to the other very quickly because I feel that repetition is a good teacher and I like to see what different colors and different color placements will do to change a braid. 

This braid was made on the Marudai. I used 24 Tama (each 70 grams). My counterweight was right around 840 grams (maybe a little less). 
Top Braid: 4 Colors
Middle Braid: 4 colors
Bottom Braid: 6 Colors

This braid structure is called - Sasanami. It can be found in Makiko Tada's book, CTB 1. 
Bragging Rights....Thanks for the Indulgence!

Remember, always make it fun.
If you get frustrated,
take a break and come back to your braiding later.
Fresh eyes are a good thing!
Copyrighted patterns are not to be copied, shared electronically, given to friends or members of the guild
or used for teaching purposes
without express consent of the author.  
What a Knit patterns are for your personal use.
Feel free to sell your creations
but remember to give proper credit to the D
If you decide you want to write a tutorial,
it is not appropriate to "borrow" parts of a copyrighted pattern.
Plagiarism is 

I feel strongly about this as I have recently
been presented with some "copies" of my copyrighted patterns. 
I don't appreciate the infringement! Please be respectful. 

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