Monthly Newsletter - Issue 79                                                             February  2017

Things in this Newsletter
Kit of the Month: Kumihimo Beaded Elongated Swirl Necklace with Turquoise Pendant
Nevada Museum of Art / Demo Day
Foam Disk / Marudai Tutorial Conversions
What a Braid Goes to Oaxaca, Mexico
Cabin Fever
What a Braid Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links
Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! 
Gr e etings! 
Hubby in 12 feet deep hole digging out snowblower after the big storm!

We continue to get pummeled and buried by snow. Our house is practically buried and it seems we spend alot of our free time shoveling. It takes some strategy planning trips to the Post Office a
s the town snowplow likes to go by and leave us a berm so high we can't get in or out of our driveway. On the flip side - when the sun comes out, the blue sky is so blue and the trees, blanketed in snow, are majestic. I live in a winter wonderland. 

ANNOUNCEMENT!  I am headed to Mexico from February 12 to March 6 to explore the arts, crafts an culture of Oaxaca and teach Kumihimo. Get your questions and orders to me before I leave! Please see details below.

Here is my new kit this month. Some of you may have seen the sneak peek on Facebook and Pinterest.   As always, lots of fu n. It's called Kumihimo Beaded  Elongated Swirl Necklace with Turquoise Pendant. Oh so beautiful. It really is stunning. 

As always, thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. Welcome to all of my new subscribers!

Happy Braiding,

Kumihimo Beaded Elongated Swirl Necklace with Turquoise Pendant 
This design is another kit in my "Painting with Beads" collection. The necklace is designed with multi-colored elongated swirls with 8/0 Toho and/or Miyuki seed beads and a contrasting black & white dotted spiral. The adjustable closure is nice because it gives you flexibility -you can wear it longer or shorter if you like! Don't wait or you will miss out!
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I use the  Beadsmith THICK Mini and it's great)
- 8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.
- This kit requires meticulous bead loading and braiding.  
Kit includes:
- 1 Spool C-Lon Bead Cord (77 yards - you will have extra)
- Turquoise Colored Donut Pendant
- 2 Porcelain Accent Beads (colors may vary but will coordinate perfectly)
- 8/0 Toho / Miyuki Seed Beads (7 colors)
- Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos
Cost $45

Nevada  Museum of Art 
Weaving / Kumihimo Demo Day 
For several  days all I could talk about was how much fun I had at the Nevada Museum of Art Weaving / Kumihimo Demo day. The Reno Fiber Guild along with Museum volunteers put on a fabulous public demo. There were a variety of table and floor looms for anyone interested to try. Kumihimo was also a part of the demo day! The museum estimates that we had over 700 visitors!

I, along with my Kumihimo friend Nancy, had a blast with our Kumihimo demonstration. We were so busy and it was so exciting. We had huge interest from all age groups. People were captivated, enthusiastic and well on their way to Kumihimo addiction!  I brought about 20 mini disks, a lot of "string" and a couple of Marudai and we had braiders waiting in line!

The most rewarding for me was teaching the children. They were gung-ho and avid learners. Boy, those kiddos were quick. My youngest was a precious 5 year old (center picture above) who learned very quickly and I had another darling 7 year old that was braiding a 16 strand Kongoh Gumi braid before his mom was able to drag him away (photo right) and a sweet young gal who was determined to braid on the Marudai and she was awesome (photo left).

This definitely goes down in my book as one of those super great days! I met so many wonderful people. Thank you everyone that attended!

What a Braid Kit Pattern Conversion between Disk and Marudai
I am often asked if the patterns in What a Braid Kits, which are written with Foam Disk braiders in mind, can also be done on the Marudai. Th answer is a simple "yes" with some qualifiers.

Both the Kumihimo Foam Disk and the Marudai are equally great tools. I often "design" on my  disk. It is much easier, for me, to pick up my disk and load it with cord for a new project and test out new ideas. I always sample every kit on the foam disk. When I am making several color ways of the same design, I will braid the additional samples on my Marudai because the process is so much faster.  
If you know how to braid on a Marudai and already have an understanding of tama weight and counterweight, you can adapt What a Braid kit patterns to the Marudai. The best What a Braid Kit patterns to adapt to the Marudai are any of the "all beaded" braids. When I say "all beaded" I am referring to those necklaces that have beads on every element, and a bead is dropped wth each move. These "all beaded" necklaces are typically 8/0 or 6/0 seed beads on C-Lon.

Tama & Counterweight: Generally speaking for many braids, the counterweight is half the tama weight. For example, if I am braiding an 8 strand Kongoh Gumi braid on the Marudai and my tama are each 70 grams, my total tama weight is 560 grams (70 grams x 8 = 560 grams). If the counterweight is half the tama weight, I would use 280 grams of counterweight (560 grams /2 = 280 grams). This a a good place to start. After I have started braiding, I always look at the point of braiding and the first couple of inches of my braid to "see and feel" the tension of my braid. I can adjust with more or less counter weight if I need to. When I am braiding on the Marudai with "all beads" (beads on all eight cords and dropping a bead every time) I start out with my counterweight being about 40% of my tama weight. I always check my braid as I am braiding. Too much counterweight will create a looser braid while less tama weight will result in a firmer braid. It is important, when you check your braid for firmness/tension, to lift up on the counter weight so the braid is not held under tension. You will get a more accurate read on your braid if you lift up on the counterweight tension!

Cord Lengths. If you have "leaders" on our tama you can cut your cord lengths per the instructions in the What a Braid patterns. The leaders allow you to make better use of the length of your cords. If you do not use leaders, and just loop the cord onto the tama, you may want to cut your cords longer to start with. The distance across the face of the disk is smaller than the distance on the mirror (top surface) of the Marudai. 

Some kits are best done on the Foam Disk and these include Edge Bead Necklace, Cluster Bead Necklace, 12-Strand Ridge Spiral and any of the others that are basically Petite Satin Cord with 6/0 seed beads. I would rather make these necklaces on a Foam Disk.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or other thoughts on this!

ADIOS, What a Braid Goes to Mexico (February 12 - March 6)
It's that time of the year when the Knitting Basket / What a Braid takes a group of energetic adventurers on a trip of a lifetime where we will explore the arts and culture of another country. When we aren't out and about, I am teaching Kumihimo classes and Irene York is inspiring the knitters with her classes. 

This year we are going to Oaxaca, Mexico and we are taking two groups (20 people in each group). When we aren't braiding and knitting, we will be touring weaver's studios in Teotitlan, taking cooking classes, learning about Black & Green Pottery, exploring Monte Alban, shopping the infamous Tlacolula Market, learning about Oaxacan Woodcarving and a whole lot more. 

While I am away, orders will not be shipped. All orders received by February 10th will be shipped before I leave. All orders received after February 10th, will be shipped immediately after my return on March 7th. Please feel free to place orders while I am away. Orders are filled on a first in, first out basis. Those of you that know me are familiar with this process. Thank you!

Get your orders in before I leave- Deadline February 10th!!
The Storm That Buried Truckee, CA
After the first storm!
These pictures are taken from the back of my house showing the enormity of the January MONSTER STORMS. Headlines have bragged 20 feet of snow in January. I read in another place that we got 23 feet in 23 days. In another place I read that we hit an all time record for the most snow in the month of January in the Sierras. Suffice to say, we have alot of snow at our house. Our downstairs windows are covered with snow and the front door and back doors are buried as well! Storms are a funny thing. They are exciting at first and "exhilarating" as described by one of my friends. But after several days, that turn into weeks, it is exhausting. Afterwards, however, there is nothing so splendid as the amazing Winter Wonderland that we are blessed with.
After the second storm! Buried.

Digging snow away from windows!

And this is what it looks like when the sun comes out.
These XC ski trails are in my backyard!!
Lucky me! Oh Happy Day!

What a Knit/Braid Monthly Newsletter Archives
Reminder !
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 or What a Braid patterns are for your personal use. Feel free to sell your creations but remember to give proper credit to the D esigner.  If you decide you want to write a tutorial, 
 it is not appropriate to "borrow" parts of a copyrighted pattern. Thank you.

Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram

What a Braid has gone Social 
and this is where I introduce some of the mid-month "special" kits. 

So make sure you:

Follow me on Pinterest!
Find us on Pinterest

Like me on Facebook!
Like us on Facebook

And you can also Follow Me on Instagram!
View on Instagram 

Join Our Mailing List!

Please share this newsletter with your Kumihimo friends!  

You can subscribe here or on my website