Monthly Newsletter - Issue 70                                                                     August   2016

Kumihimo Kit of the Month - Kumihimo Beaded Bauble & Leaf Necklace Kit
"Ribbon & Satin" Corkscrew Bracelet Kits
The Ship Arrived! More KRR & KRG
Re-Cap Braids 2016
Class with Yuko Yoshida
Class with Jacqui Carey
Andean Sling Braids by Rodrick Owen
Monthly Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links...


Hello Braiders, 
Greetings! Boy, do I have alot to share. I have just returned from  the Braids 2016 Conference in Tacoma, Washington. I smiled from start to finish and I chalk it up as one of life's finer experiencesIt was a time of reconnecting as well as making new connections. As my friend Susan Basch said "it was an amazing community of creative souls". 

The August Kit of the Month is the Beaded Kumihimo Bauble & Leaf Necklace with an Adjustable Closure . This design involves some braiding with fiber and some braiding with beads. I also use my 'bead nesting" technique which allows the seed beads to fill the larger spaces created by the bigger baubles and leaves.  I have sampled it in 7 colors and they are beautiful. I consider this a fairly easy project it you have had a little experience with braiding with beads. 

Another shipment of hand dyed Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Gimp just arrived. You can order these braiding fibers a la carte and I have also re-stocked the "Ribbon & Satin Corkscrew" Bracelet Kits! Have fun!

Happy Braiding,

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August Kit of the Month #1 - Beaded Bauble & Leaf Necklace

The Kumihimo Beaded Bauble & Leaf Necklace is alot of fun. 
I created this necklace with three different areas of design. First, look at the "fiber only" braided lengths. I chose C-Lon colors to enhance the colors of the beads and a pattern, I call the "Double Wide Zig Zag", that adds some flair without being distracting. Next, there are sections with all 8/0 seed beads and in the middle there is the Bauble & Leaf Focal detail. Within the Bauble & Leaf focal detail, I have used my nested bead technique which allows the small seed beads to fill all the spots around the larger Bauble & Leaf Beads. The adjustable closure, which I have been using for several years in alot of my kits, allows you to wear the necklace as short as you would like or as long as 28" or so (depending on braider).
Kit includes:
- 24 Baubles (12 of each color)
- 24 Pressed Glass Leaves
- 2 colors C-Lon (pre-cut
- 3 colors of 8/0 Toho / Miyuki Seed Beads
- Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk with 35mm center hole (I use the  Beadsmith THICK Mini and it's great)
- 8 Bobbins (I use the   Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Fray Block (optional)

You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.

August Kit of the Month #2 - Ribbon & Satin Corkscrew Bracelet Kit

Springy, bouncy and lots of fun, this is the same as Karen's Kumihimo Corkscrew Bracelet but made with Petite Satin Cord and Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon.  This combination is fantastic. The Petite Satin serves to carry a solid color along the length of the braid while the color repeats in the KRR add some awesome focal interest. The patterns gives guidelines for utilizing the color repeats in  the KRR,  how to start with an "interlaced" end and braid around a core. This bracelet is approximately 4 "wraps". There is flexibility with the  sizing as the bracelet is stretchy in nature. This kit starts you out with a basic spiral pattern but you can change the patterns and try your own colors once you learn the techniques for making the bracelet.
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 (Kongoh Gumi)
Kit includes:
- 1 pkg Petite Satin Cord
- 1 pkg Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
- 1 Corkscrew Wire with preformed tip & tail
- Hammered Barrel Bead (Antique Silver or Antique Copper)
- Instructions with Photos
- Decorative beads on tails (not included use your stash!)
- 5 Colors
- Cost $17.50

Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon & Kumihimo Rayon Gimp - New Arrival!
The ship arrived and What a Braid just received a new shipment of  Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. The colors are spectacular. 

You can use The Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon (KRR) and the Kumihimo Rayon Gim
p (KRG) as stand alone fibers or combined with other fibers.

You can use both fibers on the foam disk and plate and as well as the Marudai. When I braid on a disk with the KRG (Gimp)
, I use a regular thickness disk that has been gently used already 
(not such tight slots). 

10 meters per skein / $8

10 meters per skein / $6

Braids 2016 - Tacoma, Washington

Almost 8 months ago, I went online and I registered for my classes at Braids 2016. I opted for a room in the dorms and bought my airplane ticket to Seattle. And then I waited.... feeling both excited and maybe a little nervous. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I knew I would have a great time and now that the conference is over, I can
enthusiastically exclaim that it was one of the best things I have ever done. I loved it. 

There are several people that are owed a huge THANK YOU for the incredible job they did. Robyn Spady and Giovanna Imperia were the co-chairs and they are to be commended. To get such great results and make so many people ecstatically happy means there was ALOT of hard work going on behind the scenes. Others, like Debbie Richardson, played a big role in the success too. My friend Robyn Jackson coordinated the efforts to make sure that every participant received a beautiful braided lanyard. Thank you to everyone that made Braids 2016 a wonderful conference.
Yuko Yoshida's Braids

There were almost 200 of us participating; representing 14 countries and 6 continents. From conference location, to classes, programs and field trips, Braids 2016 was perfectly choreographed.

Braids 2016 was held at the University of Puget Sound, a gorgeous campus located in Tacoma, Washington. We enjoyed blue skies and warm days that cooled off nicely at night. The majority of us stayed in Trimble Hall, a very nice brick dormitory facility and dined in the cafeteria.

Our days were very full. Breakfast started at 7am, morning presentations started at 8am followed by classes at 10am. We were in class til 5pm, had a short time to "rest" before dinner at 6pm and our last speaker of the day presented from 7 to 9pm! Class topics ranged from many types of Weaving, to Ply Split Braiding, Sprang, Kumihimo, Bobbin Lace, Peruvian Headbands, Cylindrical Braids  and the list goes on. Marudai, Takadai, Karakumidai, Bow Looms, Inkle Looms and many other looms dotted the classrooms. There was great diversity and tremendous talent. Like the students, the teachers came from all around the world. 

I liked an Emily Dickson quote that Beth Hardy shared, " The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience". 

Yuko Yoshida - Infinite Possibilities of Marudai Braiding
My first class was with Yuko Yoshida. Visiting from Japan, Yuko came to class dressed in her beautiful Kimono. She had samples spread from one side of the room to the other and in her quiet and gentle way, taught us so much our heads were spinning by the end of the day.

We worked with a couple of different braid structures and the "infinite possibilities" that come from thinking outside the box and changing things up. It was as though she gave us "permission" to take a different approach, to try variations and discover as we braided. 

It was a a real treat to meet Yuko and I look forward to our paths crossing again. 

Jacqui Carey  -  Just One  & Start/Stop
I was very excited to have the opportunity to meet and take classes from Jacqui Carey. She exceeded my expectations. 

My first class with Jacqui was called,
Just One. Similar to Yuko's class, we worked with "just one" braid 
structure and made many variations to see how we could change the braid by varying the counterweight, re-grouping elements or by changing the volume of fibers in an element. 
Again, an emphasis on taking the familiar and making changes.  My second class with Jacqui Cary was called Start/Stop and in this class we tried some new ways to  start  a braid and new ways to finish a braid as well as fun things to do in-between the start and stop!

 Jacqui Carey has authored many, many books including my Kumihimo favorites such as, "Bead & Braids", "Creative Kumihimo" and most recently "The Book of Braids". To me, Jacqui is the Queen Bee of creative Kumihimo and it was so much fun to take classes with her.

Rodrick Owen's New Book - Andean Sling Braids

If you haven't bought your copy of "Andean Sling Braids" by Rodrick Owen, don't wait another second. Get one. This book is Rodrick Owen's latest accomplishment and it is an extraordinary book. It is packed full of information and photographs of colorful braids. Some are braided with core elements and others  are not. Even if you are not an experienced braider, you'll be inspired.

There are many places you can get the book, including Braidershand. 

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