Monthly Newsletter                                                                            February   2016

Bon Voyage - Teaching in Mexico
February Kit of the Month "Fiesta"
Cultivating CREATIVITY!
Glazed Heart Pendants
Be Mine Magatama Bracelet
Staggered Spiral Bracelet Kit
New Braiding Fibers!
3 Braid Necklace with Ribbon and Shimmer Yarn
Kumihimo Tip #36
Pip Beads A La Carte
Kumihimo Links...


Hello Braiders, 
It's almost Happy Valentine's Day Month! I hope all of you are doing something sweet and special. It's a good excuse to eat chocolate while braiding!

Thank you for all of your positive feedback on my new website. It's been a labor of love. If I can make improvements, please let me know. My goal is to make your Kumihimo experience easy & fun! I have added a Blog and that's a good place to check for "a little of this and a little of that" like trip announcements, tips, etc. 

The February Kit of the Month is called " Fiesta". It reminds me of all of the fun colors in Mexico which is where I am headed at the end of the month. Another kit this month is the Staggered Spiral Bracelet Kit in 5 new colors and the 3 Braid Necklace with Ribbon & Shimmering Yarn is back for those of you that missed it the first time around. Lots of great projects. 

I have also added some new Braiding Fibers;
also have Pip Beads available for you! 

With much gratitude and  Happy Braiding,

If you haven't "Liked" WHAT A BRAID on Facebook, please do!  Click here to "LIKE" What a Braid and get mid-month updates and sneak previews on new kits!

P.S. All Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Kumihimo Rayon Gimp are all back in stoc k and the colors are more b eautiful than ever!
ADIOS - February 27th through March 11th
It's once again time for our Annual Knitting and Kumihimo Retreat. This year we are headed to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This means What a Braid will be closed for 2 weeks. I will be gone from February 27th to March 11th. All orders received by February 26th will be mailed before I leave. Feel free to place  orders while I am away.   I will resume 
shipping on the 12th of March and orders will be filled first in, first out! We are going to have fun, fun, fun.
Kumihimo Kit of the Month   "Fiesta"
The design inspiration for "Fiesta", with its turquoise and brights, comes from our upcoming trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The beaded rope is made up of 6/0 seed beads in black with "spot" accents in bright colors. The "main attraction" or focal section, is comprised of 5 turquoise colored disks punctuated by colorful porcelain sliders. The finished length is right around 20" (depending on braider). The Matte Black Acrylic Glue-in Magnetic End Cap is the perfect finish! You will learn the "starting in the middle" technique and this a useful tool for your Kumihimo toolbox. This is an easy and quick necklace to make.  You will need Kumihimo Disk,  9 Bobbins (I used small plastic EZ Bobbins), Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle & Thread or Zapper and Glue (I use WeldBond). You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (also known as Kongoh Gumi) and How to Drop Beads.
If you need a refresher for "dropping beads" check out  Kumihimo Tip #14.
Kit includes:
- 1 spool of C-Lon Tex 400 (you will have extra for another project)
- 6 colors 6/0 Toho/Miyuki Seed Beads
- 5 Turquoise Colored Disks
- 6 Porcelain Sliders
- Acrylic Magnetic Clasp in Matte Black
- Instructions with Photos 
- Cost: $37.00

Cultivating Creativity

Isn't it great to be on a creative streak? The ideas are flowing, your mind is on fire and you feel like there isn't enough time in the day. Ahhh, the sweet taste of creativity. And then one day, your imagination feels like it is on hold. Whether it's creator's block, writer's block or any other block we will all face this sometime. We all have endless lists of the things that can get in the way of creativity. 

I listened to some awesome talks on Creativity by John Cleese and Tina Seeling and gleaned some intriguing ideas like 1. Try to learn something new everyday, 2. Get off the computer, 3. Create an oasis, etc. Interested?   Read more.....

Glazed Heart Pendants
These Glazed Heart Pendants would look great for a Valentine's Day Necklace or any day you feel like spreading a little love!

23mm x 26mm
Bail: 3.8mm i.d.
4 colors
Supplies limited

Click here for Glazed Heart Pendants
BE MINE Valentine Bracelet Kit
Isn't this fun!  The BE MINE Clunky, Funky & Fun Bracelet Kit 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 Thick Mini), 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape, Heavy Duty Thread, Needle, Glue (I like WeldBond).  You Should Know : Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi), how to "drop" beads. 
See Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher on braiding with beads.

Kit includes:  
  • 1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord 
  • Magatama Beads 
  • 6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
  • 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
  • Heart Button & Barrel 
  • Wide Eye Needle
  • Instructions with photo


Staggered Spiral Bracelet Kit

The "Staggered Spiral" Petals Bracelet is bold and makes a statement!
Every time I wear this bracelet I get compliments. It's fun. The Staggered Spiral Petals Bracelet is composed of Pressed Glass Petals and a balanced mixture of 8/0 and 6/0 seed beads. The Button & Loop closure is fabulous and is a technique that can be used over and over and over again. The patt e rn is written for a beaded  portion that ranges anywhere from 6 1/2" to 7" (depending on  beads and braider). There are enough beads to make the bracelet a little longer and beads can be  eliminated for a shorter bracelet. The Button & Loop Closure facilitates a deg ree of flexibility in sizing and the pattern insert, with
 sizing tips, is helpful too. With this kit you will make an all beaded bracelet and you will learn the Button & Loop  closure technique. You will Need:  Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins, Measuring Tape, Scis sors, Needle and Heavy Duty Thread (to sew through braid),  Glue (I like WeldBond - available at Ace Hardware stores and some craft stores).  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:
  • 33 Pressed Glass Petals
  • 1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord (you will have plenty for additionalprojects)
  • 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads
  • 6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads
  • Button & Barrel for Closure
  • Wide Eye Needle
  • Instructions with Photos
  • Available in 6 colorways: Turquoise (New), Vitral Aquamarine (New), Bronze (New), Hematite, Opaque Neutral (New) and Milky Picasso Brick (New)! 

    Click here to see all Kumihimo Bracelet Kits
Designer Ribbons & Shimmer Tubular Yarn
It is fun to try new fibers. Experiment! It's fun to blend and combine different fibers. You can mix and match and come up with your own great  combinations. Embellish with beads. Do whatever you like! Now available:

Designer Ribbon: 10 yards skein/ $5
3 Colors:  Deep Green, Wine, Chartreuse 
Small glass beads embedded in the ribbon add a pretty but subtle sparkle. 
I used the Designer Ribbon in my Designer  Candy Cane Kit . But, you can use it any way that you like! Try something new!


Shimmer Tubular Yarn   10 yard skein/ $4
9 colors: Teal, Silver, Eggplant, Champagne, Citrus, Olive, Mauve, P ine, Midnight
I mixed the Shimmer Tubular Yarn with Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon in  the  3 Braid Necklace Kits and also in the Enameled Metal Pendant Necklace Kits . It also combines nicely with Gimp and Satin. One 8 strand braid works with a 6mm end cap.

Click here to see all Kumihimo Braiding Fibers!
Kumihimo 3 Braid Necklace with Ribbon & Shimmering Yarn
This necklace is very easy to make and is made up of three gorgeous braids comprised of 3 different colors of KRR (Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon) and coordinating Shimmering Tubular Yarn. Once braided, the three braids blend together beautifully. I have written the pattern for a finished length of 24" (plus or minus depending on braider). You can make the necklace shorter if you like. The finished braids are threaded through the focal element and the end caps are attached. It's that easy! Enjoy! This necklace is great for all levels of braiders. 
You will need : Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins, Scissors, Measuring Tape, Needle & Thread, Glue. 
You should know:  Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi). This would also be a fun necklace using other braid structures. 

Kit includes:
  • 3 skeins Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
  • 3 skeins Shimmering Tubular Yarn
  • Focal Motif
  • Straight Magnetic Closure 
  • Instructions with Photos
  • Available in 3 Color Palettes:
    Brights, Sunset, Blues

      Click here for Kumihimo Necklace Kits.



Kumihimo Tip #36 - Some Talk About Magatama Beads
Miyuki Magatama beads come in two shapes - 4mm Magatama and the  4 x 7mm Long Magatama, the latter being the Magatama you see most often in Kumihimo. These "curved beads" are cut at a slight angle from front to back. The hole is near the top, like a drop bead. When strung, magatama beads form a variety of looks. The Magatama beads can be strung uni formly to get a very consistent and even look (photo below).

4 x 7 Magatamas can also be strung, in a particular sequence, such that when braided they make a fringe (photo left) like my  Magatama Fringe Necklace Kit

4x7 Magatama beads can also be strung randomly with the end result being more "textured". The  Clunky, Funky & Fun Magatama Bracelet Kit is a good example of stringing Magatama beads randomly. See the BE MINE Valentine Bracelet Kit (below).


Pip Beads 
Made in the Czech Republic, these glass Pip Beads can be used as beads, pendants or grouped together like the  Pip Cluster Bead Necklace Kit . They are small in size but very versatile. 

Size: 5m x 7mm

Sold: 13 grams/pkg (80-90 beads)

Available in 5 colors: Crystal AB, Blue Rainbow, Travertine, Hematite and Silver Coated

 Click here for Pip Cluster Bead Necklace Kit.  
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it is not appropriate to "borrow" parts of a copyrighted pattern. 

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