Monthly Newsletter                                                                            January   2016

NEW Name, NEW Look!
5 Cluster Bauble Beaded Necklace Kit
New Goodies!
Kumihimo Beaded Pip Cluster Necklace Kit
Kumihimo Magatama Fringe Necklace Kit
Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace Kit
Some Talk About Disks!
Kumihimo Links...


Hello Braiders, 

Happy, Happy New Year. A BIG thank you to all of you
Zuka, my assistant.
for making my year so wonderful. I appreciate your enthusiasm, creativity, loyalty and friendships. The best to all of you in 2016.

As you may have noticed, I have made some changes. BIG CHANGES! I changed by business name and my website. Holy toledo!

I started out in 2010 with my business called What a Knit. My interest was knitting and just for fun I created a website, WHAT A KNIT. Not long after, my mom taught me Kumihimo. I loved it, started teaching and added Kumihimo items to my website. 6 years later with a thriving Kumihimo business, I decided that the name needed to change to reflect what I am actually doing. Hence, the birth of WHAT A BRAID.  My new website is More details below!

This month I have brought back some kits that you have requested as well as added new colors to several current kits. I have also added some fun new beads and end caps for embellishing & finishing your braids. 

P.S. Special Bulletin! If you have something great to share and would like to be the Kumihimo Artist of the Month, please submit photos to

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!

Fresh Beginnings!
The start of a new year welcomes fresh beginnings. That's why I chose January 2016 to unveil the "new look and feel" of my business. I am really excited to announce my new and improved website, I am thrilled with it and I hope it makes your braiding & shopping experiences more pleasurable. 

The new site features:
New - Look!
New - Name!
New - Create your own personal account (optional)!
New - Easier to navigate between your cart and shopping!
New - Thumbnail photos make it easier to remember what you put in your cart!
New - Easier to search for kits and products!
New - Easy checkout!
New - Mobile friendly format!

What a Braid (aka What a Knit) will continue to provide the same quality products, innovative kits, superior customer service, orders packed with TLC, same day shipping (most of the time) and the same Monthly Newsletter.

What a Braid accepts: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal. 

I would love to hear what you think. If you run into a hiccup or have any suggestions, I am all ears. Please send me an email at

5 Cluster Bauble Beaded Necklace Kit - 3 New Colors

This is one of those very versatile necklaces that can be dressed up for an elegant affair or it can be dressed down for a more casual look. The special thing about this necklace is the nesting of the seed beads around the Bauble Beads. Take a look at the "close-up" photo and you will see what I mean. While this is an easy kit, it probably isn't a beginner kit. I would say that the braider should have had a little bit of practice with dropping beads before diving into this project. The overall beaded design is color-blocked with hints of contrast color or "spot".
There are five clusters with the one in the center slightly larger (more Baubles) than those on the sides. Also notice the very nice Acrylic Glue-in Magnetic End caps. They are a super compliment to the necklace. And the magnets are super strong! You'll like these. The finished length is around 18" to 19" (depending on braider). You will need: Kumihimo Disk (I really suggest the  BeadSmith THICK Mini ($3.75) - the thickness of the disk will help manage the tension of the finer BeadCord and heavier Baubles), 8 Bobbins (I used small plastic EZ Bobbins), 45 grams counterweight (I used a Hexnut and mini clamp from Home depot), Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle & Thread or Zapper, Flat Nose Pliers-optional and Glue (I use WeldBond). You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (also known as tKongoh Gumi) and How to Drop Beads. If you need a refresher check out Kumihimo Tip #14.

Kit includes:
- 1 spool of C-Lon Bead Cord (you will have extra for another project)
- 3 colors 8/0 Toho/Miyuki Seed Beads
- Bauble Beads
- Acrylic Magnetic End Caps
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos
- 6 color ways 
- Cost: $34.00

N ew Items!

Bauble Beads
- 8mm
- Top  Drilled
- 25 Baubles/pkg
- 5 c olors
- $4/pkg

These are the Bauble Beads that I feature in the 5 Cluster bauble Beaded Necklace Kit.

Porcelain Pony Beads 
- Diameter: 11mm
- Height: 7mm
- Hole: 6mm
- 10 colors
- $.85 / each

These brilliantly cored porcelain Pony Beads are just the right size to slide onto an 8 strand braid made of Petite Satin Cord or a combination of fibers that yield a similar size braid (i.e. Petite Satin combined with Ribbon or Gimp).  Click here for Porcelain Pony Beads.

Porcelain Cheerio Beads

- Diameter: 11mm
- Height: 4.5mm 
- Hole: 6mm 
- 5 colors
- $.50/each 

Use the porcelain Cheerio Beads the same way as the Pony Beads (above).  Click here for Porcelain Cheerio Beads.

Flower End Cap (Large Hole)
- 15.7mm x 13mm
- Hole: 10mm 
- $1.95 / each 

Making a long lariat type necklace and you want to cap the ends? Here's an option for you. Simply glue these end caps to the ends of your braids. Note, the hole size is 10mm. Think along the lines of a braided rope made with 6/0 seed beads or a "braid" made up of multiple braids.   Click here for Flower End Caps. 

  Round End Cap (Large Hole)
- 10mm x 12mm
- Hole: 10mm 
- $1.75 / each 
Making a long lariat type necklace and you want to cap the ends? Here's an option for you. Simply glue these end caps to the ends of your braids. Note, the hole size is 10mm. Click here for Round End Caps. 

Beaded Pip Cluster Necklace Kit - Back by Popular Demand!
Start the New Year with some sparkle! This mixture of techniques, from past kits, combines braiding with beads and the Cluster Bead Necklace (2011). The Preciosa Pip beads are a great style - not too big and not too small.  This adjustable length necklace is made with 8/0 seed beads and 5 "clusters" of Pip beads. The beaded portion measures right around 16" with 6" of braided tails on either end. The necklace slips over your head and you can adjust the length of the necklace depending on what you are wearing. I like this flexibility.  You will need: Kumihimo 6" or mini disk (a newer disk with tighter slots is recommended), 8 Bobbins, Tape Measure, Scissors, Fray Check or Fray Block .  You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid and how to "drop" beads. For a tutorial for dropping beads click here,  Kumihimo Tip #14.
Kit includes:
- C-Lon Bead Cord
- 8/0 Toho and /or Miyuki Seed Beads
- Preciosa Pip Beads
- Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos
- 5 color ways
- $30 to $34

Kumihimo Magatama Fringe Necklace Kit - 2 New Colors!
I call this the Kumihimo Magatama Fringe Necklace because the Magatama Beads  look like fringe!  This necklace has seed beads on the inner edge and Magatama Beads on the outer edge. To achieve this design element, the beads are strung in a particular sequence. The style of this necklace is well suited for shorter lengths however, I have provided enough material in the kit to make up to a 20" necklace. The instructions are written for the longest length (20") but you can easily adjust the size to any length simply by choosing where you want to finish & trim the end sections.  You will need:  Kumihimo Disk,  8 Bobbins,  Scissors,  Tape Measure,  Needle and Thread,  Glue (like Weldbond) You should know:  Kumihimo Round Braid Basics (Kongoh Gumi),  How to "drop" beads in a Kumihimo 8 strand round braid. If you don' know how to braid with beads or you just need a refresher,  check out Kumihimo Tip #14 .
Kit includes:
- Instructions with photos for making necklace
- Tips with photos for finishing ends and attaching end caps
- Petite Satin Cord (enough for 20" necklace)
- Miyuki Magatama Beads
- Miyuki or Toho 6/0 Seed Beads
- 6mm All in One Magnetic End Caps
- 11 color ways (2 New)
- $15 to $17 

Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace Kit - 6 New Colors!
Believe it or not, this is an 8 strand Kumihimo Round Braid. The addition of the beads makes the beaded section "appear" to be a flat braid but it is indeed the round braid. I call this "Duo" because there are beads on both sides of the braid. It's a quick braid with a great look and lots of appeal. You can make it more casual with matte beads or more dressy with the sparkling silver lined beads. Whichever you choose, you'll love it. The style of this necklace is well suited for shorter lengths however I have provided enough material in the kit to make up to a 20" necklace; my preference is closer to 17". Finished lengths include end caps & closure. The instructions are written for the longest length (20") but you can easily adjust the size to any length simply by choosing
where you want to finish & trim the end sections. You can also make bracelets using the same technique.  You will need:  Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins, Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle and Thread, Glue (like Weldbond).  You should know:  Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi) and how to drop beads. 
If you need a refresher see Kumihimo Tip #14.
Kit includes :
- Instructions with photos for
making necklace - Tips with photos for finishing ends and attaching end caps
- Petite Satin Cord (enough for 20" necklace)
- 6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads
- 6mm All in One Magnetic End Caps
- 24 color ways (6 New)
Kumihimo Tip #35 - Some Talk About Disks
I'm talking about the round foam disks with 32 slots.  The Foam Disk makes learning to braid affordable and once you are completely addicted to Kumihimo, the foam disk is small enough to put in your purse so you can braid any time. One customer says she braids when she is in her car and stopped in traffic! The foam disk is convenient when you are waiting for an appointment not to mention traveling on airplanes, etc. I wrote a short article for CNCHNet, Kumihimo - The Perfect Portable Project. I think the Foam Disk is a very valuable tool. 

As Kumihimo has evolved so have the foam disks. They come in different diameters, different thicknesses and nowadays different shapes. I will limit this discussion to the round disks that I have in my shop. 

The original disk 6" Hamanaka Disk is the fabulous invention of Makiko Tada. The disk is lightweight, easy to hold and the dense foam provides just the right amount of tension to hold the cords taut. There are plenty of knock-offs but, in my opinion, the Hamanaka is the best. I have used several and after years of use (and I use my disks alot) my Hamanaka Disk is the best. The original Hamanaka 6" disk is 10mm thick. I like this disk for Petite Satin Cord, Yarn, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp and C-Lon Tex 400.

The next disk for discussion, the BeadSmith Mini, is the same thickness as the Hamanaka (10mm) but it is only 4.25" in diameter. I got my first mini disk when I was building Kid's Kumihimo Starter Kits. I thought "small hands, smaller disk". To make sure everything worked in my new instructions, I played with the small disk alot. I learned it is not just for kids. Infact, many adults like it better than the larger 6" disk. You can braid with the same fibers that you use on the 6" disk and the resulting braids are identical. I happen to love the mini disk. If it gives you any indication of my addiction to Kumihimo, I can fit several Mini Disks into my purse at one time! 

Lastly, there is the disk that I refer to as the BeadSmith Thick Mini.  It's fantastic but it's not for everything.  The Thick Mini is 4.25"in diameter and twice as thick as the original disk. At 20mm, the thickness of this disk is best
designed to hold consistent tension on finer cords. I recommend the Thick  Mini for any of my Kits  that use C-Lon BeadCord (finer diameter than  C-Lon Tex 400). Since I often pair C-Lon BeadCord with 8/0 Beaded Necklaces, this is when I use my Thick Mini. I do NOT use the thick disk for cords like Petite Satin, Ribbon and Gimp. 

I also recommend that you have several disks on hand. I keep some for using with thicker cord and some to use with finer cords, i.e., I wouldn't use the same disk for Rug Yarn that I would use with embroidery floss. 

Never be afraid to experiment. Use my insights as "soft" guidelines but do what feels best for you. 

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. 

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