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

Monthly Newsletter                                                                            July  2015

Kit of the Month #1: Kumihimo Hammered Accent Bracelet with Ribbon & Satin
Kit of the Month #2: Kumihimo Glazed Donut Edge Bead Necklace
Kit of the Month #3: Kumihimo Split Braid Necklace with Glazed Donut
Yatsu Kongoh or Round Braid - 101 "Z" Spiral & "S" Spiral
Try Something New! Edo Yatsu Tutorial for Disk and Marudai
Sale Goodies!!!
Kumihimo Links...




Hello Braiders,
Hope you had a great 4th of July filled with family, friends, celebrating and fireworks!

Summer is here. Sunshine, blue sky, BBQs, mountain biking, playing in my garden, wildflowers, birds chirping...it's beautiful. The photo is of Lake Tahoe where I grew up and I still live quite close. Very grateful!

I have 3 Kits this month. The first is brand new 
Glazed Donut Edge Bead Necklace
and the other two are "oldies, but goodies".  For those of y ou that have "Liked" my Facebook page, you got the mid-month announcement about the Glazed Donut kits. They have been selling quickly!  All of my kits are designed with a "technique" in mind. Once you understand and master a new technique, you can use that technique in any way that you like. 

For those of you keen on learning about braids, you'll enjoy "Yatsu Kongoh 101" and "Try Something New - Edo Yatsu" (see below). 

I also have tons of Kumihimo Tips  on my website and these are a wealth of info. They have been accumulating for the last five years or so!  Most of the time, I have already answered your questions in the hints and tips. 

Happy Braiding,


KIT OF THE MONTH - Kumihimo Hammered Accent Bracelet with Ribbon & Satin
Isn't this fun! Check out the colors as they blend and change from one end to the other. This bracelet is very easy to make and it looks awesome. Every time I wear it, I get stopped. This is a great way to learn to braid with two different fibers, in this case, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Petite Satin Cord. 

You will need:
Kumihimo Disk (any size), 8 bobbins, scissors, tape measure, sewing needle and thread and glue.
You should know: 8 strand Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh). Pattern is easily adapted to the Marudai. Use leader threads on your tama so you can get full use of the length of your braiding cords!

Kit includes:
  • 10 yards of Petite Satin Cord
  • 1 Skein Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon (KRR)
  • Hammered Metal Accent Focal
  • 2 Sliders
  • 1 8mm All-in-one Magnetic Glue in End Cap
  • Instructions
Cost:  $24

Available in 9 color combinations!

Kumihimo Glazed Donut Edge Bead Necklace Kit
Glazed Donut Edge Bead Necklace
These are selling quickly! This one might look familiar but it hasn't been around for a while. First created in 2012, this fun kit shows another solution for attaching a donut pendant to a Kumihimo braid as well as teaches the "edge bead" technique. There is enough material in the kit to make a necklace as long as 24"; my preference is around 19" to 20". You will need: Kumihimo Disk (any size), 8 bobbins, scissors, tape measure, needle & thread and glue. You should know: Kumihimo 8 strand Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi).

Kit includes:
  • 12 yards Petite Satin Cord
  • 1 Glazed Donut Pendant
  • Miyuki / Toho 6/0 Seed Beads
  • 2 Large Hole Beads
  • 1 6mm All-in-one Glue In Magnetic Closure
  • Instructions
Cost: $25

Kumihimo Split Braid Necklace with Glazed Donut
Splitting your Kumihimo braid is a great technique to have in your tool bag. Most of the time it would be too bulky to simply attach a braid to a pendant with a Lark's Head Knot. With this technique, you start with a 16 strand braid, split to an 8 strand braid, form a loop (that you will later attach to your donut) and then continue with your 16 strand braid. There is enough cord in this kit to make a 26" necklace or probably even longer. You will need: Kumihimo Disk (any size), 16 bobbins, scissors, tape measure, sewing thread and needle and glue. You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh with 8 and 16 strands).

Kit includes:
  • 4 skeins 100% Cotton, 100% Colorfast & Double Mercerized DMC Embroidery Floss
  • Glazed Donut Pendant
  • 4mm All-in-one Glue in Magnetic Closure
  • Instructions
Cost: $16

Kumihimo Rayon Gimp and Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
Another shipment just arrived! 

19 Colors of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon. 10 
meter skeins / $6.00

21 colors of Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. 10 meter skein / $8

Yatsu-Kongoh-gumi, Yatsu-kongoh, Round Braid 101
Yatsu Kongoh, Round Braid, Yatsu Kongoh Gumi...these are all names for the same braid (and there may be more names). This is the 8 strand braid that most people first learn when they are introduced to Kumihimo. It is a versatile braid that lends itself to endless possibilities and seems to be the best braid structure for dropped beads (beads that are braided into the braid structure). The Yatsu-Kongoh is often thought of as "Left Bottom Up, Right Top Down, Rotate" or "Right Top Down, Left Bottom Up, Rotate". Both sequences are exactly the same so it does not matter which way you were taught. 

It should be pointed out that there is a Yatsu-Kongoh "Z" and and Yatsu-Kongoh "S" meaning that one braid has a "Z" spiral and the other has an "S" spiral. Check out the photo and you'll see that the "backbone" of the letter "Z" is in line with the diagonal line in the braid and the "backbone" of the letter "S" is in line with the diagonal on the other braid. 

The Yatsu Kongoh "Z" is created with the braiding sequence of "left up, right down" (or right down, left up). This is the structure most people learn first. This is a "clockwise" movement.

The Yatsu Kongoh "S" is created with the braiding sequence of "left down, right up" (or right up , left down). This is a "counter-clockwise" movement. 


Wh en the "Z" and the "S" are combined, the result is a reverse spiral and you wil l see the "Z" and "S" alternating.
I offer a very easy tutorial for the Reverse Spiral Braid.  Scroll to almost the end of the "kits" page!

Needless to say, there are many, many intriguing braid structures but don't underestimate the Yatsu Kongoh as the possibilities are endless with this incredibly versatile braid. 

P.S. For the Yatsu Kongoh, it doesn't matter which way you rotate the disk. Don't believe me? Give it a try!

P.S. S. If you are interested in good resources for braiding on the foam disk and plate you need to get two great books by Makiko Tada:

If you need more (who could possibly have enough?) foam disks and plates, I have the Hamanaka 6" Disks, Hamanaka Plates, Beadsmith 6" Disks with Handle, Beadsmith Mini Disks and Beadsmith Thick Mini Disks. 

Need more bobbins? I have these too and they are the super nice quality plastic bobbins that never disappoint! 

Try Something New - Edo Yatsu
Kumihimo is fascinating. There are ka-zillions of gorgeous braid structures; some that are easy and some that are very intricate and difficult. Some braiders are happy with the basics and some will want to explore and try new braids. 

Over the next few newsletters, I will be introducing some new braids that can be done on the disk and the Marudai. 

The braid I will talk about this time is the Edo Yatsu. It is another 8 strand braid; considered round in some books and hollow in others. Instead of the elements moving across the disk (or mirror if you are on a Marudai) the elements in the Edo Yatsu structure go around the disk (mirror) thus creating a hollow (and round) braid. 

Often, when I am playing with new braids or teaching a class, I suggest that braiders use a cotton yarn like Patons Grace. That is what I have used in all of the braids above. In some of the braids above, I have used one end per element and in some of the braids I have used 2 ends per element. In this way, I get a braid that is twice as thick but still only 8 elements! You can see some of the braids are in pairs; one thinner and one thicker.

Kumihimo Foam Disk

The first set of diagrams shows how to braid the Edo Yatsu on a foam disk. You may use a 6" disk or a mini and it will not make any difference. I prefer the mini disk! It is also important when you are learning new braid structures to look at the Point of Braid (or point of braiding). This is your beacon - when you get lost, the structure in the point of braid is what you need to get back to! 

To get started, select two colors of whatever fiber you would like to use. I usually cut my sample strands at 24" each. That would be 4 strands Col A at 24"  and 4 strands Col B at 24". You could also cut 2 stands of each color each 48"(twice as long, half as many) and fold in the middle. Position your threads on the disk as shown in the instructions and start experimenting.  You should take a look at  the  diagrams, make note of  the  movements, braid a few sequences and  then  put  the  diagrams away. I have placed the colors in this exercise so that you are always moving the same colors in the N & S moves (i.e. in sequences 1 & 2 you move N=Green and S=Green) and the same colors in the E & W moves (i.e. in sequences 3 & 4 you move E=Green and W=Green). If you get to a place where you are not moving like colors, then you know you made a mistake. Once you have the braid mastered, you may place the colors where you like and discover fun new patterns.
(N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West)



If you are braiding on a Marudai, here are the braiding diagrams that you need. You should take a look at the diagrams, make mental notes of the movements, braid a few sequences and then put the diagrams away. Certainly it would be easier if I was sitting next to you but since that won't work I can only share what I do. When I braid on the Marudai, I look at the braiding sequence, note the moves, create a little mantra that will help me remember and then I put the diagrams away. With the Edo Yatsu, I would see that moves 1 and 2 are both clockwise moves and 3 and 4 are both counterclockwise moves. So I know starting the braid that I will make two clockwise moves and then two counter clockwise moves. I can also see that within each of those moves I am always hopping one element. In step one I would pick up both my North and South elements and in a clockwise direction I would "hop one". In sequence #2, right where I have set down my first two elements, I pick up the neighbors and "hop one". The first 2 sequences are complete. Sequences 3 and 4 are the same moves but going counterclockwise. My "mantra", for lack of a better word right now, might go something like "hop one, hop one" (1 & 2) and then "hop one, hop one" (3 & 4). After you are more experienced, you will also be noting uppers and lowers to direct your moves but you can save that for later! Cut 8 strands as noted above. You may want to cut them a little longer for the Marudai. Place the colors in the same positions as described above.


(R=Right, L=Left)



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!
Sale Items 
Grab 'em while I have them!

Toggle, Swirl and Hook & Eye Glue in End Caps

3.2 and 6.2 Silver Hook & Eye Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each
3.2 and 6.2 Silver Swirl Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each
3.2 and 6. 2 Silver Toggle Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each

3.2 and 6.2 Gold Hook & Eye Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each
3.2 and 6.2 Gold Swirl Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each
3.2 and 6.2 Gold Toggle Glue in End Caps $1.25 / each

Assorted 8/0 Miyuki and Toho Seed Beads  
Click here.... $1.15 to $1.60 / 11 grams

Assorted 6/0 Miyuki and Toho Seed Beads

Knitting & Kumihimo Trip - 2016
Guanajuato & San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
The 2016 Knitting & Kumihimo Trip has been announced and we are going to Guanajuato & San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Feb. 28 to March 11, 2016).

The trip is filled and the waiting list is growing. I say, with positive suggestion, if you are interested you should sign up. Alot can happen between now and February 2016 and if you are meant to be on this trip, it could just work out. I believe in SERENDIPITY!

Gentle Reminder!
I speak for myself and several others. Kumihimo is busting at the seams. There are creative ideas everywhere. We are inspired, all the time, by the things that we see. It's fun to experiment, it's fun to be proud of what you have created but if you are using somebody else's pattern (or design), please give them credit. If you are selling those items on Etsy or another site, give the designer credit. If you decide you want to write a tutorial, make sure you write it with all of your own words.  Copyrighted patterns are not to be copied, shared electronically, given to friends & members of the guild or used for teaching purposes without express consent of the author. Thank you. Be respectful.


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