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Monthly Newsletter                                                                            May  2015

Kit of the Month #1 - "Kumihimo Double Banded Bracelet Kit (Spiral)
Kit of the Month #2 - Kumihimo Double Banded Bracelet Kit (Spot)
Kit of the Month #3 - Kumihimo Rayon Gimp & Circle Hook Bracelet Kit
NEW! More Glue-in Magnetic End Caps & Findings
My Article in CNCHnet - "Kumihimo - The Perfect Portable Project"
Kumihimo Tip of the Month #33 Best Tip Ever
What I Love about the Kumihimo Handle
15% OFF ALL Kumihimo Books
My Vacation
Kumihimo Links...




Hello Braiders,
Thanks for indulging me in a little vacation the last week of April.  I travel alot, but most of the time it is "working" travel and this time it was just PLAY! It was nice to have some "fun" time with my husband. He is very patient with me and "my 24 hours a day" Kumihimo business and often doesn't get the attention he deserves because I am either concentrating or counting.  We visited family and friends and road mountain bikes in Moab, UT and had a blast. It was beautiful. Really beautiful. 

Karen Huntoon©2015
I had alot of fun creating the May Kit s of the Month. I call these bracelets the "Double Banded Bracelet" and the "Gimp & Circle Hook Bracelet". They are they are quick, easy and  fun to make.  Braid a bunch to keep on hand - they make great gifts!

I also added alot of new Glue-in Magnetic 
End Caps as well as other fun findings. I have included photos showing you what thickness of  braid(s) fit(s) in each style. Love these new options. I hope you will like them.

Kumihimo Tip of the Month #33 is probably the most valuable thing I will ever share with you. Read it and learn it. 

I am sorry that some 0f you missed out on the Enamel Pendant Kits last month.  GOOD NEWS! I have been working with the artist and she is making more pendants to match the Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon! Stay tuned. I am aiming to have these no later than June and maybe sometime in May!

As always, thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support of What a Knit. I really do appreciate all of you and your orders. I feel like I know so many of you through our emails and phone calls. I am always happy to help and answer questions. Just send me an email. 

Happy Braiding,


Kit of the Month #1
Kumihimo Double Banded Bracelet with Hammered Accent Kit (Spiral)
The Double Banded Bracelet with Hammered Accent Slider is another super fun, quick and easy project. The hardest part is waiting for the glue to dry so you can try it on and show if off to your friends. 

The braid structure is the Round Braid and the kit provides two patterns; Simple Spiral and Double Wide Spiral. You can buy any of these kits an swap the pattern. 

You need to know :
Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi).

Each kit contains: 
- Petite Satin Cord
- Hammered Accent Slider
- Colorful Spacers
- Magnetic Glue-in End Cap 
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos

Cost: $18

Click here to get your kit (s)!

Kit of the Month #2
Kumihimo Double Banded Bracelet with Hammered Accent Kit (Spot)

This is the same as the Double Banded Bracelet above except for the patterns. This braid uses 6 elements of one color and 2 elements of another color creating a spot pattern. The Spiral (above) has a 50/50 split on colors. The braid structure is the Round Braid and the kit provides two patterns; Spot and Big Spot. You can buy any of these kits an swap the pattern. 

You need to know :
Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi).

Each kit contains: 
- Petite Satin Cord
- Hammered Accent Slider
- Colorful Spacers
- Magnetic Glue-in End Cap 
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos

Cost: $18

Click here to get your kit (s)!


Kit of the Month #3
Kumihimo Rayon Gimp & Circle Hook Bracelet Kit
Karen Huntoon©2015

For those of you that follow my Facebook page or visited www.whataknit.com mid-month, you already know about this fun kit. 

You should know:
Round Braid (Kongoh)

Kit includes:
- 1 skein of KRG (Kumihimo Rayon Gimp)
- 1 Circle Hook & Slider Set
-  Instructions with Photos

Kit Cost: $18.00   

NEW Glue-in Magnetic End Caps & Fun Findings
Flower Magnetic End Caps  $7 each
Zinc with Silver, Brass or Copper Plating
L 26mm, I.D. 10mm x 7mm 
Lead, Nickel & Cadmium Free

 Double 8 strand Round Braids (Gimp - Left and Petite Satin - Right)

Antique Silver, Antique Brass, Shiny Gold


Straight Magnetic End Caps    $7 each
L 22mm, I.D. 10mm x 7mm

Double 8 strand Round Braids (Gimp - Left and Petite Satin - Right)

Antique Silver, Antique Brass, Antique Copper, Shiny Gold

  Dotted Tubular Magnetic End Caps  $7.50

L 22mm, 8mm diameter, I.D. 5mm (generous)
Made of Zinc
Lead, Nickel & Cadmium-Free  

Single 8 strand Round Braid (Gimp - Left and Petite Satin Cord - Right)


Circle Hooks and Sliders  $8.00/set
Karen Huntoon©2015

Zinc plated with Antique Copper, Antique Silver, Antique Brass & Shiny Gold (not shown)



Photo with Double 8 strand Round Braids of Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. Double strands of Petite Satin and other similarly sized braids would work perfectly too!

My Published Article - "Kumihimo - The Perfect Portable Project"
CNCHnet  . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers  i nvited me to write an article on "Portable Projects". And what could be better than Kumihimo?

While writing my article, I contacted Makiko Tada and learned how the Hamanaka foam disk came to be. I thought her story was very interesting. 

Click here to read the entire article "Kumihimo - The Perfect Portable Project"

What is CNCH? The Conference of Northern California Handweavers, Inc. was founded in 1953 to further the art and appreciation of the craft of handweaving.  Today the member Guilds of CNCH embrace all fiber arts associated with weaving.  The membership includes not only weavers, but also dyers, basketmakers, and spinners. The member Guilds of CNCH are from five Northern California and Northern Nevada areas. The focus is always to promote the education and the appreciation of the fiber arts.  CNCH sponsors an annual conference and produces an online quarterly publication (CNCHnet). For those of you residing in Northern California,  you might want to check out CNCH. They have wonderful conferences with alot of great things to learn. I taught at the CNCH Conference in Squaw Valley a few years ago and it was a highlight for me. 


Kumihimo Tip of the Month #33
Oh no, I lost my place ? This could be one of the most valuable things that I ever share with you. Read carefully! 

It seems that when everyone learns to braid the Kongoh (often referred to as the Round Braid), they learn the "leave three at the top" rule so you know where to start when you go back to braiding. This, however, only works for pre-meditated stops and starts. If you accidentally drop your disk or get interrupted without "leaving three at the top", don't worry! Here's another way to "find your way".

Learn to read your  braid. This is something that you should get in the habit of doing and as you braid more this will become second nature. Learning to "read" your braid is invaluable. 

What I will share was first explained to me by one of my dearest teachers, Rodrick Owen. He kept telling me to look at my "uppers" and "lowers" to direct my next move. 
Karen Huntoon©2015

First of all, look at the photo of the disk. In the center of the disk, where the elements (strands) intersect, this is called the Point of Braid (POB). Each braid structure has it's own unique point of braid. The Point of Braid in this photo represents the 8 strand Kongoh also known as the round braid. This is the braid almost everyone learns first.

Look closely and you will see the N (left) and S (right) elements are resting on top of the E and W pairs. Let's say I just did a sequence of moves. For example, the element that now rests in the North (left) and the element in the South (right) positions were my last sequence of moves. They are on top of the black elements. This makes the silver elements the "uppers" because they are on top of the blacks. Since the uppers designate the last elements you moved (they are "on top"), the next move always has to be the "lowers". So, the next time you drop your disk, don't fret! Just pick up your disk, look at the POB, determine which elements are on top, t urn your disk so the lowers are in the N & S positions, and you are ready to braid. You always move your lowers. "Lowers" are your friend.   

Think of this as a simple 3 step process:
1. Look at POB (Point of Braid)
2. Determine which elements are "uppers" (your last move).
3. Orient disk so lowers (always your next move) are in N & S, and start braiding.  

I hope this helps you. I know it has been a HUGE if not GIGANTIC  "ah-ha" for alot of students in my classes. This is easier to show in a class but I HOPE I have explained it well enough for you. I am happy to answer questions, karen@whataknit.com.

Beadsmith Kumihimo HANDLE - More Feedback
Oh wow! The response has been terrific to the Beadsmith Kum ihimo Handle and new disks.

If you haven't tried, them please do. I keep ordering more and more and m ore! Those of you that know me, know that I don't cheer for a product unless I use it and like it. 

I have been braiding samples non-stop and I have used the Beadsmith Handle for everything. All of the new bracelets in this months kits, were braided on the 1omm ( regular thickness) MINI disk with the Handle. I loved it. Infact, it started feeling weird to braid without the Handle. 

When I am braiding with Petite Satin, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and C-Lon Tex 400 (the products I carry so can speak to), I use the Handle paired with the 10mm (regular thickness) MINI Disk. Works beautifully, braids are beautiful. I can braid quickly, the point of braid sys centered, the tension on the elements is just right. It's all good.

I also braided several all beaded braids using the Handle and had great success. When I am braiding with C-Lon (or S-Lon) Beadcord with 8/0 seed beads, I use the Beadsmith Handle paired with the 20mm (new thick) MINI Disk. I have one hand on the Handle and with my other hand I lift the element, the bead slides down and into place and I rotate the disk for my next move. Simple. Quick. Clean. I also experimented with a combination of 8/0, 6/0 and Pip Beads and it worked like a charm (photo right).

It was very easy, on the THICK MINI, to maintain the correct tension on the C-Lon Beadcord and it was easy to keep the point of braiding centered. 

So my vote is:

Mini Disk + Handle = Fiber only braids

Thick Mini + Handle = Beaded Braids with BeadCord

Click here to shop for Kumihimo Disks!
Just for the Fun of it - Book Sale: All Books 15% OFF
These are some of my favorite Kumihimo Books! For a limited time (until May 10th) or while supplies last, take advantage of this opportunity to expand your Kumihimo library! 

Click this link to visit the Kumihimo Bookstore! 

Preciosa Pip Beads - Up to 15% Off
Pip Beads are fun to incorporate into your Kumihimo braids. 

On sale now, limited quantities!

Regularly $5.55 to $8.00 / pkg (95-98 beads)

Now $3.50 to $5.00 / pkg (95-98 beads)
Southern Utah -  Our Colorful Vacation
These are just a few of the hundreds of pictures that I took on our recent road trip to Southern Utah. We had a spectacular time. We stayed with my husband's sister, who ironically enough, is also named Karen Huntoon. We got a few good laughs when I learned that she gets calls about beading and Kumihimo just as I get emails, from time to time, asking if I am the Karen Huntoon who was a 5-time world champion skier! 

We had a great trip. The few thunderstorms we weathered served to make the skies very interesting and the rain brought out an intensity in the desert colors that was magnificent. My mom, a very talented artist, has always suggested to look at nature for color inspiration. She says Mother Nature has the best eye for color and it's true. 

We hiked, rode bikes on the slick rock trails, explored around Deadhorse Point State Park and Arches National Park and "Yelped" our way to many great culinary discoveries and delights. Getting away is always good for the soul. 

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