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Monthly Newsletter                                                                            September  2015

Kits of the Month: HO, HO, HO Happy Holidays Kits
Tis the Season - Oldies but Goodies Kits
Holiday Findings
NEW COLORS! Three Braid Necklace with Focal Motif
Re-Stocked & New Colors - KRR & KRG
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Jennifer de Jung
Try Something New! Kusari Kaku Yatsu Tutorial for Disk and Marudai
Kumihimo Links...



Hello Braiders,
September already! Where has the summer gone? I don't
want to rush away the last few warm weeks, but I am introducing some new project kits for the Ho, Ho, Ho Holidays!! Whether you are making gifts for others or decorations, there never seems to be enough time so let's get started now! I have an array of red, white and green projects!

I am also introducing 4 NEW colors for the "Kumihimo Three Braid Necklace with Focal Motif" and I have brought back last months three favorite colors. These are alot of fun and they are versatile because of all of the colors. 


Last month the "Try Something New" b r aid
was the Kaku Yatsu. This month you'll enjoy the Kusari Kaku Yatsu, another square braid. I have included braiding sequences for both the Foam Disk as well as the Marudai. Do you find this useful and fun? Are you experimenting? I encourage you to try these braids and broaden your braiding skills. It's fun!

A warm thanks to ALL of you for your continued enthusiasm, appreciation and support. You are all wonderful. You make my days bright (and busy)!

Happy Braiding,


Ho, Ho, Ho Happy Holidays - Kits!   - It's Not Too Early!  
Tis  the Season !   
Before you know it "that" time of the year will be upon us. So, why not get started early? Start  your holiday gift giving projects now or simply make something nice for yourself.  These are all quick and easy projects. Kits include everything you need to make the project. You supply your own disk! Have fun!

Here are great projects for the holidays. They are all very easy and very quick to make. The Bracelet Kits include Satin Cord, Accents & Magnetic Closures and instructions. The Necklace Kit includes C-Lon, Beads, Closure and instructions. 
Kumihimo Happy Holidays Hammered Oval Accent Bracelet Kit - $22
Kumihimo Happy Holidays Double Banded Bracelet Kit - $18
Kumihimo Happy Holidays Square Knot Bracelet Kit - $12
Kumihimo Happy Holidays 8/0 3-Color Blended Beaded Necklace Kit - $27
Click here for Kumihimo Holiday Kits. 
Oldies but Goodies for the Holidays
Kumihimo Petite Satin Cord
12-Strand Candy Cane Kit (makes 3).  
The Satin Cord Candy Cane Kit is a favorite and it's very easy to make.
Once you've made a few, you can decide how you want to embellish your candy canes, i.e. add beads, little jingle bells, bows, etc. I'm giving you a start on the basics and I hope you add your own creative touches. Have fun! The Kumihimo Candy Cane Kit contains  enough materials to make 3 candy canes . The candy cane stick measures 9" and when shaped into a candy cane the finished length is about 6 1/2". With this class-in-a-kit, you'll learn how to start your braid with a Lark's Head Knot, braid around a core (in this case a wire stem) and you'll learn a versatile wrapping technique to finish off the tassel. You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid and also known as Kongoh Gumi. 

Kit includes (enough to make 3 complete Candy Canes)
  •  30 yards of "Petite" Satin Cord (Red, Green and White)
  • Three 9" wire stem cores
  • Instructions with lots of step-by-step color photos
  • Patterns for 3 different 12 Strand Spiral Braids 
Colors: Red, White and Green
Cost: $14 (makes 3)
Click here for Kumihimo Holiday Kits! 

The Kumihimo Beaded Candy Cane is another favorite.  This is a super fun project. It takes a little more skill than the satin cord candy canes but if you take your time you will be successful. This kit provides enough materials to make 3 Kumihimo Beaded Candy Canes. You  will learn how to start with an "interlaced" end and braid around a core (wire stem). An interlaced end comes in handy when you want to start with a "finished" end (this is different than starting with a Lark's Head Knot)! When braiding /beading with the C-Lon Beadcord (finer diameter than C-Lon Tex 400), I find it easier if I use a the Beadsmith THICK (double density) Mi ni Disk. Click this link to purchase the THICK mini disk ($3.75 each) .

You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid and how to "drop" beads (if you aren't sure how to "drop beads"  see Kumihimo Tip #14 ). 

Kit includes:
  • Materials to make 3 Beaded Candy Canes
  • 1 Spool C-Lon Beadcord
  • 8/0 Miyuki/Toho Seed Beads
  • Three 9" Wire Stems
  • 3 Different Bead Patterns
  • Wide Eye Beading Needle
  • Instructions with Photos
Cost: $18 (makes 3)


Red, White, Green, Green (above)
Pomegranate, Silver Lined Green, Silver Lined Frosted Crystal (below)
Click here for Kumihimo Holiday Kits! 


Last but not least, the Clunky, Funky and Fun Kumihimo Bracelet Kits all decked out in Holiday Colors!

Kits include:
- C-Lon Bead Cord
- Magatama Beads
- 8/0 Seed Beads
- 6/0 Seed Beads
- Button & Barrel for Closure
- Wide Eye Needle
- Pattern with Photos

4 Colors:
- Peppermint
- Galvanized Silver
- Boughs of Holly
- Crystal & Glitz

$19.50 - $24.00 (the Galvanized Silver costs a little more!)

Each kit makes one bracelet. 

Holiday Elegance with Gold Findings
Sparkly Gold Findings "dress up" any Kumihimo creation. If you want a classy, elegant look "go for the gold". 

Pictured (left to right, top to bottom)
Gold Flower Magnetic Glue-in End Caps, $7/ea
Gold Straight Magnetic Glue-in End Caps, $7/ea
Gold Super Sleek Magnetic Glue-in End Caps, $2.25/ea
Gold Hook & Eye Glue-in End Caps, $1.25/ea
Gold Toggle Glue-in End Caps, $1.25/ea
Rose Gold Circle Hook with Slider, $8/ea
Gold Hammered Slider with Straight Magnetic Glue-in End Caps, $11/set
Gold Swirl Glue-in End Caps, $2/ea
Gold All-in-One Magnetic Glue-in End Caps, $2/ea

Kumihimo Three Braid Necklace with Focal Motif
Turquoise, Teal, Rust, Green Apple with KRR-046
Back by Popular Demand. I have added 4 new colors and restocked last months 3 favorite  colors for a total of seven different choices! Have fun choosing.

This necklace is wonderful for all levels of braiders and  the  possibilities are endless. Two of the braids are a combination of KRR and Petite Satin Cord and the third braid is a combo of two colors of 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-gumi). 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!

Available in 4 color combinations or whatever colors you can imagine!

Kit includes:
- 40 yards of Petite Satin Cord   (you get 4 colors - 10 yards ea) 
- 1 Skein Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon (KRR)
- Focal Motif
- Straight Magnetic Glue in End Cap
- Instructions
Cost:  $38

NEW!!  Peach, Lavender, Tan, Bright Pink with KRR-32
NEW!!  Turquoise, Teal, Rust, Green Apple with KRR-046

NEW!!  Coffee, Avocado, Black, Grey with KRR-05
NEW!!  Plum, Camel, Williamsburg Blue, Caramel with KRR-G
  Turquoise, Avocado, Dark Olive & Peach Satin & KRR-10
Purple, Avocado, Williamsburg Blue & Red Satin & KRR-41
Rust, Teal, Coffee, Black Satin & KRR-001
Click here for Kumihimo Three Braid Necklace with Focal Motif
Kumihimo Rayon Gimp & Ribbon - Re-Stocked and New Colors
Oh what a fun day it is when the KRG and KRR arrive! The colors are magnificent. The box arrives and it takes everything I have to wait until I get to my workshop to open the box! Since the Gimp and Ribbon are hand dyed, each batch is a fun surprise as the colors can differ dye lot to dye lot. Love this stuff!
If you haven't added these fibers to your braiding, give them a try. Braid with them just as they are or combine them with the Petite Satin. 
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Jennifer de Jung
Jennifer de Jung - Nevada

J en was telling me about some necklaces she had made and I asked her to send me some pictures. This one is my favorite.

Jen does all sorts of artistic things, one of them being Kumihimo.

I am guessing she is a bit of a perfectionist (tongue in cheek) as she said she took this necklace apart two times and may take it a part again. I love it just the way it is!

This is a good reminder....Don't be afraid to "re-work" things. This is how you learn what works and what doesn't and leads to new creative discoveries!

Jen says her necklace was inspired by the Clunky, Funky and Fun Bracelet kit. 

She used Light Blue C-Lon Tex 400, Blue/Grey and Silver 8/0 seed beads, magatama beads, flower beads. The necklace is 19" long and utilizes the button and loop closure. 

This was braided on the foam disk but could also be done on a Marudai. 

This gorgeous necklace weighs in at 1/4 pound! Thanks for sharing Jen!!
Try Something New - Kusari Kaku Yatsu (Square Braid)
The "Try Something New" braid this month is the Kusari Kaku Yatsu or Square Braid. 

Often, when I am playing with new braids or teaching a class, I suggest that braiders use a cotton yarn like Patons Grace. This is what I have used in all of the braids in the photo. In some of the braids pictured, 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! 

With a little practice, you will become fluent braiding a variety of braid structures. 

Kumihimo Foam Disk

The first set of diagrams shows how to braid the Kusari Kaku Yatsu (Square Braid) 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 braiding is what you need to get back to! 

To get started, select two colors of whatever fiber you would like to use. For first samples, 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. Once you have the braid mastered, you may place the colors where you like and discover fun new color patterns. Also, it is a good idea to take notes on your finished braid. Jot down the original length of the cords, the finished length of the braid. Also, note whether there is greater take-up with one element (or more) over another. This will help you when you plan future projects!
(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. 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 Kusari Kaku Yatsu, I would see that moves 1 and 2 are both North/South moves and 3 and 4 are both East/West moves. In step 1, I pick up both of my South elements, move in a north direction, split the existing pair, so that the pair I am moving finish on the "inside". In sequence #2, right where I have set down my first two elements, I pick up the "outside" neighbors and move them south. The first 2 sequences are complete. Sequences 3 and 4 are the same moves but going East/West. Cut 8 strands as noted above (disk instructions). You may want to cut them a little longer for the Marudai. Place the colors in the same positions as described above for the disk.


(R=Right, L=Left)


Braiding sequences can be found in a variety of books including, but not limited to:

Creative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey

Beads & Braids by Jacqui Carey

Comprehensive Treatise of Braids: by Makiko Tada (multiple books)

250 Braids from Japan, Peru & Beyond by Rodrick Owen

Kumihimo Japanese Silk Braiding Techniques by Catherine Martin

(Braids are often referred to with different names so you may need to compare diagrams)

Click here for Kumihimo Books!

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!
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.   If you decide you want to write a tutorial, make sure you write it with ALL of your own words. It is not appropriate to "borrow" parts of a copyrighted pattern. Plagiarism is punishable. 

I feel strongly about this as I have recently been presented with some "copies" of my copyrighted patterns.  I don't appreciate the infringement! Please be respectful. 

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