Monthly Newsletter - Issue 72                                                                   September   2016

Kumihimo Kit of the Month #1 - Raku & Picasso Painting with Beads Necklace
Kumihimo Kit of the Month #2 - Edge Bead Necklace with Gimp
Tip of the Month - Starting your Braid
Mix it up! Try Something New...
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Suzanne Woodhead
Knitting Artist of the Month - Suzanne Woodhead
Monthly Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links...

Hello Braiders, 
Gr e etings! Wow, it's September already! Fall is in the air. Hard to believe another summer has slipped by. I can hardly keep up when time moves so quickly!

The September Kit of the Month #1 is the    Beaded Kumihimo Raku & Picasso Necklace . It is the perfect necklace for Indian Summer and Fall! T he smooth Raku focals are handcrafted and they are beautiful. Quantities are limited so don't wait  too long and miss out! The September Kit if the Month #2 is the Edge Bead Necklace with Kumihimo Rayon Gimp

I was happy to see that so many of you took advantage of the Free Shipping in August. For those of you that missed out, I am extending Free Shipping until September 15th! Remember, Free Shipping applies to orders $25 and over and it does not apply to International orders (sorry).

With the holiday season approaching, What a Braid is well stocked with with all the things you need for your Kumihimo creations including Petite Satin Cord, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Shimmer Tubular Yarn, Gala Ribbon, Frilly, C-Lon Beadcord and C-Lon Tex 400. The shelves are brimming with Toho and Miyuki 8/0, 6/0, Super Duos and Magatama beads. We have magnetic clasps galore (and great prices). And if you need Disks, Bobbins, Cord Zappers, wide eye needles we have them too. Oh, and did I mention kits. There are lots and lots of fabulous Kumihimo Necklace Kits, Kumihimo Bracelet Kits
and Kumihimo Holiday Kits.

Take advantage of the Free Shipping and
stock up!

Thank you to all of you for your continued supp
ort. My business keeps growing and each day I am touched by the nice notes and phone calls t hat I receive from you. Thanks so much.  

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!


September Kit of the Month #1  - Raku & Picasso Painting with Beads
When I showed this Raku & Picasso Necklace sample to my mom, she said "It looks like Indian Summer and transitions nicely into Fall". 
This design is another kit in my "Painting with Beads™" collection. The necklace is designed with "sections" of color-blocking with 8/0 Picasso seed beads and a contrasting swirl in 8/0 Matte Black that spirals around the entire length of the beaded braid. This black swirl compliments the black swirl on the Raku Bead. The Raku focal beads are handcrafted and they are absolutely beautiful. Quantities limited. The pattern is written for a 19" necklace. You can make it longer or shorter. If you want to make it longer, order some extra 8/0 seed beads in Picasso Red & Picasso Chartreuse and Matte Black. 
Kit includes:
- Raku Focal Bead
- 2 Porcelain Cheerio Beads
- 1 Spool C-Lon Bead Cord (77 yards - you will have extra)
- 8/0 Picasso Seed Beads (2 colors)
- 8/0 Matte Black Seed Beads
- 4mm Acrylic Glue-in End Cap
- Wide Eye Needle
- Instructions with Photos
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I use the  Beadsmith THICK Mini and it's great)
- 9 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Needle & Thread or Cord Zapper to finish ends
- Glue (I use WeldBond Universal Glue - available at Ace Hardware stores & some craft stores)

You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.
Cost $38.00
September Kit of the Month #2 - Edge Bead Necklace with Gimp
A new twist on the Edge Bead Necklace.   The "original"  Edge Bead Necklace Kit  has been around for a long time. It dates back to 2012 and it is still one of my best sellers! Originally created in Petite Satin Cord, it has a brand new look when done in Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. This necklace can be made up to 20" long or so or shorter if you like. 
Kit includes:
- 1 Skein Kumihimo Rayon Gimp
- 1 pkg 6/0 Seed Beads
- 1 6mm Super Sleek Magnetic End Cap
- Instructions with Photos
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I recommend a regular thickness disk that has already been used a bit; 6" or Mini).
- 8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Needle & Thread
Fray Block (optional)
- Glue (I use WeldBond Universal Glue - available at Ace Hardware stores & some craft stores)
You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.
Cost $20.00
Kumihimo Tip of the Month - Starting Your Braid
Every braid has to start somehow! The two most common ways to start a braid are either with an overhand knot or a Lark's Head Knot. Another way to start your braid is with an "interlaced" end; basically a finished end that won't come apart. 

Overhand Knot: If you are using an odd number of differen t color strands, you will tie the cords  together with an overhand knot. If you want to to hav e a
tassel on the end of your braid, an overhand knot can be used to your advantage. If you  want to attach an end cap to the end, you will have to finish the end of the braid and remove the knot. 

Lark's Head Knot: If you are using an even number of strands of each color, cut double the length required, fold the strands in half and use a Lark's Head Knot to secure the mid-point. When starting with a Lark's Head Knot, the end of the braid will have a finished "look". However, it is possible when you remove the Lark's Head Knot string, the end of the braid can come a part a little. This is a good way to start if you know the end of the braid will eventually go into an end cap. 
Interlaced End: An interlaced end is like starting with a nice finished end that won't come apart. Following is the method that I figured out for the disk and I like the way it works. The strands are positioned on the disk in an interlaced fashion before braiding begins. The diagram below is for the Kongoh Gumi braid structure (i.e "left bottom up, right top down OR right top down, left bottom up"). You can see that the strands are positioned in a progressive and "interlaced" manner. After all the strands are in position, it is time to braid. When you start braiding, you start with the "lowest" strand or the first strand you positioned (i.e. the Pink strand in this example). 
Try Something New ......
There is so much to discover if you trust your own creative instincts and think out of the box. This is probably the most valuable lesson I learned at the Braids 2016 conference. My teachers at Braids took "ordinary" braids and made them extraordinary with very simple tweaks and changes. While some of you may not be ready yet to start playing with different braid structures, you can certainly 
Edge Bead Necklace with Gimp
discover some fun things t rying new fibers,
combining fibers, etc. 
Edge Bead Necklace with Petite Satin Cord

For example, The Edge Bead Necklace™ Kit has always been done in Petite Satin Cord. Using the variegated Kumihimo Rayon Gimp gave it a whole new look. Both are wonderful and very different.

All Petite Satin (smooth)
Other examples include the 
Petite Satin w/ Frilly (texture)
16 Strand Super Spiral Bracelets
my mom made. The original
16 Strand Super Spiral™ Bracelet Kit  pattern is written for Petite
Satin Cord. My mom, who loves
to create "out of the box" tried something new. The turqu oise /green bracelet is a combination of Petite Satin Cord with Gala Ribbon and the pea ch bracelet is a combination of Frilly with Petite Satin. Both of these bracelets have texture while the all Petit e Satin version (far right) has a smooth appearance.
Here are Jen de Jung's two examples of combining different fib ers i n the
20-Strand Round Bracelet Kit . In the first sample (left) she used 14 strands of Gimp and 6 strands of Frilly and in the second bracelet (right) she used just the opposite allocation of fibers; 14 Frilly and 6 Gimp. You can see that the bracelet with more Frilly has more texture. 

You can come up with your own combinations. It is always my hope that you will try a kit, with all the bits and pieces, and then branch out afterwards and try your own new things. 

Kumihimo Artist of the Month 
Suzanne Woodhead, Truckee, California
Suzanne, a multi-talented and meticulous artisan, has been really zipping' it up. She started making the "Zip it Up™" Bracelets and she really went to town. She started out with the "Zip it Up™"  Bracelet Kit and then went on to choose her own color combinations. Her combinations are spectacular.

Thanks Suzanne!

P.S. You should want to be one of her friends, as almost everything she makes, she gives away. 

Do you have something you would like to share? Maybe you'll be the next Kumihimo Artist of the Month. Just send me an email at

"Knitting" Artist of the Month 
Sharon Gardner, Livermore, California

Sharon is another multi-talented artist and has been on several of our Knitting & Kumihimo Trips. Last year in San Miguel de Allende, the knitters worked with mitered squares. 

It was a wonderful surprise when Sharon sent this picture. She has used the mitered squares technique, taught by Irene York, to design her own absolutely handsome baby blanket. She trimmed the edges with knitted i-cord. 

Great job Sharon. Thanks for sharing. 

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