Monthly Newsletter - Issue 84                                                        August  2017

Things in this Newsletter
August Kit of the Month
Endless Possibilities on the Foam Disk
Kumihimo Artist of the Month
On My Marudai
"FREE" Kumihimo Tutorial
Embellishments for Braids
Free Shipping
Petite Satin Cord
Kumihimo Links

Gr e etings! 

Another month has come and gone. It 's been a big time for fires in California and while we have not (knock on wood) been in any close danger, our skies are smokey and there is a lingering scent of campfire in the air. Stay safe everyone. 

The August Kit of the Month features the last of my Oaxaca Black Pottery Pendants. If you missed out on the Black Pottery Hearts and Trapezoids, the grand finale Black Pottery Crescent Pendant is now available in a fun kit. Enjoy. Those of you that follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram got a sneak peek!

I am offering FREE SHIPPING until the end of the month. This applies to domestic orders over $25. 

Last not but least, welcome to all of you that are new to What a Braid and thank you to all of my loyal friends and customers. I really do appreciate you. 
Happy Braiding,

August Kit of the Month - "Kumihimo Beaded Swirl Necklace with Black Pottery Crescent Pendant and Adjustable Closure"
For those of you that missed out on the Oaxaca Black Pottery Hearts and Trapezoids, here's one last chance. These Black Pottery Crescents are fantastic.
Black, Spanish Olive, Terra Cotta,
Kumquat & Anemone

Brick, Turquoise, Kumquat, Black & Grey

I had so much fun creating these kits. An artist, in Oaxaca, Mexico, made these Black Pottery Crescent Pendants for me last year when we were visiting. I wrapped them very carefully and carried them home in my carry-on luggage. Talk about heavy!

Both colorways are made up in 5 colors of 8/0 Toho and/or Miyuki Seed Beads. There are solid swirls and one "dotted" swirl. Each kit comes with Porcelain Pony & Cheerio beads. Please note, the colors of the Pony and Cheerio beads may vary from the sample photo but all will be equally as nice (if not nicer) and compliment the colors in the necklace. The necklace features an adjustable closure which allows the wearer to adjust  the  length of the necklace; shorter and longer! Of course, if you wanted a magnetic closure that works too. I would suggest the 5mm All-in-One or the 4.2mm Acrylic.

The necklace can be worn as short as 18 1/2 " and as long as 30".

You will need:  Kumihimo Disk (I use the   Beadsmith THICK Mini  and it's great),  8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins ),  Scissors,  Tape Measure. 
You should know:  Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi),  How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14  if you need a refresher)
Kit includes:
  • 5 colors 8/0 Toho/Miyuki seed bead
  • Black Pottery Crescent Pendant
  • 2 Porcelain Pony Beads 
  • 2 Porcelain Cheerio Beads
  • 1 spool of C-Lon Bead Cord (you will have plenty of extra)
  • Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
  • Wide Eye Needle 
  • Instructions with photos

Foam Disk - Oh the Possibilities!
The more I explore, the more excited I get. I braid on both the Disk and the Marudai and the possibilities are endless.   Sometimes I hear people suggest that the Marudai is the next step "up" from using a Foam Disk; as if one graduates from one to the next when their ability reaches a certain level. Not true! I strongly believe that the Foam Disk and the Marudai are equal and amazing tools.

There is alot to be learned about braid structure (how a braid is constructed) when the braiding sequence is translated from Marudai to the Disk and visa versa. Both tools help me be a better braider.

The braids pictured below were braided on a Foam Disk. I taught these techniques in my class in Oaxaca, Mexico last year and I will teach a similar class, with new stuff, at the
Reno 2018 Convergence conference. These are wonderful examples of how much fun you can have braiding on a Foam Disk.  Incorporating colors and making pattern changes with core elements is super fun. In addition, the foam disk is inexpensive, widely accessible to many people and it is very portable. My foam disk accompanies me most places.
I will teach similar techniques, on the Foam Disk, at the Reno 2018 Convergence Conference. 

Wrap Bracelet braided on
Foam Disk.

I love the Marudai too. It has many virtues. It makes alot of braids possible and easier to achieve. It is also a faster method of braiding with and without beads. There is a peacefulness and zen to braiding on the Marudai. For those that enjoy making beaded braids, the Marudai is certainly faster for this type of braiding. For continuous beaded braids, where the beads are not dropped into the braid structure but rather a string of beads is braided like a cord, the Marudai is key. 

Keep yourself open to all the possibilities.  The more you learn to hone your skills on your disk, the more you will see that it is limitless. And you can take it with you anywhere.  

Kumihimo Artist of the Month
Lorene Sullivan
Reno, Nevada

This months Kumihimo Artist of the Month is Lorene Sullivan. She lives in nearby Reno, Nevada and I met her through the Reno Fiber Guild. 

She is a multi-talented fiber artist and she has become quite good at Kumihimo! 

She joined our Knitting & Kumihimo Workshop last year in Oaxaca, Mexico and she took my class. A couple of weeks ago, we had a braiding day at my house and at the end of the day she pulled her braids out of her bag for show-n-tell. I practically fell out of my chair. I love what she did. There is nothing that makes a teacher feel better than to see that she inspired at least one student.  

Thanks Lorene! You made my day!

Both necklaces were braided on a Kumihimo Foam Disk. 
On My Marudai / Disk
Am I having fun or what?

My Core Stand from Braidershand shipped exactly when they said it would and it 
arrived  the next day. My Guardian Braiding Angel must have orchestrated the quick delivery. In any case, I am having so much fun. 

This is a 24 strand braid (36 tama including those held in core) and I am working a braid from Rodrick Owen's book, "Andean Sling Braids". 

Using the Core Stand with the Marudai (left above) has been a good brain teaser! For practice, I have been working the Andean/Peruvian braids, without a core, on the Marudai and I have also been braiding similar braids, with a core, on the Foam Disk. This has helped me to understand "the sequence of moves" and how the colors are shifting in each rotation or inversion. It is important to get a feel for the braid structure and to recognize where all the colors of cord should end up after each sequence of moves. A fun challenge! I love this!

Kumihimo "Free"  Tutorial (Disk or Marudai)
This is mother-daughter combined effort.
My mom made the braid, on a Foam Disk, and I added the focal.

The braid is a 16 strand Kongoh Gumi (the first braid most braiders learn). There are equal numbers of two colors and the pattern is dictated by the placement of the two colors on the disk (or Marudai).  Very easy. Give it a try!

The Focal Bail is sold at I made the Polymer Clay focal bead and added ceramic accent beads.  The end cap is the Straight Acrylic Glue-In End Cap (8mm)

To make this braid for a necklace, there are few steps to get started:
1. Determine your desired finished length.
2. Cut your cords 2 1/2 x the desired finished length.
3. Position cords on disk per the  diagram above.
4. Start braiding (see braiding sequence, right).

Suggested cord: 1mm Petite Satin Cord 
Findings for Embellishing Braids
Focal Bail                                     Not So Wide Bail                                Wide Bail                  

Click here for Bails.   These bails work with multiple braids and also slide over 8/0 beaded braids. 

Rustic Slider                          Smooth Slider                                      Curved Focal

Click here for Sliders. These sliders work on necklaces and bracelets. I use them with multiple fiber braids like the Three Braid Necklace with KRR & Shimmer Yarn.
Jonny's Finished Barcode "Family" Blanket
Creator: Irene York
Jonny, Grandma and the "Barcode" Family Blanket

Last month I told you about my mom's Barcode "Family Love" Blanket that she was knitting for my "soon-off-to-college" nephew, Jonny. Well, here is the finished blanket with Grandma pointing out all the family names, in barcodes, that are in Jonny's blanket.

I got lots of emails from many of you that mentioned incorporating the barcode idea into Kumihimo, knitting, weaving, etc. I am so thrilled that my mom's project served as inspiration to so many of you!

After several days of Farewell Parties, Jonny is on his way to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
His Auntie will surely miss him.

FREE SHIPPING for Newsletter Subscribers
From today until the end of the month, enjoy  FREE SHIPPING on domestic orders, over $25.

Happy Braiding!
Petite Satin Cord - Over 30 Colors ! 
Made in the U.S.A., this soft, shimmering, vibrant Rayon Satin Cord cord is a Kumihimo favorite. "Petite" satin cord is approximately 1mm - 1.4mm in size (roughly 1/16 inch or slightly over) and is sometimes referred to as #0 or Bugtail. "Petite" Satin Cord makes a gorgeous 8 strand Kumihimo round braid and pairs perfectly with the 6mm end caps. These generous 10 yard lengths of Rayon Satin Cord come packaged in reclosable plastic bags labeled with color and length. This is the "good stuff" as some say!

CLICK HERE to see all the Petite Satin Cord at What a Braid !! My shelves are well-stocked!

$3 / 10 yards
What a Braid Monthly Newsletter Archives
Please enjoy my archived What a Braid Newsletters! They are made available for your personal enjoyment. You will find alot of great information, tips, trick and ideas. Please do not copy and re-use my content. I have been writing these newsletters every month going on 8 years now! As I have time, I will add some of the older newsletters to the list.  Enjoy!
Reminder !
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. Thank you.

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