Monthly Newsletter - Issue 85                                                        September 2017

Things in this Newsletter
September Kit of the Month
New Bauble Bead Colors
New Holiday Necklace Kit
Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold
Re-Stocked Kumihimo Rayon Gimp
Re-Stocked Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
Tips on Beaded Braids
Kumihimo Artist of the Month
Stock up on Stocking Stuffers
Kumihimo Links

Gr e etings! 

Another month has come and gone. Where does the time go? One minute summer is just getting started and the next thing I know, Fall is right around the corner. My yard is blanketed in pine needles and there are a few shrubs that are already changing colors. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people in Texas that were caught in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The devastation takes my breath away. I watched the news with tears in my eyes and a lump in my heart. I felt relieved each time I saw that a friend had marked that they were safe. I have the same feelings again with Irma approaching.  Good thoughts to all of you.

I have alot to share with you this month! I have been busy creating new kits and it has been so much fun. After almost 8 years of designing for What a Knit / What a Braid, I just get more excited. I still wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas and I can't wait for a peep of sunlight so I feel like I can get up and start playing. I hope you'll see something that you'll enjoy! 

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. You are amazing and so many of you "make my day" with your sweet notes!
Happy Braiding,

VACATION  NOTICE!!  September 12th to September 20th, 2017
Yippee! Vacation time. My husband and I are heading to Crested Butte, Colorado for one last mountain biking adventure for the summer. While we are away, feel free to place orders. Your orders will be fulfilled and shipped starting the day after I get back and orders go out in the order they were received. So getting your order in early, means getting your order sooner. We leave September 12th and return September 20th. Orders received before noon on September 11th will be mailed before I leave. All other orders will be mailed after I return starting September 21st. 
September Kit of the Month - "Kumihimo Beaded Bauble Fringe Necklace Kit with Magnetic Clasp"
This is a new spin on the Beaded Petal Fringe Necklace. I have switched out the Leaves for Baubles. A new favorite, perhaps!
Beaded Bauble Fringe Necklace - Sunset Swirl

I have created 4 colorways of the new Kumihimo Beaded Bauble Fringe Necklace Kit! I get so many requests for colors and this time I tried to cover all the bases! Hope you will find a color that you like. Each necklace consists of 4 colors of 8/0 Toho and/or Miyuki seed beads and coordinating Baubles. The magnetic clasp is the 4mm Acrylic Magnetic Clasp - super strong and super nice. The beaded design is an elongated swirl with a single galvanized dot pattern. Experimenting with the colors and the placement of the colors was alot of fun. The beaded portion of the necklace is about 20 to 20 1/2" (depending on braider, disk or marudai, weights, tension) with 3" of braid at either end of the beaded sections. The Acrylic Magnetic Clasp can be attached right up to the beads for a shorter necklace and for those of you that want a longer necklace, you can attach the clasp further out on the braided tails. Another option is to purchase an extra package of each color of the beads and add on to the repeats at the start and finish of the braid. 

The necklace can be worn as short as 21" and as long as 27" (approximates).

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, Glue (I use WeldBond).

You should know:  Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi),  How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14  if you need a refresher).
Kit includes:
  • 4 colors 8/0 Toho/Miyuki seed bead
  • 18 Baubles
  • 1 spool of C-Lon Bead Cord (you will have plenty of extra)
  • 4mm Acrylic Magnetic Glue-in Clasp
  • Wide Eye Needle 
  • Instructions with photos
Cost:  $42.00

Acrylic Magnetic Clasp

NEW Colors! 6mm Top Drilled Baubles
I add 4 new colors to my Bauble Bead Collection. They are gorgeous!

Bauble Beads:

Top Drilled
25 per string

$2.50 / string
New!  Kumihimo Christmas Kit Countdown
I can tell by the items that you purchase, that ALOT of you are already getting into the swing of holiday creating. New to the holiday collection is the Happy Holidays Pip Cluster Bead Necklace, made up in Galvanized Silver, Red & Green 8/0 seed beads and transparent red and green pip beads.  The Galvanized Silver makes for a wonderfully sparkling holiday necklace!

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)
Pip Cluster Bead Necklace Kit includes:
  • 3 colors 8/0 Toho/Miyuki seed bead
  • Red & Green Pip 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

This Holiday Pip Cluster Bead Necklace is Sparkling Galvanized Silver. The transparent Red & Green Pip beads add sparkle too!
Holiday Countdown!
The Peppermint Kumihimo Bauble & Leaf Necklace Kit is a favorite from last Christmas. It is made up of 8/0 and 6/0 seed beads, 6mm top-drilled beads and Czech Pressed Glass leaves.  It features the adjustable closure. 

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)
The Beaded Kumihimo Bauble & Leaf Necklace Kit includes:
  • 2 colors 8/0 Toho/Miyuki seed bead
  • Red & Green Baubles
  • Czech Pressed Glass Leaves 
  • Pre-cut C-Lon Beadcord in two colors 
  • Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
  • Wide Eye Needle 
  • Instructions with photos
Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold - KRGG
Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold Sparkle NEW! Kumihimo Rayon Gold Sparkle Gimp is beautiful. I tried really hard to get a good photo but alas my photography just doesn't do this beautiful fiber justice. 

This Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold is laced with a Gold Sparkle and it is really very nice. I t is a round medium weight special yarn consisting of a cotton core wrapped with fine rayon thread and a fine Gold thread to form a sheath.

I have not had time to play with it yet but I think it will be very nice combined with Petite Satin Cord or Shimmer Tubular yarn. And some 6/0 seed beads would be gorgeous. I need more time in a day for experimenting.  I can't wait to see what great things you will do with it. 

The KRGG comes in 10 meter lengths and the price is $8.25/skein. 

Quantities limited right now but I will be getting more! It is prettier than I ever imagined!

Click here to try out the NEW Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold.

Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Gold (notice the gold thread)
Re-Stocked! Kumihimo Rayon Gimp -  KRG
I love seeing so many of you trying out the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. It is hand dyed so colors can vary from one batch to the next but the colors are always beautiful. It makes beautiful braids. I use it combined with other fibers or I use it by itself. It is beautiful both ways. 

For those of you that are not familiar with Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, it is a very round medium weight special yarn consisting of a cotton core wrapped with fine rayon thread to form a sheath. 

The KRG comes in 10 meter lengths and it costs $8/skein. 

Re-Stocked! Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon - KRR
Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon is also scrumptious. I love this too.

I use it as a stand-alone fiver or mixed with other fibers like the Petite Satin Cord and the Shimmer Tubular.

The Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon is actually a knitted rayon tube. It may be used flat as a ribbon, but can also be 'stuffed' with another yarn. It squishes nicely and it is easy to thread 6/0 seed beads onto the Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon. 

The KRR comes in lengths of 10 meters and it cost $6/skein. 

Kumihimo Tip of the Month - Beaded Necklaces
I have been thinking about beaded pattern issues.  As beaded patterns get increasingly intricate, more and more of you are running into issues. I know first hand how frustrating it is when you have spent hours threading beads and then you finally start braiding and "darn it" the beads are not lining up like the photo on the pattern. For a few of you that have had issues, I have welcomed that you send your necklace, in it's current state, so I could take a look at the problem. I have untangled bobbins and figured out alot of things.

Here are SOME of the things I have found that might help:

1. Beads are threaded incorrectly; often one too many beads or one bead too short. Just one single bead can throw off the entire pattern! Hardly seems fair that when you are stringing over a thousand beads, that one mis- bead can throw off the entire braid. Check your beading sequences frequently. With repeat patterns, you are able to see the pattern pretty easily and a mis-bead stands out - if you remember to look!

2. Sometimes when I braid backwards to un-do a troubled braid, I will find that a bead was missed altogether or sometimes two beads have been dropped at the same time.  I have also found that cords are sometimes crossed. For example, let's say you move your left bottom up, now there are three at the top, next you move the right top down but instead of taking the cord straight down, it gets crossed over the other other cord.  This will cause a mess.
3. Starting Position. Often, on my  beaded braid kits, my instructions will say, "Braid "x" amount with C-Lon Beadcord only. This is to create a cord end for attaching an end cap. When you are finished braiding with C-Lon BeadCord only, make sure the bobbins are in the starting position 1, 2, 3, etc. going around the disk clockwise". And then the instructions say, " You will drop your first beads from Bobbins 2 & 6, i.e. left bottom up, drop a bead, right top down, drop a bead, rotate, repeat". With some beaded patterns, if you do not do this step, your beads will not align properly. If you look at the photo (right) you can see that I have started braiding without beads to create a "nub" to attach an end cap. When I end this section of braiding with C-Lon Beadcord only, I braid until the bobbins are in the "starting position". Depending where you are on your braid, this only takes a few moves to get to the "starting position".  Also, make a note that the numbers onto disk do not matter (it's the number on the bobbins that is of concern). Next, take a look at the point of braiding (center of the disk where the cords intersect). There are two things going on here. First, the bobbins are in the correct positions and even more importantly, Bobbins 2 & 6 are in the lower position and ready to be moved with one bead from each cord. When I say "lower" position, I mean that cords/beads on Bobbins 2 & 6 are underneath the cords on Bobbins 3 & 7 and therefore the the cords/beads from Bobbins 2 & 6 are next in line to be moved. For beginners, this may be too much information but overtime I assure you it will sink in and you will say to yourself, "Oh, I get it, now I understand what Karen was talking about". P.S. Take a look at Kumihimo Tip #33 for another explanation of uppers & lowers.

4. A common problem that gets braiders into trouble is reading ahead and not following instructions. This is probably what causes the most problems. I always suggest reading through a pattern from start to finish before you start. It allows you to see where the instructions are taking you. Don't guess! 
Things that might help. Look for similarities.

1. As you are threading the beads for a design that consists of repeats (the same portion of design over and over again), you will see a pattern in the line-up of the beads. Once I see the pattern, I check my beading frequently to make sure that the beads are lining up correctly. This takes but a second and saves headaches.

2. Once you are braiding you will also see similarities and patterns when you are dropping (adding) the beads. This is easier after you have had more experience. With some patterns, like a spiral for example, I will be dropping (adding) the same color bead at the same time, i.e. left up (Turquoise), right down (Turquoise), rotate, left up (Chartreuse), right down ( Chartreuse). If all of a sudden I see left up, (Turquoise) and right down (Chartreuse) this should alert me that I have done something wrong.   This is just a general idea, as all sequences are not the same, but when I see the pattern, I know the color bead of the I should be dropping with each move and when the right color is not there, I know I need to stop.

3. So, when I look at my braid and see a bead in the wrong place, I braid backwards until I get to that point and then braid back a little further to where the patten is correct. If I have not missed a bead along the way or dropped 2 beads at one time, or crossed my cords I then look at how the beads are threaded on the cords and compare to the instructions. 

4. Take your time. Work in a neat and clean area. Make sure you have good lighting. If you need magnifiers or reading glasses, use them. Set yourself up for success. When you are tired, put your work aside. I know all of this from experience. 

Happy Braiding  !
There are tons of great tips at What a Braid for all things Kumihimo.
Check out Kumihimo Tips & Hints
Kumihimo Artist of the Month
Kumihimo Artist: Debbie Richardson from the UK

I love it when something I put in a newsletter inspires somebody to do something. I was thrilled when I received Debbie's email with photos of the pillows she weaved and the Kumihmo braided embellishments. So beautiful. 

Here's what Debbie had to say, 
"I thought I would let you know that, not only do I read your newsletters, they actually inspire me and the braid that you put in this month, that your mother had designed, was perfect for a cushion I was making. At our Guild we had a project where we all swapped a brown bag containing 150g of fleece. We had to take that fleece and spin it into yarn and then make it into something. I had 3 different colours of fleece dyed with indigo so I had 3 balls of blue yarn (Jacob) when I had spun it. I decided I wanted to weave it and then thought I should sample the weaving before I wove this precious yarn. So I spun 150 g of a brown fleece (Masham) that I had and then decided I needed to experiment with blue so I bought some blue fleece (Merino) and spun that. I then wove all three into cushion/pillow sized pieces of fabric and made them into cushions however, I needed to finish them off and a braid is a perfect solution.   

The first one was braided in spiral kongoh gumi in 3 colours (although 2 arevery similar) and then I saw your pattern. So I used that with the brown yarn using the lightest and darkest colours and since that went so well, I also did the other experimental blue cushion.  Attached are pictures of the cushions/pillows and a picture of the braids I made.
So thank you for your inspiration and it shows that you can braid with anything.   Braiding with handspun fleece is a bit of a challenge - I should have braided the opposite way because the yarn did 'unspin' a bit but the end result worked fine."  - Debbie

I have said many times how grateful I am for the many doors that Kumihimo has opened for me. One such bonus was meeting Debbie Richardson. We met several years ago on a trip to Japan and then I saw her last summer at Braids 2016 in Tacoma. I am crossing my fingers that she'll make it to Reno 2018 Convergence. She is multi-talented and has enough energy for 10 people! 

Thanks for sharing Debbie!
Stock up on Kumihimo Tools or Stock up on Stocking Stuffers
These are the essentials! In your Kumihimo toolbox you should have a Thick Disk, a "regular" Disk, Bobbins, Fray Block, a Cord Zap, wide eye needle for beads and a 64 slot Disk when you are ready to try something new! These are great stocking stuffers! 

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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