Monthly Newsletter - Issue 80                                                             March 2017

Things in this Newsletter
Kit of the Month: Kumihimo Beaded Reversing Swirl Necklace with Multi-Bead Pendant
New Shipment of Kumihimo Rayon Gimp & Ribbon!
Kumihimo Gala Ribbon
Kumihimo Frilly Novelty Yarn
Tales of Oaxaca
Kumihimo Links

Gr e etings! 

I am glad there is no limit to the number of "once in a lifetime" trips that one may have because I just had another. Oaxaca and it's lovely people and culture did not disappoint. The trip was magical!

Since I just got back from 23 days away, this newsletter will be a little shorter than usual but I do have a new Kit of the Month (KOTM).

And here it is! It's called Kumihimo Beaded Reversing Swirl Necklace with Multi-Bead Pendant. Some of you may have seen the sneak peek on Facebook and Pinterest.   As always, lots of fu n.  I wore this in Mexico and with all of its colorful beads, it went with everything.

Thank you for your patience while I was away. I appreciate the trust you have in me which was evident by the orders placed in anticipation of my return. Those that have been around the longest know that I fill orders on a first in, first out basis and filling orders is my top priority when I return from a trip. Thank you! 

Welcome to all of my new subscribers!

Happy Braiding,

Kumihimo Beaded Reversing Swirl Necklace with Multi-Bead Pendant 
This is a fun design with crisp colors & a reversing swirl beaded pattern. The Multi-Bead Focal Pendant comes pre-assembled & when the beaded braid is completed, all you have to do is slide the focal pendant onto the beaded rope. The adjustable closure allows you to wear the necklace longer or shorter. The finished length of the beaded portion is right around 16.5" to17" and the braided tails, on either end, are about 6". You can wear the necklace as short as 17" or as long as 29" (lots of flexibility). You might also want to try this same pattern, later, with different colors!
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). It's easy.
- This kit requires meticulous bead loading and braiding.  
Kit includes:
  • 1 spool C-Lon Bead Cord
  • Focal Pendant & Bail (pre-assembled)
  • 8 colors 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
  • Barrel Bead for Adjustable Closure
  • Wide Eye Needle
  • Instructions
Cost $43

New Shipment of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon & Gimp!
It is an exciting day for me when the delivery man drops off my overseas packages of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. I open the box with excited anticipation and the bright colors pop out like Spring flowers. Before I can mark them off the packing list, I am already mixing and matching them with other colors and inspiration starts flowing like a wild river. If you have not tried braiding with the KRG and the KRR, treat yourself! The colors are spectacular. 

Kumihimo Gala Ribbon

Gala is a fabulous and soft 100% Nylon ribbon that measures 1/4" wide when completely flattened. It's width makes it perfect for braiding on a Kumihimo Disk and it braids nicely on the Marudai as well. Like many of the other "novelty" braiding fibers, Gala is super used as an accent with Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Petite Satin Cord and Tubular Shimmer Yarn. The variegated and solids colors are both gorgeous and Gala feels so good in your hands. 

Click here for Gala.  $4.25/each

Kumihimo Frilly Novelty Yarn

Frilly  is a multi-ply novelty yarn. It is super used as an accent with Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon or Gimp, Petite Satin Cord and Tubular Shimmer Yarn. It is good to keep it wound in a bobbin to keep the ends from frazzling!

Click here for Frilly.  $4.25/each

Oaxaca 2017 - Kumihimo and Knitting Aventure
I flew the coop and got out of the snow for 23 lovely days. We took two groups (20 people each group for 10 days per session) to Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is one of my favorite destinations. From arts to culture, to history, to gastronomy, there is nothing not to love about Oaxaca. It is a happy place. There is music in the air, the Zocolo is always alive and the streets hum with people of all ages. 
We played morning, noon and night and I think we all returned home happy and tired. We did not let any grass grow under our feet, that's for sure. 

Here are some of the trip highlights:
1. We spent an entire day in Teotitlan del Valle where were visited the studios of  Bulmaro Perez and Pantaleon Ruiz. Bulmaro is one of Teotilan's best weavers. His work embodies a wonderful blend of tradition with innovation. He takes great pride in using natural dyes and pure wool. Pantaleon Ruiz is a weaver, sculptor and painter and we were able to enjoy his weavings at his studio and we took in his sculptural installments at the Quinta Real Hotel in Oaxaca Centro. We had natural dye demonstrations at both weaver's studios and had the opportunity to purchase alot of rugs. Absolutely beautiful. After the weaving studios we took a side trip to Arte y Seda  a family-owned weaving cooperative that focuses on cultivating silk worms, feeding them the mulberry leaves from the trees grown in their courtyard, spinning the cocoons, dyeing the silk yarn with natural colors, and then weaving the fine silk threads into magnificent garments, scarves and shawls.  

2. Oaxaca is famous for its brightly hand painted  Mexican folk art sculptures of fa ntastical creatures called "Alebrijes". We visited the studio of Jacob and Maria Angeles in San Martin Tilcajete. We learned that almost every figure is carved from a single piece of Copal wood. The process starts with carving, then sculpting and preparing the figure for the intricate hand painting. It is truly an amazing process. The painters start as students and work to the level of Master painter. 

3. We spent a good part of a day taking cooking classes at Casa Crespo with our teacher Oscar. It was a lot of fun for all of us as we learned, chopped, pealed, sliced and blended a variety for Oaxacan foods and sauces. After a day of cooking, we sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor and had a multi-course meal. Delicious!

4. For the hearty adventures in our group we included a trip to the ruins at Monte Alban as well as in Mitla. The archeologists in the group found this fascinating and just wished they had more time. 

5. Visiting  the  Dona Rosa Black Pottery Studio in San Bartolo Coyotepec was also a highlight for many. The demonstration was excellent and shopping for pottery was a lot  of fun. I worked with one of the  potters and on my second  trip to the studio, I was pleased  to receive all of my Black Pottery focal pieces that will be introduced in the  coming months They are fantastic, so stay tuned!!

6. Irene York taught Knitting Classes and Karen Huntoon taught Kumihimo Classes. The knitters were kept busy knitting a variety of stripe patterns incorporated with other techniques and the braiders ventured out of the box and explored the "Endless Possibilities of an Extra-Ordinary Braid: The Many Faces of the Kongoh Gumi".  There was some good mental stretching going on for the braiders and many new skills were acquired! 

7. Oaxaca is known for its fine dining and we did plenty of it. Many of us tried alot of Mole and definitely found our favorites. One night we had a "Welcome Dinner" for the group at a beautiful place called Los Danzantes. It is an open air restaurant and we were delighted with fireworks overhead part way through dinner. How's that for planning?

8. A really fun excursion is the trip to the Sunday Market in Tlacolula. You can see everything at this indigenous market from flowers to produce to bakery goods to hardware to meats to fruits and vegetables, baskets, textiles, aprons to live turkeys. This place touches all the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. It is sensory overload and it sure is wonderful.

9. Mi casa es su casa. We stayed at a very special hotel called La Catrina de Alcala. We were right on the main walking street (no traffic noise) and we were 2 blocks from the Zocolo. The location was absolutely fantastic. The best part was the staff at the hotel. In your wildest dreams, you could not imagine a nicer group of people. Rosio, Zenon, Ernesto, Galli, Abel, Angel, Victor, Juvenal, Angelica and Viri made us feel like we were at home every day. How many times do you leave a hotel with a tear in your eye? I had 23 fabulous days with these lovely people and when I go back, you can bet I will see them. 

10. Finally.....thank you to all the trip adventurers for trusting us to take you to Oaxaca!

My Way of Saying Thanks!
For being so patient while I was away, I am saying thanks by offering FREE SHIPPING for the month of March on all orders over $25. 

Offer does not apply to international orders. Sorry! 
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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