Monthly Newsletter - Issue 86                                                                  October   2017

Kumihimo Kit of the Month - Clusters of Fun Necklace
Three Braid Ribbon & Satin Necklace Kits
20-Strand Bracelet Kits
Are You Ready?
Out of Workshop Notice
"Left Bottom Up" or is it "Right Top Down"?
Free Shipping October
Monthly Newsletter Archives
Kumihimo Links...

Hello Braiders, 
Gr e etings! How can it be October already? Fall is in the air. Our leaves are changing colors, the air is cooler, the pine needles are blanketing my yard and Starbucks has Pumpkin Scones. All is good.

Thanks for your patience last month while we were away in Crested Butte, CO. Oh, what a beautiful place. If it wasn't soooo far off the beaten track, I could live there! We rode our mountain bikes everyday (highest elevation 11,400 feet). Wheew. Talk about short of breath! I needed another vacation when I got home!

Guess what? October is FREE SHIPPING Month!! Take advantage  and  stock up now! Get started on your Holiday shopping and get Free Shipping. Make kits, give kits, stuff stockings. What are you waiting for?

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

Happy Braiding,
[email protected]

October Kit of the Month  - Clusters of Fun Necklace Kit !
This is a fun necklace to make and even though many of you have made
"clusters" this is a bit different. You'll have to try it to find out!  

I have used C-Lon Tex 400 for the "rope" portion of the braid and a combination of 8/0 and 6/0 Toho and Miyuki Seed Beads for the Clusters.  The pattern is written for a 27" necklace (give or take) with 13 beaded clusters. You can make the necklace shorter if you like. For someone that likes a shorter necklace and has a small wrist, you could buy an extra 5mm All-in-One magnetic clasp and make a necklace and a bracelet. 
Kit includes:
- C-Lon Tex 400
- 8/0 Toho/Miyuki Seed Beads
- 6/0 Toho/Miyuki Seed Beads
- 5mm All-in-One Magnetic Clasp  
- Instructions with Photos
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I use the  Beadsmith THICK
 Mini and it's great)
- 8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Fray Block to prepare cord ends for threading beads
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Needle & Thread,  Cord Zapper or Fray Block 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 $26.00
Look!  Three Braid Necklace with Ribbon & Petite Satin

This necklace is very easy to make and is made up of three gorgeous braids. Braid #1 ia a combination of Petite Satin Cord and KRR in a spiral pattern, Braid #2 is two colors of Petite Satin Cord in a "spot" pattern and Braid #3 is a combination for Petite Satin Cord and KRR in a "Spot" pattern. The pattern makes a necklace up to 24" (plus or minus depending on braider). You can also make the necklace shorter if you want. The finished braids are threaded through the focal and then end caps are attached. It's simple and so much fun. Think of all the possibilities.  You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 Bobbins, Scissors, Measuring Tape, Needle & Thread, Glue.  You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi). 
This would also be a fun necklace using other braid structures. 

Kit includes:

- 3 pkgs Petite Satin Cord
- 1 Skein Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon
- 1 Focal Motif
- 1 Magnetic Clasp
- Instructions with Photos

- Cost: $38 

20-Strand Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon Bracelet Kits

The 20-Strand "Round" Bracelet is really, really fun and really, really addictive.  The possibilities are endless and one idea leads to another and then to another.
Learn the braid structure and then expand from there. 

This kits contains 2 patterns. The first pattern is the instructions for the 20-Strand braid. I have included the "Big" picture concept of the braid, detailed diagrams of each move, helpful hints and tips about the braid structure. The second pattern is the instructions to make the bracelet, insert a core and finish the ends. After you master the braid it is super fun to try with other fibers, especially the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Shimmer Tubular Yarn, the new Kumihimo Gala Ribbon and the Frilly Novelty Yarn. The variegated colored fibers are so much fun as you get to watch the colors evolve. Keep in mind, the Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon is hand dyed and the colors may vary from batch to batch. It is also really interesting to combine the fibers. There is no limit to what you can do. Experimentation is fun. I figure it takes about 10 yards total to make a bracelet. Use you imagination once you feel comfortable with the braid structure. 
You will need: Kumihimo Disk (I really like the   BeadSmith Mini ($3.00) - I like the way it fits in my hands but feel free to use the 6" disk if that's what you have, 20 Bobbins (I use the   small plastic EZ Bobbins - sort of optional - since the bracelet strands are relatively short sometimes I don't use the bobbins, however, if I am using a novelty Kumihimo cord that is plied, I find it is good to use the bobbins), Scissors, Tape Measure, Needle & Thread and Glue (I use WeldBond). WeldBond is available at some craft stores as well as Ace Hardware stores.

You will learn: 20-Strand Braid, how to insert a core and how to turn it into a bracelet with finished ends and magnetic clasp.

You should know:  In this kit, I teach you the 20-strand braid structure. That being said, this is probably not a good place for a beginner to start although I have seen success with new braiders. It's probably a helps to have some experience. Proceed at you own risk. I have tested this pattern in classes as well as with individuals with no help. Some of the braiders were quite practiced and some braid only a couple of times a year. Everyone was successful. Everyone agrees "If you read the instructions from start to finish before you begin, it will be a cinch!"

Kit includes:
- 1 skein Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon (Hand dyed; colors may vary a little from sample)
- Round Magnetic Closure
- Core Insert
- 6 pages of instructions with photos and diagrams

There's No Time Like the Present to Start Getting Ready!!!
Take advantage of October FREE SHIPPING and get a head start on your holiday shopping.

With the holiday season approaching, What a Braid is well stocked with with all the things
Pip Beads
Holiday Bracelet Kits
you need for your Kumihimo creations including 
Petite Satin Cord, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Shimmer Tubular Yarn, Frilly, C-Lon Beadcord and C-Lon Tex 400. The shelves are brimming with Toho and Miyuki 8/0, 6/0, Pip Beads, Super Duos and Magatama beads. We have magnetic clasps galore (and great prices)and Bails, Focals and Slider Beads. 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 KitsKumihimo Bracelet Kits and Kumihimo Holiday Kits.
Bauble Beads
Magatama Beads

Braiding Fibers

Stock up on Stocking Stuffers
Holiday Necklace Kits

Candy Cane Kits
16-Strand Santa Hat Pattern - Enjoy!!
Petite Satin Cord in 31 Colors

On the Road Again:  Off to Braid with Rodrick Owen

Each Fall a group of us gather for a week of braiding with Rodrick Owen along the coast of Northern California. This is always a bucket list "must do/get to do" thing for me. Rodrick is a dear friend and has influenced the direction of my braiding tremendously. I will be gone from October 8th through the 14th. Any orders received before 11 AM on October 7th will be mailed before I leave and any other orders will be packed and mailed starting October 15th after I return. So, remember................
Order deadline is October 7th!

Rodrick Owen has authored many of my favorite braiding books. His books are packed full of information and I find that the more I braid and understand braiding, the more I soak up when I read through his books. They are a never ending source of inspiration and learning. 

Some of my favorite books of Rodrick's include: (links to Amazon included)

Get on the waiting list for his newest book:
Sling Braiding Traditions and Techniques: From Peru, Bolivia, and Around the World  (November 2017)

Kongoh Gumi: "Left Bottom Up"   or   "Right Top Down"???
I wrote this back in 2015 so for some of you it may be a repeat. However, since there are more and more new braiders everyday, it seems timely to share it again. When I browse through Facebook, this is a question I see more often than alot of other questions.

Yatsu Kongoh, Round Braid, Yatsu Kongoh Gumi...these are all names for the same braid (and there may be more names). This is the 8 strand braid that most people first learn when they are introduced to Kumihimo. It is a versatile braid that lends itself to endless possibilities and seems to be the best braid structure for dropped beads (beads that are braided into the braid structure). The Yatsu-Kongoh is often thought of as "Left Bottom Up, Right Top Down, Rotate" or "Right Top Down, Left Bottom Up, Rotate". Both sequences are exactly the same so it does not matter which way you were taught. 

It should be pointed out that there is a Yatsu-Kongoh "Z" and and Yatsu-Kongoh "S" meaning that one braid has a "Z" spiral and the other has an "S" spiral.

Check out the photos (below) and you'll see that the "backbone" of the letter "Z" is in line with the diagonal line in the braid and the "backbone" of the letter "S" is in line with the diagonal on the other braid. 

The Yatsu Kongoh "Z" is created with the braiding sequence of "left up, right down" (or right down, left up). This is the structure most people learn first. This is a "clockwise" movement.  The Yatsu Kongoh "S" is created with the braiding sequence of "left down, right up" (or right up , left down). This is a "counter-clockwise" movement. 

YATSU KONGOH "Z"                                         YATSU KONGOH "S"



When the "Z" and the "S" are combined, the result is a reverse spiral  and you will see  the "Z" and "S" alternating. 
Needless to say, there are many, many intriguing braid
structures but don't underestimate the Yatsu Kongoh as the possibilities are endless with this incredibly versatile braid. 

P.S. For the 8 Strand Yatsu Kongoh, it doesn't matter which way you rotate the disk. Don't believe me? Give it a try! Key word here is 8 strand. With an 8 strand braid, regardless of the direction you turn the disk, you are still working with the same set/pairs of elements. 

P.S. S. If you are interested in good resources for braiding on the foam disk you need to get two great books by Makiko Tada:

Comprehensive Treatise of BraidsVI: Disk & Plate by Makiko Tada
Comprehensive Treatise of BraidsVI: Disk & Plate by Makiko Tada

If you need more (who could possibly have enough?) foam disks, I sell the   BeadSmith Mini Disk 32 slots, BeadSmith THICK Mini Disk 32 slots and BeadSmith 64 slot Disk. These are wonderful, high quality, high density foam disk. I sue them ALL the time and they last forever. It is good to devote some to thick fibers and other to your finer fibers. 

Need more bobbins? I have these too and they are the super nice quality plastic bobbins that never disappoint! There are lots of plastic bobbins onto market. Some are not as good as others. I have tried both and these are the best. 

Tip from one of my Readers...
Last month I included a Kumihimo Tip that addressed Beaded Necklaces.  One of my readers, Philonese Simmons, sent me this note with a helpful twist on what I suggested under #4 "Starting Positions". 


Enjoyed your newsletter today and have a suggestion for an addition to one of the tips. Whenever I have to load beads in a certain order on certain warps, I braid the cord without beads  first even if it's only an inch for the cone/clasp.  Then I load the beads on their proper cords which are in the order that they should be.  Than you know your beads are in the correct starting position. It's also easy to walk your cords around to the starting positions then load. I agree with you that you have to check your beads to be sure you have the counts
correct, several times."  - Philonese

 Thank you, Thank you , Thank you. 
Free Shipping

To show my appreciation, I am  offering..... FREE SHIPPING  for the rest of October. Remember,  Free Shipping applies to orders $25 and over (does not apply to international orders, sorry).

What a Knit/What a Braid Monthly Newsletters
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