Friday, July 14, 2017

8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid with Hearts and Metallic Accents Tutorial


8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid with Hearts and Metallic Accents Free Tutorial


These bracelets made with a flat braid can be done on a round kumihimo disk or a square plate. The flat braid is easy to learn and the movements of the cords become instinctual quickly. Four variations of this 8-strand flat braid are shown on page 68 in Braids, 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond, by Rodrick Owen, but none of the variations have the heart motif shown here. In this tutorial, this braid is done on a round disk, but instructions for the square plate will be forthcoming in a future post.


8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid with Hearts and Metallic Accents Tutorial


These bracelets can be worn singly or stacked. They are light and comfortable to wear. When stacked the magnetic clasps either attract or repel each other depending on the direction of their magnets, so take advantage of this property to stack them closely. Wear these bracelets triple stacked as shown on the top picture. 

Tutorial

This is a free tutorial... but it is copyrighted!
If you want to share the content with others, always refer to this original post... and visit  Marion Jewels in Fiber online store for supplies. Thank you! - Marion

Materials
or Metallic Cord with Fine Finish  - 20 yard (13.50 m)
C-Lon Micro Cord - 1 yard (0.9 m) cut in 1/2 into 2 lengths of 18 inches (45 cm)
Magnetic Clasps with 6.2mm inner diameter



Materials for Flat Kumihimo Braid



The tutorial shown below is made with Black Rayon Satin #2,  Silver Shiny Metallic Cord, and a 6.2 mm Black Oxide Magnetic End Clasp. These materials are available by following the links in the material list.



Tools for Flat Kumihimo Braid



Tools & Adhesives
4 inch Kumihimo Mini Disk
2 Mini-Clamps
2 EZ-Bobs (optional)
1 Paperclip
1 Weighted EZBob
Scissors
Micro Tip Pruning Snip or Shears
Pliers
Poly Zap Super Glue

All these tools can be found in Tools for Kumihimo, Tools, and the glue in Adhesives



Step by Step

"Cord" refers to an individual cord or a strand - a group of cords is treated as a unit, as in the metallic strand. 

Set Up the Braid

8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

1. Cut 3 lengths of Rayon Satin #2 or 2 mm Nylon Satin, 1 yard each. Fold in half and insert into the paperclip. 

8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

2. Cut the Metallic Cord into 1 yard lengths, keeping them together as a strand. Fold at the center and add to the paperclip. Add mini-clamps at each end or roll the ends into the EZ-Bobs to keep the cords from intermingling.


8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

3. Tie several half hitches 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the paperclip with C-Lon Micro Cord


8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial


4. Pull the paperclip through K-disk, the weighted EZ-Bob, and secure the paperclip with a mini-clamp. 



8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial


5. Place the cords and strands in the slots on each side of the black dots. The heart pattern is created by placing the metallic strands in the slots above dots #24 and #8. 


Braiding Steps

8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Left cord by #32 to slot below the 2 cords by #8


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Right cord by #32 to slot below the 2 cords by #24 

Now 3 cords are on each side and 2 cords are by dot #16


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Left cord by #16 to slot above the 3 cords by #8


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Right cord by #16 to slot above the 3 cords by #24

Now 4 cords are on each side

8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Right cord above dot #8 to slot right of dot #16

8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Left cord above dot #24 to slot left of dot #16

Now 3 cords are on each side and 2 cords are by dot #16

8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Right cord below dot #8 to slot right of dot #32


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Left cord below dot #24 to slot left of dot #32


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Reposition the side cords to the closest slots on each side of #8 & #24


8-Stand Flat Kumihimo Braid Free Tutorial

Now all the cords are in the slots on each side of black dots.
The metallic strands are now on each side of dot #16. 


Braiding Mantra
Top down
Bottom up
Center up
Reposition

Here is the Mantra shown in a repetition of Move 1-8 plus Reposition. 

8 strand flat kumihimo braid tutorial

Note: Move the left cord 1st

8 strand flat kumihimo braid tutorial

Note: Move the left cord 1st

8 strand flat kumihimo braid tutorial


8 strand flat kumihimo braid tutorial


8 strand flat kumihimo braid tutorial



The cords are bacl to the same postion as before Move 1.
To continue, repeat the Mantra or go back through Move 1-8 and Repositioning. 

Kumihimo Flat Braid DIY Tutorial

Turn the disk over often and check the progress of the braid. 



Tips
- Keep your tension even - I prefer mine on the loose side for this braid.
- Hold the flat braid on the back end of the disk with your left hand, braid with your right hand.



Kumihimo Flat Braid DIY Tutorial

Repeat these steps until you have braided the cord to the desired length. Remove the cords from the disk while holding the braid with your left hand. With 18 inches (45 cm) of C-Lon Micro Cord, tie several half hitches right at the end of the braid.

The End Clasps


Kumihimo Flat Braid DIY Tutorial

1. Prepare the part you just finished braiding - Wrap the cord ends in a corkscrew fashion with the Micro Cord. Do it very tightly but keep some space between the wraps. Wrap around 1 inch (2.5 cm). End the wrap with a few half hitches. For the end with the paperclip - Cut the cords first, then wrap the cord ends in a corkscrew fashion. 


Kumihimo Flat Braid DIY Tutorial

2. Add a few drops of Poly Zap Superglue over the wrapped parts. Let the glue dry. Cut the ends with the snip or shears leaving 3/8 “ (1 cm) of wrapped cords. Check the fit. Round the braid with pliers if needed. Dab a drop of glue on the end clasp and insert. Let dry. 



Kumihimo Flat Braid Bracelet




Design Options

Kumihimo Flat Braid Bracelet


Peyote Sleeves
Add a Peyote Bead Sleeve over the magnetic clasp. Go the tutorials HERE and get the materials HERE.

Extra Colors
Add an extra color for the center of the braid as shown above. Grey Satin was used for the two satin cords by dot #16. This way the satin color at the center of the braid is different than the color on the sides.

8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid with Hearts and Metallic Accents Tutorial

Compare Materials 

2 mm Nylon Satin: Shown on left. It has a bit more sheen than the Rayon Satin. It is strong and durable and devoid of the annoying little thread that sometimes stick out of the rayon satin. 

Rayon Nylon Satin #2: Shown at center. Beautiful sheen. Needs to be treated nicely. Harder to clean than nylon. Little threads stick out sometimes.

2 mm Chinese Knotting Cord: Shown on right. Matte. Textured. Strong and durable. Easy to wash. 

Enjoy this tutorial. Happy Summer! - Marion

8-Strand Flat Kumihimo Braid with Hearts and Metallic Accents Tutorial



Friday, June 23, 2017

Sweet Spot - On Tour

Sweet Spot by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell





Sweet Spot an installation by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell made with C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400 is currently in exhibit in San Diego at Wonderspace through the end of July. Wonderspace is a touring art show under a big tent featuring extraordinary art from around the world.

Tour Schedule:

San Diego, CA - through July 2017

Austin, TX - October through December 2017

Phoenix, AZ - February - April 2018

Denver, CO - June - August 2018

Check the tour schedule HERE as locations and dates may change

Read and see more images of this installation on this earlier post on Sweet Spot.

I just found out about this current installation... If you are in any of the cities on the schedule, make sure to include a visit. I wish I was closer to San Diego... Imagine seeing 19 miles of C-Lon Tex 400!

Wonderspace writes about Sweet Spot by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell

A meditation on color and the pleasure of seeing, Sweet Spot is a shimmering color installation of 3700 thin multicolor nylon cords hanging ceiling to floor through handmade wood compartments. There are 19 miles of cord in the piece, which was handmade in Indianapolis with a team of 80 volunteers contributing 1000 hours. The motion of the viewer activates the piece as every change in perspective reveals new color harmonies. The flickering effect compels the viewer to slow down as the eye registers shifts in color. The viewer may find their own 'sweet spot' of resonating color relationships as they relate one perspective to another.

Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell live and work in Indianapolis. They focus on using low tech materials to explore color harmonies that are activated by viewer movement. You can learn more about them and their work on their websiteFacebook ,or Instagram.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Loading Beads onto Cord & Thread - Needle Types & Sizes, Thread Leader and Self Needles

I wrote a post quite a while ago on the best way to load beads onto cords. It is one of the most common questions I get. It is a lot easier to refer to a post than to answer everyone individually. It was also time to update the info with lots of visual aids. This info is crucial to so many techniques from Peyote Stitch, Bead Kumihimo, Micro Macrame, and just Stringing Beads or Making Malas.


Needles



Needles for Beaded Jewelry

From left to right:

Big Eye Needles - Super easy to use as the needle opens fully from tip to tip. The needle consists of two long needles soldered together at each end, so when you separate them, in the middle the needle eye is giant. On the negative side, the needle is fairly thick so it cannot go though many beads as their holes are too thin, plus it can snag fragile material such as monocords (C-Lon Bead Thread, Size D and AA, KO and Miyuki Beading Thread) or fragile ribbon such as the knitted Panaché ribbon. Occasionally the solder joint breaks, so have an extra on hand just in case.

Wire Needles with Collapsible Eyes - Such as the Griffin Needles. They come in three sizes, thin, medium, and heavy. They are a good choice for stringing lots of beads, and since the eye collapses, the needle does not take a lot of room, so it is possible to get a double cord or thread into a small bead hole. But as the eye collapses, most of the time the needles are not reusable. On the plus side, the packages have 25 needles. 

Tapestry Needles - They come in many sizes from Size 20 (the thickest) to Size 28 (the thinnest) and they all have blunt ends. Chenille Needles are similar to Tapestry Needles but have sharp ends. 

I try to use blunt ends always for loading beads onto cord and thread. I am less likely to poke myself and to get my project ruined by staining it with blood. Also if you are making multiple passes, blunt ends are best for lowering the likelihood of going through the thread of the previous passes. 

Bead Embroidery Needles
Bead Embroidery Needles - These beading needles in size 10 and 12 are similar to Beading Needles, but they are shorter, plus they have blunt ends. These are pluses all around for leather wrap bracelet, Peyote Stitch, and very fine thread. 

Guide for Needle Sizes


This is a general guide as to the best needle type and sizes for some common thread and cord used for beaded jewelry. It also give an indication as to the best needle size for finishing. 

I often use the next size down for finishing and a pair of pliers to pull the needle and cord through when finishing in micro macrame. I can squeeze a C-Lon Bead Cord in a Tapestry Size 24, thus making a smaller hole in my work, but the end of the cord that went through the needle will not be usable, it will have to be discarded. 


Pull Along Needle and Thread Leader Method


If the beads holes are too small to accommodate the cords and needles listed above, then a smaller pull along needle with a thread leader might be the best way. 

Pull Along Needle and Thread Leader



In this example, the 4mm hematite with an Aurora Borealis finish are loaded onto C-Lon Bead Cord. The bead holes barely accommodate the cord doubled over, so a big eye needle or a tapestry needle will not work. A collapsible wire needle might work, but it might damage the looped part of the cord. So this might be the best solution. The needle is a Tapestry Needle Size 26. The thread leader is a piece of C-Lon Micro Cord. A thinner needle and thread could be used such as a Bead Embroidery Needle and C-Lon Bead Thread Size D or KO/Miyuki Thread. 

If tying a knot does not work because the knot keeps the beads from sliding down, as I found out in my example, either choose a thinner thread or omit the knot as shown below. 

Pull Along Needle and Thread Leader



Self Needles



Fray Check for Self NeedlesBeeswax for Self Needles


 Self Needles can be made with Fray Check or Beeswax. 

The advantage for self needles is that there is no need to double the cord over to insert it into the bead holes. It can be done with a single cord or thread which is less bulky. Thus it allows a thicker cord into a bead hole.


Self Needle with Fray Check - Dip or rub some Fray Check onto the end of the cord. Let it dry. Cut the cord at an angle and use it as a needle. Re-cut at needed. 

Fray Check acts like a glue and coats the cord adding a bit of bulk to the cord. Making the self needle with beeswax (shown next) is the best way for loading beads onto cords when the size of the cord is close to the bead hole.  


Self Needle with Beeswax Method

This method is shown here with C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400 as it is easier to photograph than thinner cords, but I use this method for the standard C-Lon Bead Cord or Nylon #18 bonded nylon cord and thinner bonded nylons,  for silks such as the Kanagawa or Fujix Tire Silk, and other cord and thread. 

Self Needles with Beeswax Method

Step 1. With the scissor blade edge shred the cord end. 


Self Needles with Beeswax Method

This picture shows the shredded material. 

Self Needles with Beeswax Method

Make sure to shred each of the 3 plies evenly. 


Self Needles with Beeswax Method

Step 2. Run the wax multiple times over the ends. 



Self Needles with Beeswax Method

Step 3. Roll the ends counterclockwise and cut the ends at an angle with sharp scissors. Occasionally as you load beads, you might need to re-wax and recut the end. 


The Beeswax Self Needle has many advantages:


• No need to double the cord over unless you want to use two cords, then join them together with the beeswax. The beeswax will hold cords together. 

• No drying time

Note: Not all beeswaxes are equal. If yours is a bit too soft or sticky place it in the refrigerator. It will help making it harder. If yours is too hard, keep it by a warm light.

I like my beeswax on the hard side... and I also often use pliers with this method to pull the cord through a tight hole. But of course sometimes a bead hole is just too narrow. Then the beads can be set aside for another project done with a thinner cord or it can be reamed.  A post about reaming beads will be on my list of next posts, so stay tuned. Follow my blog or sign up for newsletters to hear the latest news or visit my news page.  It has links to all my technical posts at the very bottom. 

In the end it is best to try all the different methods, and find your favorite way for your projects!

Links and References


-> Needles








Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Pantone Colors and C-Lon Bead Cord Colors

2017 Pantone Spring Colors

Pantone Colors for Spring 2017

C-Lon Bead Cord Colors/Pantone Colors Spring 2017

LMZ Light Maize, BLS Blush, AB Antique Brown, IB Ice Blue, MO Moss
OG Orange, LTM Light Magenta, CER Cerulean, GRO Green Olive, C Capri

Greenery is the Pantone color of the year. Moss is the closest C-Lon Bead Cord color. 


2017 Pantone Fall Colors

Two version of the fall colors are available. The first set is for New York, the second for London. Take you pick - Choose your favorite colors!



C-Lon Bead Cord Colors/Pantone Colors Fall 2017
SR Sanghai Red, BC Black Currant, PTL Petal, S Sable, N Navy
GR Grey, CER Cerulean, LMG Lemongrass, CB Caribbean Blue, LC Light Copper


C-Lon Bead Cord Colors/Pantone Colors Fall 2017


C-Lon Bead Cord Colors/Pantone Colors Fall 2017



RH Red Hot, PTL Petal, S Sable, BLM Blue Morning, AM Amethyst
SE Sepia, N Navy, TN Tangerine, LMZ Light Maize, GOLV Golden Olive

Links