Sunday, April 7, 2013

PANACHÉ RIBBON - Variegated Hand Dyed Knitted Rayon Ribbon

Occasionally I walk on the wild side... Last year I fell in love with this knit ribbon. Last summer I designed the Bead Cluster Kumihimo Kit. Now this variegated knit ribbon is available as Mini-Skeins in 12 color ways.

Magnetic, Toggle & Spiral clasps in 3.2mm diameter are perfect fit for 8-strand round braids made with this ribbon. Go to Silver and Gold Tone Findings to see these clasps.

Storing C-Lon Bead Cord

How do you store your C-Lon Bead Cords? As more colors are made it becomes more challenging. Here is some of my organization or lack of it with before and after shots...


After - All 104 Colors of C-Lon Bead Cord on 2 Wooden Racks

This spinning cord holder holds the spools I am currently working with. Once I am done them, I return them to the hanging rack to their original spaces. It follows, mostly the color chart I have on the web. I bought this spinning
thread holder from Mingo and Asho at a show. It is available on their ebay store.
Now I have to try to figure out what to do with all my Vintage Cords...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Micro Macrame - The Latin American Version

ARUMI design by Martin and Ugne from Spain or
While Macrame got its latest renewal as Micro Macrame in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, another macrame revival has been taking place in Latin America.

The re-emergence of Macrame has been centered around jewelry, renamed Micro Macrame for short and mostly features knotted cords with beads or gemstones. DIY books have been published by artists and authors such as Joan Babcock, Kris Buchanan, Sherry Haab, Anika DeGroot and Marie Le Sueur. Websites such as Macrame Collective have been showing Macrame as an art form. The availability of materials to work with has been a major factor. You need cord. In 2005, I had difficulties finding bonded nylon in a wide range of colors for myself and my students, so when I discovered C-Lon, I decided to promote them.

At the time C-Lon made 24 colors of C-Lon Bead Cord and the C-Lon Bead Thread Size D and AA collections. Marion Jewels in Fiber, my supply website, was born in January 2006. Over the years I have helped C-Lon expand their collection and now they have 4 sizes of cords, with 72 colors of C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400, 104 colors of the standard C-Lon Bead Cord, 24 colors of C-Lon Fine Weight Tex 135 Cord, and 32 colors of C-Lon Micro Cord. C-Lon is planning to add 16 additional colors of the Fine Weight Tex 135 cord in 2013. They added 24 colors of Tex 400 last year, so they keep expanding!

In the meantime, another macrame revolution has been taking place in Latin America centered around Settanyl and Linhasita, two brands of Brazilian waxed polyester cord. These cords have been difficult to find until recently when started importing Settanyl. After sourcing Linhasita a number of years ago, I had considered importing it from Brazil, but I was already busy enough and running out of room to store cords, plus I found that I am allergic to the wax coating, so that idea was nixed. So it is great that someone else has taken the baton.

The work featured on this page is made with waxed polyester cord, artist names are listed.

Nicole Medema

Percy Palomino Tomayquispe

Teleisthai Macrame

Merlina Textile
Here is fun sculptural piece made with this waxed polyester cord by Merlina Textile. was founded by Dawn Standera of Macrame Collective and Karen Forbes. Both Macrame artists were frustrated by the lack of availability of this type of cord, so they decided to venture into providing this cord for knotters, Macrame artists or anyone wanting to experiment with this cord. KnotMore carries 75 colors of Settanyl, a 1mm 2-ply waxed polyester from Brazil. The spools have 175 yards, so plenty of yardage for projects such jewelry, knotted sculptures, and basketry.

More : Read about comparisons between the Settanyl Brazilian Polyester cord and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord at

Comparison between Settanyl Brazilian Waxed Polyester and C-Lon Bead Cord

Dawn Standera

What's the differences between Settanyl Brazilian Waxed Polyester and C-Lon Bead Cord?

Nylon versus Polyester
Nylon is made out of continuous filament fibers. It imitates filament silk. Polyester is made of shorter fibers, spun together the same way as cotton and linen. 

2 Ply versus 3 Ply
C-Lon is a 3-ply cord. Sattanyl is a 2-ply cord. 3 ply construction makes a rounder cord. 2-ply construction makes a cord that can be more easily flattened. 

Bond versus Wax Coating
Bond is coat applied to the cord after it has been extruded, spun and plied. It is similar to a resin that's applied, then dried in an oven. Tack is applied and the cord is wound on spools. Bond whitens over time and sometimes when exposed to changes of temperature or heavy handling. Rubbing alcohol on the cord surface restores the transparency of the bond. Wax is applied after the cord has been plied. Wax, over time with wear, can get removed, leaving the cord more susceptible to wear and tear. 

The Settanyl Brazilian Waxed Polyester is about 1mm in diameter, just a tad thicker than C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, the heavier cord of C-Lon. 

Wash & Wear
Both types of cord can be washed. Both will most likely fade with long exposure to sunlight. 

Learning Curve
Bonded nylon is a bit harder to knot, but easier to unknot when a mistake has been done. Waxed polyester is easier to knot as the first half of the knot holds itself better as the wax creates a form of adhesion. Unknotting waxed fiber is harder, especially without damaging the appearance of the cord. 

Personal Preferences
In the end it is all about personal preferences. Many types of knotting lend themselves to waxed fibers. Some artists, experts and beginners alike, will love the availability of this cord.

My recommendation 
Personally I would get a few spools to test if I could. I would try out this cord for textile object' d'art or fiber sculptures if I went it that direction. I may even try it for jewelry. Unfortunately, I have a major skin sensitivity to the wax coating, so even if my hands could touch the cord without problems, I may turn around and rub my eyes with fingers with wax, and end up with contact dermatitis around my eyes. But since most likely that's just my problem, yes, get a few spools to play around and experiment!

 >> Go to

Catlin - In Memoriam

My husband, Nicolai Larsen, painted this watercolor featuring Catlin's koi pond. She had a name for each of the koi and had them eat straight out of her hand. Detail shown of Sanctuary - ©2010 Nicolai Larsen.

These past few months have been challenging. Catlin, my work assistant, team member, best friend, confidante, and family member, died on January 4th after a brave battle with cancer. She never gave up hope and was courageous to the very end. It was my privilege to accompany her on her journey. 

Catlin Larsen-O'Hair was born in San Francisco on July 29, 1941. She went to work right out of High School, first for a newspaper, then for the California Teachers Association. She had to retire early due to health reasons. She developed an amazing attitude despite continuing health problems for the rest of her life. She went back to school and became an interior designer. Then she took to hand and machine embroidery, mastering various computer programs. She played with various handcrafts along the way, including her latest passion for knitting. Everything she touched was done with flair and finished meticulously. Her color sense was amazing, she was not afraid of colors. When asked which one was her favorite, she would say 'all of them'. The only color she shied away from was black. She said it was overused. In addition she loved animals, museums, and reading books. She was an unapologetic left-wing democrat. She loved watching Japanese Anime, especially all the Miyazaki movies, and the Turner Classics. 

Many of my online customers knew Catlin, as she worked as part of my online store team for a long time. She had her own store within mine, so in a way we were partners. The Kollage Needles and Crochet Hooks were her addition. Her knowledge, care, and attention to details will be missed. She had a great laugh. We were very close, occasionally more like sisters, or at least arguing like sisters. I miss her terribly and hold her memory dear. 

The knitted pieces shown above were her latest projects. They have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, as the texture and feel of the materials chosen do not translate in pictures. 

I am grateful to all who responded to my newsletter with heartfelt thoughts and best wishes. Somehow it has given me some solace to share the news. Thank you!  Marion

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet is easy and fun. A while ago posted this picture and got lots of requests for a tutorial. So here it is to celebrate the arrival of 16 new colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, bringing the total of colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord to 72. That is truly amazing to have all these color choices. It makes working with this cord a pleasure. This tutorial is my holiday present to anyone following my blog and to all my fabulous customers - Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Supplies: C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, Beads, Button, Crochet Hook, Scissors, Tapestry Needle

Choosing the color of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord to go with the Miyuki Seed Beads Size E... 

With C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, I use either Miyuki seed beads size 6 or 5 (E), a Hamanaka Double Pointed Steel Crochet Hook Size 0 & 2 (1.5-1.75 mm) or a Kollage Square Crochet Size B. The Hamanaka double pointed crochet hook is fabulous as one end, the larger one, works with Tex 400 Cord and the other end, the smaller one works with the standard size of C-Lon Bead Cord, so all I need is one crochet hook for both sizes of cord. The Kollage hook has the nice square ebony wood handle, but it is out of production at this time, so stock is low. I switch crochet hooks as I work, it is just like changing shoes... 

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

1. Load about 50 beads on the C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord. Make 1 slip knot.

2. Crochet 2 chain stitches.

3. Slide 1 bead and crochet 1 single chain stitch. 

4. Turn the work around and make 1 single crochet stitch right into the first chain stitch.

Here is the single crochet stitch complete. 

5. Slide a bead and make 1 chain stitch - shown on process above and complete below. 

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Step 5 complete. 

6. Turn the work around, make 1 single crochet stitch right at the bead (above the bead), slide 1 bead, 1 single chain.

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

7. Repeat Step 6 until desired length is achieved.

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

8. Using single chain stitches make the button loop. Attach the button using a tapestry needle and the end tail at the beginning. Adjust loop and stitch ends in. Cut ends or secure them by melting them with the Super Max Thread Burner. 

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

9. Hey, the bracelet is finished!!!!

On this piece, I added a bead right at the loop and played around with adding a bead every other row when on the right side. It created a ridge with the bead slightly at an angle. These additions are not necessary but it is fun to play around.... 

If you do not know how to crochet, check locally for classes or do further research on the web.

—> Check all the fabulous 72 colors of C-Lon Bead Tex 400 Cord
—> Check Bead Crochet Tools  including the crochet hooks mentioned above and the Tubular Bead Crochet Starter Jig & Tutorial to make bead crochet ropes
—> Check the Super Max Thread Burner
—> Earlier post on Turkish Flat Bead Crochet

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crown Knot Bracelet Class at BABE

In this class, offered at BABE, Bay Area Extravaganza, on Friday, November 2, we will be making a bracelet. In the morning we will learn to tie crown knots with a kumihimo disk. Tying this knot free hand fashion is difficult to master with multiple cords. The use of the disk makes it easier to learn.

The crown knot is a bit bulkier than pearls knotting and is easier to keep snug against the beads. It especially well suited for stringing beads with uneven holes, or when beads need to be kept apart as multiple crown knots can be made between beads. Multiple crown knot form a sennit with a similar appearance as the 8 strand braid in kumihimo, but it is made with only half as many cords for a braid/cord of similar diameter.

This knot is used extensively in Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese knotting. The four fold aspect of this knot is in perfect harmony with Buddhist principles. It is completely completely symmetrical. It is often used in malas. In addition, tying crown knots can become a form of prayer, a meditation.

In the afternoon we will make the bracelet ending, integrating the loop in a seamless fashion with no cord ends remaining. This type of ending can be applied to other techniques such as micro macrame and kumihimo.
Joining Hands after a Crown Knotting Class

The class manual has a lot of info that goes beyond the class project and can be a guide for further projects you may want to do after the class.

Come and join us at BABE, a few spaces are still remaining and online class registration ends this Saturday, October 27!

Sign up for Classes at

This is my 4th time teaching this class at BABE. I will have two teachers assistants this year, so we will have a fabulous class with lots of individual attention. The BABE show takes place on Saturday and Sunday. I will be there with supplies and kits. There will be demos - I will do 2 demos, one on Saturday on the new Bead Cluster Kumihimo Kit and one on Sunday on the Shambhala Bracelet, an adaptation on a classic Chinese design - see earlier blog. BABE has great classes and a great show with lots of fabulous vendors!