Monday, August 15, 2022

Bracelet Stack #2 made with Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord


Bracelet Stack made with Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord

This next bracelet stack is made with "Bright Spring Variation", the second colorway I experimented with. Bracelet #1 is not shown on this stack.


 
 
Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord Skein 
 


How is Space Dyed Yarn or Cord made?
 
The cord is first braided with nylon thread, then it is space dyed in skeins with several colors and/or color gradients creating a pattern around the skein. Most skeins are about 50 inch (128 cm) around with some, not all, space dyed with the same colors on both side of the folded skein so the pattern is mirrored on both sides of the skein and repeats with each turn of the skein. After the dying process, the cord is rinsed and dried. In the last step the cord is rolled on spools.
 

This colorway, Bright Spring Variation, is available in a 20 meter spool. Let's see what can be made with a spool. 

 

Kumihimo Bracelet #1
 

Double Wrap Kumihimo Bracelets made with Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord 

Double wrap kumihimo bracelet made with 7 Strand Braiding Method

 

The 7 Strand Kumihimo Method is explained in the last post and will be covered in a forthcoming tutorial. This was the second bracelet I made this way with the Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord. Previously I have experimented with this method with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord. I started with 50 inch cords forded in half so 25 inch cords to braid with and this bracelet ended up a bit shorter than I hoped with a 12.5 inch total length, and a 6.25 inch bracelet length when worn as a double wrap bracelet. That's even a bit short for my small wrists.


Kumihimo Bracelet #1

Triple Wrap Kumihimo bracelet made with Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord

Triple wrap kumihimo bracelet made with 7 Strand Braiding Method

 

This next experimental bracelet was more successful as I started with twice as much length with 100 inch folded in half to 50 inch. I ended up with a 24 inch length and adjusted the final length back to 21.5 inches to fit my wrist. The marigold (sunflower) button is available on this page, it is the 5th listing.


Square Knot Bracelet #1
 

 
This bracelet is made the same way as the shambhala bracelets, however with thinner cords, and with beads only at the sliding cords ends. I added a Fower and Leaves Button as a center charm. It's the 2nd listing on this web page.

 


Square Knot Bracelet #2

Oops I forgot to take a close up picture...  That's the one with the Teapot Button as a center charm. It's the first listing on this button page. and sliding bead clasp available here. It was made with the remnants leftover of this spool and I had to add beads as I did not have enough cords for all the square knots... 

For more info on these bracelets...

Check the previous post... 

> Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord

 





Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord Experimental Bracelets Color Variation #1

 

 
I love these new space dyed colors. They are so much fun to play with. Here is the bracelet stack I made with "Turquoise Variation", the first colorway I experimented with.
 
 
What is Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord? 
 
Chinese Knotting Cord is a braided nylon cord made in China available in a variety of thickness and usually dyed in solid colors. The cord is made on large braiding machine out of nylon thread, then it is wound on skeins, dyed, rinsed, and dried, then wound on spools. For more info on all the types and sizes of Chinese Knotting Cord, go HERE
 
When cord or yarn are dyed with different colors along a skein, the color changes repeat around each cord turn around the skein. This type of dyeing is called Space Dyed. This can be done by hand at an artisanal scale or in a factory setting with many skeins all dyed at the same time. It is a process that is more labor intensive than dyeing solid colors. 
 
Why are Space Dyed Colors So Much Fun? 
 
If done correctly with interesting color shifts and variations, it lends itself to so many possibilities... So here are my very first experiments with the new Space Dyed Chinese Knotting Cords I just started importing from China. 
 

This colorway, Turquoise Variation, is available in a 20 meter spool. Let's see what can be made with a spool.

Kumihimo Bracelet 
 
Braided with the 7 strand method, started at the loop and ended with a Pinwheel Button. That's the 9th listing on this page.
 
 
I have been playing with a 7 stand kumihimo pattern and I plan to write a better tutorial on this method with a full step by step tutorial with photos and maybe a video and all the best ways to achieve a professional result on the first try... 
 
This braiding method is really easy. If your kumihimo disk has 4 dots, place 4 strands at the dots, then 3 in between the dots, that leave one space with no cord. Or add 4 extra dots in between the dots with a sharpie marker and place the 7 cords by the dots. There is one empty spot. 

Several ways explain the same cord movements of the braiding process:
 
1. The disk is like a clock. Place the empty slot at 1:30, and take the cord that's at 6 and insert it in the empty spot at 1:30. Then rotate the disk counterclockwise until the empty spot is at 1:30 again and repeat.

2. Count the cords from the empty spot clockwise*. 1, 2 and 3 cords, and taking the 3rd cord up to the empty spot. 
 
 3. By the numbers on the disk with a 32 slot disk. Place the 7 cords right in slots before #8, #12, #16, #20, #24, #28, #32. [Place #32 at the top. Take #16 cord to #4. Place #12 at top. Take #28 to #16. Place #24 at top. Take #8 to #28. Place #4 at top. Take #20 to #8. Place #16 at top. Take #32 to #20. Place #28 at top. Take #12 to #32. Place #8 at top. Take #24 to #12. Place #20 at top. Take #4 to #24.] Repeat []. 
 
* This can be done clockwise or counterclockwise. but you need to be consistent. For me since I am right handed, I prefer to hold the disk with my left hand and move the cord with my right hand. And I prefer to move the cord up rather than down... it;s easier, but it can be done the other way... so long as it is consistent.   
 
Left handed? 
With method 1, place your empty spot at 10:30 instead for 1:30. With method 2, count counterclockwise. With method 3, I will write it if anyone is interested...
 
 
 
Tibetan Knot Bracelet
 
 
I made this one with double stands and line the colors so the color shifts would happen at the same time... For the tutorial go here!



Square Knot Bracelet #1

 
Square Knot Bracelet made with Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord
 
This bracelet is made the same way as the shambhala bracelets, however with thinner cords, and with beads only at the sliding cords ends. I added a Teapot Button as a center charm. It's the first listing on this button page.
 
 

Square Knot Bracelet #2
 
Square Knot Bracelet made with Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord 
 
This second bracelet is finished with a sliding bead clasp available here
 
 
Square Knot Bracelet #3

 Square Knot Bracelet made with Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord
 
For this 3rd bracelet iI did not have a lot of cord left, so adding the beads was a perfect solution as it did not use as much cords as all square knots... The beads are 4mm Czech Fire Polished Beads

 
Chain Stitch Bead Crochet Sample
 
 
 
Crochet Sample made with Dyed Chinese Knotting Cord
 
After making all the bracelets above, I just had enough cord left to make a sample... I will make a bracelet of necklace with one of the next color variation.
 




Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pantone 2022-23 Fall/Winter New York Fashion Color Palette compared to C-lon Bead Cord Colors


Pantone forecasts fashion colors and let manufacturers and designers buy in advance their color palettes, and this is the reason why when you go in stores the same set of colors is dominant everywhere... 

Why does it matter for hand crafted jewelry made with C-Lon Bead Cord?

If you plan to market and sell your work as fashion accessories, these colors are important. Many of the latest fabrics and clothing will be made in these colors, so soon everyone will be looking for jewelry accessories in these colors too. If you are very close to the fashion hubs, these new colors are adopted faster, if you are further away they will trickle in over several years... And yes you can always go with the classics, these colors are chosen for their long lasting values.

"Contrasting colors that bring together our co-existing desires for rest and relaxation with exuberant expression"



  
 
Pantone 2022-23 Fall/Winter New York Fashion Color Palette compared to C-lon Bead Cord Colors

 
Pantone 2022-23 Fall/Winter Core Classics compared C-Lon Bead Cord Colors
 
"Classic, seasonless hues whose versatility express longevity"
Pantone 2022-23 Fall/Winter New York Fashion Color Palette compared to C-lon Bead Cord Colors

 

To purchase these C-Lon colors in the standard Tex 210 size, or the heavier Tex 400 size, go to the July 2022 entry on Marion Jewels in Fiber Online Store News Page.

Friday, August 5, 2022

C-Lon Bead Cord vs S-Lon Bead Cord - What's the Difference and How Do the Colors Compare

Compare C-Lon and S-Lon Colors
Switching from S-Lon to C-Lon can be tricky as S-Lon renamed many colors... But let's be clear C-Lon originated the colors, S-Lon mimicked. The S-Lon colors are not new and different colors even if the names are new or changed. Watch for switcheroos such Aqua-Ice Blue, with Ice Blue by S-Lon closer to Steel (see 3rd image) and occasional dye lot shifts  such Milk Chocolate-Chestnut, with SLBC-CH darker than CLC-CST.
 

Marion Jewels in Fiber has been stocking and selling C-Lon Bead Cord since January 2006. Why do we also now stock some S-Lon as well although the colors are the same? About a year ago one of our customers sent us a chart of the possible color equivalents across the two competing brands of US made bonded nylon cord. We are now following up to see how the two brands, C-Lon and S-Lon intersect. 

Why did we pursue this now...

1. Customers have been contacting us looking for color equivalents looking for a C-Lon color corresponding to an S-Lon color they bought in another store or for colors no longer in production. 

2. Due to global supplies disruption, some C-Lon colors have been out of stock for a longer period of time. Finding an equivalent across the brands becomes necessary for higher volume customers with immediate production needs who can not wait for a color to be back in stock. 

For a bit of history on these two brands

Visit one of our earlier post on the subject here: https://jewelsinfiber.blogspot.com/2010/02/c-lon-versus-s-lon.html. Now as of summer 2022, after spending time comparing the 2 brands, S-Lon produces less colors than previously while C-Lon continues their production with the same amount of colors as in our last survey. 

Compare C-Lon Bead Cord versus S-Lon Bead Cord Colors

Here the dye lots between the brands are amazingly similar,
however watch for name changes.

Summer 2022 - C-Lon

• 116 Colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, heavy weight at about 0.9 mm in diameter - 39 yd spool
• 116 Colors of C-Lon Bead Cord, Tex 210 standard weight at about 0.5 mm in diameter - 92 yd spool
• 60 Colors of C-Lon Fine Weight Tex 135 Bead Cord, at about 0.4 mm in diameter - 50 and 136 yd spools
• 48 Colors of C-Lon Micro Bead Cord, Tex 70 heavy weight at about 0.115 mm in diameter - 100 and 320 yd spools

C-Lon checks the thread quality, for looks dye lot divergences, rejecting colors that are too far off, and generally does a great job at quality control.

Summer 2022 - S-Lon

• 30 Colors of S-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, heavy weight at about 0.9 mm in diameter - 35 yd spool
• 96 Colors of S-Lon Bead Cord, Tex 210 standard weight at about 0.5 mm in diameter - 77 yd spool
• 11 Colors of S-Lon Fine Weight Tex 135 Bead Cord, at about 0.4 mm in diameter - 118 yd spool
• 17 Colors of S-Lon Micro Bead Cord, Tex 70 heavy weight at about 0.115 mm in diameter - 262 yd spool

S-Lon does not check the thread and dye quality, nor look for dye lot divergences, so sometimes colors are quite off the original color. Also they are in the process of discontinuing colors and as the numbers of colors shrinks, finding C-Lon equivalents becomes more important if you want to design with a fuller color palette.  

Compare C-Lon Bead Cord and S-Lon Bead Cord Colors

Watch for the switcheroos and dye lot shift such as SLBC-LBR is the equivalent CLC-L Latte but shifted 1/4 step towards CLC-BLS Blush, or SLBC-IB dareker than CLC-STL

Difference between the brands

 • Both cord brands are made in the same factory, but the actual output is not always the same as to spool sizes and quality control.  
• Color names are different and can lead to difficulty when switching from one brand to another. 
• Some C-Lon colors do not have an S-Lon equivalent. One S-Lon color does not have an C-Lon equivalent and it may be due to a bad dye lot batch from the factory or it is a distinct color. 

Access to the PDFs
These are spreadsheets sorted by color codes. The colors in bold fonts have been compared with actual spools side by side. The one's in regular text are best guesses. I just received a shipment with more S-Lon Bead Cord to compare and got a few surprises. The color charts and spreadsheets have been updated, today, August 15, 2022.  

1. PDF - Compare C-Lon Colors to S-Lon Colors. Sorted by the C-Lon Color Codes

2. PDF - Compare S-Lon Colors to C-Lon Colors. Sorted by the S-Lon Color Codes

The 2 PDFs have the same information, however they are sorted differently. If you are looking to transition from an S-Lon color to a C-Lon colors and you know the color name, use the #2 PDF. If you do not know the color name, send a snippet in an envelope with your name and email address to Marion Jewels in Fiber, PO Box 6776, Chico CA 95928. We will identify it for you and reply by email.


Here the same info minus the notes on color charts. The colors compared side by side are in regular font, the best guesses in lighter grey. When the S-Lon color is left blank, there is no equivalent currently available or known by us.

C-Lon and S-Lon Bead Cord Colors Compared - Page 1
 
Click on image for a larger image or go here for a printable PDF. That's page 1.

C-Lon and S-Lon Bead Cord Colors Compared - Page 2
 
Click on image for a larger image or go here for a printable PDF and that's page 2.  

 To order C-Lon Bead Cord, go here:

> 116 Colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, heavy weight at about 0.9 mm in diameter
> 116 Colors of C-Lon Bead Cord, Tex 210 standard weight at about 0.5 mm in diameter
> 60 Colors of C-Lon Fine Weight Tex 135 Bead Cord, at about 0.4 mm in diameter
> 48 Colors of C-Lon Micro Bead Cord, Tex 70 heavy weight at about 0.115 mm in diameter  

Thank you for reading this post. Contact Marion or leave a comment if you have more info or questions on comparing colors across the brands. We hope this post will make it easier for you to get the colors you are looking for!

 



 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Ukraine Friendship Bracelets + Free Tutorial

Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Upon the onset of the war in Ukraine, like everyone else I wanted to do something to help....  

For over a month, I donated 10% of my online sales to non-profits organizations, but as of week 6, I wanted to do something different. As of April 1, I started designing special bracelets to wear in solidarity with Ukraine with the goal in mind to create a fundraiser, or many especially if other makers like you join in the effort. 

I am already selling mine locally at the Chico Art Center Gift Shop with 25% of sales going to the Ukraine Red Cross and I will be selling them at the Chico ART Festival in May with 100% of the profits going to non-profit organizations helping in Ukraine with the humanitarian crisis. I hope this will inspire you to make some bracelets as a fundraiser too.

First I needed colors...

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Colors for Ukraine

The 8 colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord I have been using,  are reminiscent of the Ukraine flag. Four colors represent the sky and sea, Sky Blue, Caribbean Blue, Blue Lagoon and Capri. The other four, the fields of wheat, corn, and sunflowers are Wheat, Golden Yellow, Marigold, and Gold. Originally for the yellows and gold, I had chosen Lemon, but after making a dozen bracelets or so I switched to Gold, as I had not used any Lemon yet.  

 

C-Lon Bead Cord Colors for Ukraine

I also originally though I would be using only the Tex 400 size with 0.9mm in diameter, but later on I needed the standard weight of C-Lon Bead Cord with 0.5mm in diameter for parts on the bracelets. I am in the process of designing a new bracelet variation that will be completely made with the standard size. 

These C-Lon Cord sets are available on my news page HERE. Or you can make your own set... 


Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord


The first group of bracelets I made are Multi Strand Bracelets from my Far Niente Series, that's the "Do Nothing" Series as they are fun and quick to make... The pattern is available at the bottom of this web page HERE.

 

Pura Vida Style Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord
Pura Vida Style Bracelets with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Several of the bracelets have no beads, a Pura Vida style bracelet, however made with higher quality cord and a better construction. The peace dove carrying an olive branch charm got added as a last minute idea to make these bracelets more meaningful. Attach the charm right onto the 3-strand braid in between the knot and the sliding knot closure. 


Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord
Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord
The others are made with 4mm Czech Fire Polished floating beads. I matched the Antique Brass Metallic with the Antique Brass Peace Dove Charm, and the Argento with the Antique Silver Peace Dove. The 4mm Czech Fire Polished Beads are available HERE


Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord


The next group of bracelets incorporates pewter peace beads made in the USA with high quality plating by TierraCast. The choice of finishes is either a 24k gold plate or a sterling silver plate. This group bypass the multi stand center and it braided all the way through with overhand knots keeping the sliding knot panel from sliding too far in.


Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

I am still not 100% sure of the best method to insert the central beads. Only 1 cord will fit into its hole... and so far I have tried it several different ways. I think I like to one at the very top. That's the last bracelet I made in this group. It has an overhand knot on each side of the bead, one cord through the beads and the other two are left behind the beads. Another change, this last one has the ends left loose and turned into a thread tassel instead of the cut and melted ends.

 

Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord


This next series was made with the same concept, but the central beads are replaced by the charms. Oh, and as with the last group, I started making the square knot sliding closure with the thinner standard C-Lon Bead Cord instead of using the Tex 400 Bead Cord. I like the proportions better. I will make all future all bracelets in this style like this. 

Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord
 

For the next style, I went for a minimalist look light to wear. I also wanted to play around with new stopper/sliding beads I just got. They are 6 mm wide and 3 mm long and have a silicone insert with a 1.2 mm opening. They are very simple and quick to make. Here is the free tutorial showing how to make one of these bracelets.

Materials 

–> C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord - Colors for Ukraine 

–> Peace Charms & Beads - made in the USA out of pewter with good quality plating.

–> Smart/Stopper/Sliding Beads for Closure - Available in various metal finishes, made in Europe with good hypoallergenic standards.

 

Tools 

–> Macrame Board - a mini-board with option #1 will work as it includes T-pins and tapestry needles

 –> 100% Organic Beeswax and/or Thread Magic - or get a mini-board with option #2 or #3

 –> Thread Burner - or get a mini-board with option #4

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial

1. Cut 3 pieces of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord 18 inch (50 cm) long.
Iron the curls out on low heat setting.

 

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial

2. Tie an overhand knot with all 3 cords leaving a 6 inches tail.
To tighten the knot, pull on one cord at a time.


C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial

3. Make a 3-strand braid 2.5 inch (6 cm) long.
For best results, cross the cords at 90º from each other.
That means the cords are crossing the vertical line at 45º.
Stop by inserting the cords into slots on the side of the board.

 

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial

4. Add the charm onto one of the cord, then continue the braid until it is 5 inches (12 cm) long. 


C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial
5. Tie an overhand knot at the end of the braid with all 3 cords. 

 

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial

 6. Melt 1 of the cords at each overhand knots with a thread burner. Push the melted ends right into the knot, taking care not to melt the remaining cords or the knot. 


C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial 

7. Cut all the cords at the same length.

 

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial


8. Make a self needle with beeswax at all the ends. 
If you do not know how to make a beeswax self needle, check this post, it has all the best ways to load beads onto cords. 

 

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord Bracelet Free Tutorial 

9. Insert the cords through the stopper/sliding bead closure and separate the cords in two groups.

 

10. Tie an overhand knot 5.5 inch from the center charm.
Repeat for the other set of cords.


11. Melt one of the cord at the last knot. 
Repeat for the other set of cords.

Free Tutorial for C-Lon Tex 40 Bead Cord Bracelet

12. Insert the peace beads and tie an overhand knot right after the beads using tweezers to keep the knot against the bead. 


Now you have a choice as to how to finish the ends of the cords.
Melt the end of the cord right into the knot, or leave the end of the cord as is after cutting it away for the knot, or...

Free Tutorial for C-Lon Tex 40 Bead Cord Bracelet

13. Cut the cords and separate the plies of the nylon fiber with a blunt ended tapestry needle.

 

Ukraine Friendship Bracelets made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

14. Apply some beeswax to the C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord that slides in and out of the closure. It will keep the cords from separating.

 
Let me know if you end up making any bracelets like these in support of Ukraine. Of course you can make the same design for a school fundraiser in the school colors. There are lots of possibilities and design options to explore, certainly more than I can explore all by myself. But hey, I already have lots of other new ideas for my next batch of bracelets! 
 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

 

Occasionally a design needs to get revisited and updated. Originally in 2015, I designed this Kumihimo Kit with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 as a bracelet kit. Now in 2022, kits for necklaces are available. This is due to a number of requests when I taught this project in a Zoom class. Many of the participants wanted to make necklaces instead of the bracelet offered in the class kit.  

The tutorial for this project has grown from 14 to 22 pages and now includes additional design options.

 

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

One option shows how to extend the necklace length by adding a section. This way it can be worn at two different length. Here the bracelet is added to the necklace. 

 

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Another option shown in the tutorial is how to extend the clasp and peyote sleeve cover width to create a stronger focal point. In this example, the clasp was extended by half and inch.


Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Here it was extended by a full inch doubling the width and it has a double sleeve cover, widening the diameter at the center of the clasp.

 

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Another option now included in the tutorial is to make a more traditional beaded kumihimo bracelet with beads on every cord. The bracelet is a bit heavier, wider in diameter and less flexible. It also has twice as many beads as the regular design with space between the beads, so if you want to do this design, get an extra 20 g bag of Magatam Beads. 

Kumihimo Necklace with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

 Or change the cord placement to get a spiral design as shown on the lower kumihimo braid.

 

Watch Kumihimo Braiding on YourTube

Before getting a kit, you can view a live demo of the kumihimo braiding process on YouTube. This kit is a great starter kit if you have never done any kumihimo before. It is fun and the instructions are easy to follow. As to starting with a bracelet or a necklace, it really make no difference as to the difficulty level. The bracelet, however, takes less time to braid...

 

> Kumihimo Kits with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

> More Kumihimo Kits

>  Earlier Post about the Bracelets