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. (As of now there is 116 colors!). 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!

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 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 in process above and completed 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 above the previous bead (not the one you just added), slide 1 bead and add 1 single chain. This shows the step completed. 

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

7. Repeat Step 6 until desired length is achieved. This process adds a bead on each side back and forth, with the crocheted part in the center.
In the picture below, the center part of the bracelet has an extra beads in the center. I experimented with this addition, but thus far I tend to prefer the bracelets without the addition. 

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…

Get bead & button, and tool packages to make this bracelet > Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Kits

If you do not know how to crochet, it is really easy. Check locally for classes or do further research on the web.

—> Check all the fabulous colors of C-Lon Bead Tex 400 Cord
—> Check Options for Metal Buttons
—> 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

Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Barefoot Sandals

Check this new tutorial for barefoot sandals made with the same technique > Barefoot Sandals - Jewelry for your Feet

Princess-Warrior Bracelets

PLUS - Once the basic Turkish Flat Bead Crochet is mastered, take it to the next step to wider armor like bracelets reminiscent of Warrior-Princess ornaments > Princess-Warrior Bracelet Collection
Leftover beads?

Make a key chain ornament, a zipper pull or a purse embellishment... Mix beads... Let your imagination soar and have fun with this technique. 

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!

Update November, 2016

This class is now available as a kit. I spent time creating a new manual that cover everything that was taught in the class plus more with lots of pictures, and illustrations. The manual has over 40 pictures and diagrams. –> Crown Knotting & Fiber Endings Bracelet Kit

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

A while ago, I was asked if C-Lon cord would work for Turkish Flat Bead Crochet. I had never heard of Turkish crochet, so I kept it in mind for future research. At the last Pacific International Quilt Festival - PIQF in Santa Clara a few weeks ago, I run into Eilene Cross, a teacher of this craft. She was wearing a neckpiece done with this technique with yarn and decided to try the same design with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, the heaviest C-Lon Bead Cord. She got a spool and returned to the show to show me her work in progress.

In this close up picture you can see the pattern created by the Turkish Flat Bead Crochet made with Green C-Lon Bead Cord. The background is made of spools of the standard C-Lon Bead Cord...

Eilene came back the next day with her neckpiece completed. She is a lovely person and I decided to take her class. She has a class this Saturday, October 27 at the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textile from 10:30 to 5:30.

Unfortunately I found out yesterday that I have a schedule conflict and will not be able to attend the class. So yesterday evening, slightly upset, I ended up researching Turkish crochet patterns on my own. Here are the first few bracelets I have done with this technique since.

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, Miyuki Seed Beads Size 5 and 6, a Kollage Square Crochet Hook Size B, some Vintage Italian buttons and voilĂ ...

- > Bracelet Tutorial

- > C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord - C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord is available in 56 colors now. 16 new colors are arriving soon, bringing the color choices up to 72!

To follow up - I would like to experiment with thinner sizes of C-Lon Bead Cord and gemstone beads... mix it up with other techniques, play around further... see what else I end up with. Also do more research on Oya - Turkish needle lace and crochet... In the meantime these bracelets are fun... and will make nice gifts.

As to the type of crochet being used on these bracelets, it is all standard stitches, slip, chain and single crochet stitches. It is known as Turkish Flat Bead Crochet because it is a traditional pattern used in Anatolia. This region in Turkey is renown for its Oya - needle lace and crochet with beads trims done around scarves. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kumihimo with Bead Clusters

Braid in Progress - Golden Berries

Braiding in segments or intervals alternating fiber only parts and beads became an obsession. After experimenting on the last piece, shown in my last blog entry on Kumihimo with C-Lon Bead Cord and Beads, I decided to take my experiments one step further. In the previous piece I had played with bead placement and having beads only on specific EZ-Bobs. It created some problems down the line as cords got used at different speed. 

This time I played with groups of bobbins... alternating groups, and found something I have not seen before. The Bead Cluster Kumihimo Kit was born.

Bead Cluster Kit - Pomegranate

The beads in the clusters are in line and it creates a unique look. I choose to keep the segment fairly uniform in length and to repeat bead placement. The length between clusters are shorter for the bracelet and longer for the neckpiece.

Bracelet and Part of Neckpiece Shown

The hand dyed rayon ribbon has a knitted tube structure and is well suited for kumihimo. It variegations when lined up created subtle color shifts. The ribbon has a beautiful sheen, it is slightly iridescent. It is soft against the skin, yet strong. One of the amazing thing about this ribbon is that it collapses onto itself making it possible to load beads with a needle right onto the ribbon. 

Braid in Progress - Passion Flower
Or is it a jelly at the Montery Aquarium?

Choosing the beads was interesting and at time surprising. I run into some problems after choosing a few beads that snagged the ribbon. They had a rough spot inside their holes, so I had to search again for new bead colors. I must have ordered a test tube of almost every color available of Miyuki Size 5 and 6!

Braid in Progress - Blue & Tan

The ribbon in this kit is laid out, cut and tied together. Several steps are already done, this way you will get to the braiding in no time. Just lay the end of the cord into the disk hole and insert the cords right into the slots on each side of the back dot. Insert some of the beads following the sequences marked on the bead bag. Roll the cord onto the EZ-Bobs and start braiding.  

Tool Kit

I braided all my samples with a Mini Kumihimo Disk and Small E-Z Bobs. A tool kit is available for this project and it comes with a project bag making it easy to take your kumi to go. I keep one bag in the car or ready to go at all time, so I can braid anywhere... 

Go to > Bead Cluster Kumihimo Kit

Bracelet and Necklace - Aqua & Bronze

Kumihimo with C-Lon and Beads - Samples

Braid shown coming out of the Disk
A while ago I noticed interest in kumihimo is often divided between fiber lovers and bead enthusiasts. Most of my customers when asking me questions about the best cord to use for their kumihimo first express their area of interest. Either it is all fiber, or all beads. I happen to love both so I went searching for ways to bring both into focus. 

Braid made with C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord

One of my first trial in this direction was a small braid done with C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord Tex 135 and Miyuki Size 11 Seed Beads. I used a Mini Kumihimo Beadsmith Disk, 4.5 inch in diameter and Small EZ-Bobs to hold the cord and beads. Gold was the only cord color chosen for the standard 8 strand round braid. The bead mix was added at random. The beads were added on all 8 cords at random.

The uniform color brings out the braid structure. A close up of the braid shows the segments with and without beads. The braid is 2mm in diameter. The look is delicate.

The plan is to make a bracelet, but as I only braid this sample as a demo, it is slow going as I have a number of braiding demos to choose from at shows. I will post a picture when it gets finished!

Another of my show samples is this 12 strand braid made with C-Lon Bead Cord. I also chose a uniform color scheme for this braid, Bronze, and Miuyki Duracoat Size 6 Beads. This sample braid shows some irregularity in the second segment. I will need to trouble shoot to se what exactly happened. I often braid at show on these sample pieces while talking to customers... so anything is possible. I may have to start all over, we will see.

12 Strand Braid with C-Lon Bead Cord

The 12 strand braid with the standard size of C-lon Bead Cord has about a 3mm diameter, so about the same diameter as an 8 strand round braid with C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400. An 8 strand round braid done with the standard C-Lon Bead Cord measures about 2.5mm depending on tension.

12 strand and 16 strand round braids are set on the disk the same way as 8-strand braid, but place more cords on the disk and then braid counterclockwise each set of braids in sequence.

Set up for 12 strand braid

My next sample was made using knitted hand dyed rayon ribbon and Miyuki Size 6 beads added in sections. The sample was finished into a bracelet and a neckpiece. I wear them sometimes, and occasionally wear the necklace as a multiple pass bracelet. 

Sample Braid made with Variegated Hand Dyed Knitted Rayon Ribbon and Beads

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leather Wrap Bracelet with Madeira Silk

Silk is a fabulous fiber to work with lots of glamour. Silk adds a "je ne sais quoi" to any piece of jewelry.... So I decided to test leather wrap bracelets made with Madeira Silk.

Madeira Silk is a 4-strand floss, so it can be separated into 4 parts. Each strand is a soft 2-ply cord that can be used individually or as part of a group. Madeira is a spun silk, so it is made with pieces of filament that are spun together, so it has a fiber feel to it with a bit of fuzz sticking out.

The materials used to make this bracelet are 1.5 mm Greek leather, Madeira Silk Floss, Swarovski 6mm Bicones and Crystal Pearls, and Fresh Water Pearls.  Two strand of the Madeira Silk Floss were woven back and forth 4 times through each bead. Plus an old Italian button was used a the closure.

 I have been wearing this test bracelet almost everyday for several weeks to see how the Madeira silk will do over time. I just too the photos today. So far I have not noticed too much wear. The silk edges are a bit fuzzy, but no more than right after I finished the bracelet. 

After wearing for quite a while, I found the the silk thread moved laterally along the leather and after a while the bracelet was no longer flat so it did not wrap well around the wrist. 

I have since come up with a new double step process. I mount the beads with C-Lon Bead Thread Size D and afterwards wrap the silk around the leather. I will try to post the new way of doing this soon. 

Madeira comes in 108 colors > Madeira Silk Floss

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shambhala Bracelet Kit

Shambhala Bracelet Kits

Shambhala Bracelet Kits have been on my to do list for a long time out of pure survival.  One can only answer the same question so many times. Blogs are absolutely great for this purpose.

Chinese square knot bracelets can be found on the Hong Kong and Chinese markets made with Jade or various gemstone beads with many knotting variations. Several common denominators are usually present: many square knots, a sliding knot closure and the use of Chinese Knotting Cord. Beyond that the actual design layout, the size and the type of beads and the cord weight are up to the designer. This type of bracelet, updated to a modern version, has become very popular. Some bracelets with real diamonds, precious metals and Tahitian pearls are intended for affluent customers. Stars have been wearing them. JZ was on the cover a magazine wearing one... Hey I had to be told who he was, so much for stars following...

My Shambhala bracelet version is pure Bling without the Ding, dressy or casual, fashionably chic. Last year I made and sold many variations at local markets in the search for the perfect design. I ended up streamlining the stringing, the knotting process and coming up with my own variation - at least it's one I have not seen anywhere else. My customers loved this new version as it is easy to put on and off by oneself, and some of the problems that occur with the sliding closure have been resolved. The kit includes sizing tips and all the material to make one bracelet. It is available in these six original colors:

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Rhinestone
Bead Accent with Dark Grey Knotting Cord

Black & White
Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Ebony Beads, Beadelle
Pave Bead Accent with Dark Grey Knotting Cord

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Beadelle Pave Bead Accents
with Black Knotting Cord

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Beadelle Pave Bead Accents
with Brown Knotting Cord

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Beadelle Pave Bead Accents
with Beige Knotting Cord

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Beadelle Pave Bead Accents
with Light Grey Knotting Cord

I promised myself that I would contain myself with the 6 original colors, but could not help myself and added this version with the Night Blue Pearls right away... 

Night Blue
Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Rhinestone Bead Accents
with Dark Grey Knotting Cord

And here I go again, after one of my customer requested this version,
I had to make the actual bracelet and I like it....

Swarovski Crystal Pearls, Stardust & Beadelle Pave
Bead Accents with White Cord 

Get a kit or just the instructions and try this new version of this classical Chinese bracelet updated for 2012!

Oh, and why has this bracelet been called Shambhala or Shambala, depending on the spelling... Shambhala, in the Tibbetan buddhist tradition, is a lost valley, a mythic or real place to be found between the Himalaya and the Gobi desert representing some form of paradise. It also represents the heart chakra or the Buddha nature, and basic human wisdom. Knots have lots of meaning in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as they represent interconnectedness and perfection especially when they are synetrical. Tying knots is a form of meditation.

>  Shambhala Bracelet Kit

Monday, May 28, 2012

Griffin Jewelry Silk Bead Cord - Making Your Own 2-Ply Cords out of Spools

Silk is traditionally the best material to use for stringing valuable beads such as pearls, coral, amber and jade. It is soft, strong and drapes well. It does not damage softer beads. The Griffin Jewelry Silk Bead Cord is made in Germany from 100% high-grade filament silk tightly twisted into a 3 ply cord. It is available in 13 colors created to coordinate with gemstones as suggested by their color names. It is a good silk to string beads, for bead crochet or any other projects requiring a strong high quality silk. It comes on spools with enough yardage for many projects.
Griffin Silk Cards

Griffin 100% Natural Silk is usually available on cards as a 2-ply cordon with a needle attached to its end. The cards are only 79 inches (2 meters) long. It is often too short for longer necklaces and for application needing longer cords such as bead crochet. One of the way to get around this, is to make your own cordon.

Use the Griffin Jewelry Silk to make your own 2-ply cordon, add a collapsible needle and get what is available on a Griffin Silk Card but with the exact length you need for your project. A cordon is a two-ply made with a cord, twisting in the same direction of the cord. So since the Griffin Jewelry Silk 3-ply cord is twisted counterclockwise, make sure to twist in the same direction as shown in the illustration below. For references as to size comparison check this post > Griffin Silk - Spools vs Cards

I find the easier way to make a 2-ply cord is with at least two stationary hooks. Tie one end of the cord to the first hook. Wrap the cord around the second hook. The tie the end to the hook on your mini-twister or your cordless drill. Twist the cord counterclockwise until it starts kinking. Fold it onto itself. Tie it together and let is twist clockwise by itself. If you need a needle, attach the needle before laying the odd together and place it at the center hook, where the cord will fold onto itself.

Two-ply cord can be made out of many different types of cords, not just the Griffin Silk. The mini-twister or corder shown above is a good hand tool to use. Reversible drills with a hook attached are best for long cords.

If you are interested to make 3 and 4-ply cords, check the Learn Cord Making Tutorial and Tool Kit. The tutorial is available by itself for $10.00 and it has direction on how to make the tools needed for the project, or you can get the tool kit for an additional $15.00.

Let me know if you found this info useful, or if it needs clarifications. Best, - Marion

> Griffin Jewelry Silk by the Spool

> Tools for Cordmaking