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

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