Friday, September 21, 2012

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

I fell in love with this knitted rayon ribbon. It braids beautifully. The hand dyed color are gorgeous and once it is braided it is soft against the skin and also protected from accidental damage. Rayon fibers are very thin and can be snagged. So make sure before working with this fiber to make sure all your mails are nicely filed... 

Variegated Hand Dyed Knitted Rayon Ribbon:
Golden Berries, Blue & Tan, Aqua & Bronze, Passion Flowers
and Pomegranate

So out of these meanderings, I created the Bead Cluster Kit in 5 color ways. See my next blog for details...

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