Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beaded Kumihimo Necklaces

Kumihimo, just the name was difficult to remember, let alone braid with 8 strands of thread!! So when Bead & Button and Beadwork magazines featured Kumihimo projects, I just glanced at them and didn't have any second thought. Then came shipments of braiding disks, colorful spools of s-lon thread, and how-to books... to the bead store where I worked, I realized sooner or later I would have to learn the basics of this art of braiding.
After looking up on I found out that Kumihimo is not that complicated. On the contrary, it is quite a therapeutic activity to relieve stress after a day at work. I was totally hooked on Kumihimo!! If you are interested in learning the technique, I highly recommend "How to Braid Beaded Kumihimo and Make a Bracelet".

This necklace was meant to be a bracelet, but I made it too large so I attached the chain.

After taping and glueing the end of the braid, I inserted a 24-gauge head pin to an end bead.
 I wrapped head pin tightly around the braid a couple of times. Then, I slid the  bead and bead cap in and  made a wrapped loop.

I didn't plan on having the three beads as a focal point for this necklace. It was just a fortunate misstep!!

I got distracted and messed up the braiding pattern. Feeling quite confident that I would be able to fix it, I took  all eight strands of thread off the disk. Boy, that was a wrong move (Did  I mention that this is a therapeutic activity? I take that back)!! I had two options: unravel the whole thing and start over or find beads with hole large enough for eight strands to go through. I opted for the latter. 

I pushed the seed beads back and taped the strands together...
then tied a knot closely to the seed beads to keep them in place...
tied another knot before sliding the third bead in. The hole is large enough to cover the knot.
Next,  I placed the strands back on the disk.
After a few rounds, I checked the braid.  It looked all right!

Finally, the bead caps were added on.

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