I really enjoy kumihimo with seed beads while I am braiding. It is the loading up of the beads and the finishing off that I don’t particularly like. In fact, the braids I will be talking about in this blog have been waiting around for 6 months for the ends to be sewed up. (And one for over 3 years, oops)
I wanted to do something I had never done before, a completely beaded kumihimo necklace. I’ve created bracelets, and half kumihimo necklaces but have never taken the plunge before. I think the idea of loading that many beads had put me off. I decided to create a simple 8 strand braid with some metallic seed beads.
If you’ve never done beaded kumihimo before, the secret to loading is getting a good knot
at the end to begin with. It has to be a lot bigger than the hole in the beads. Some people use nail varnish to stiffen the end of the s-lon so that it is easier to thread on the beads.
I wasn’t sure how many seed beads I would need for a necklace. I know there are many excellent tutorials out there, but I like to experiment. I decided to just use all the beads in one of the compartments of my bead box. I then checked that the beaded sections were all the same length.
I then added them on to my small weighted bobbins. I find weighted bobbins help with the tension on beaded kumihimo. Knotted all eight strands together and added the weight to the knot.
Quite a few people have asked me for the pattern of these necklaces on Facebook. So here is how I set up my disc. Note that I’ve written s-lon on it, so that I know to only use it for that. I find that if I use other materials on my discs it stretches the slots, and the tension really goes.
The crossing over of the E and W strands doesn’t really matter at the beginning, so if that happens to you during the set up do not worry. I always braid a couple of cm with just the s-lon before I add the beads to help with the sewing at the end.
I had a lot of beads and during braiding I measured the braid at certain times. When I was sure I had enough I just braided with the s- lon and finished it off. I had enough beads on the bobbins to create another necklace as well. So though the setting up took ages I did get 2 necklaces from it.
The finished necklaces are now available to buy in my Etsy shop.