Thursday, April 9, 2015

8-Cord Kumihimo Spiral Bracelet Instructions - Part 2.

Using the same sequence of moves, bottom Left UP, top Right DOWN, 1/4 counter-clockwise turn, continue braiding. Only now you will begin to braid in beads. Slide one bead down to the center as you move a cord up, and do the same when you move a cord down. Each cord you move will be under the adjacent cord. Position the bead so that it slides under the adjacent cord to lock it in place. The first four placements seem awkward, but once a few beads are in place, each bead that you braid will move into position like a puzzle.

Maintain tension in order to form an even braid. I am always tightening the cords as I braid, and I keep my braid in the center of the wheel. If the bead does not want to slip into place, try putting a little tension by pulling down on the braid from below. The goal is to have no thread showing between the beads in the finished braid.

Some people like to hang a weight from the finished end of the braid. In general I do not like to use a weight because it can result in your thread showing if too much weight is applied. I apply a bit of tension on the button in the beginning, but as the braid lengthens, the weight of the braid itself is usually sufficient.

Continue braiding until your bracelet is the length you require. You need not braid all of the beads that you have strung on. Also, you can remove the bobbins and string on additional beads if you did not string on enough initially.

After you braid in your last bead, continue braiding with just cord to form the loop for the button. Remember that cord braided without beads will stretch. So when you are 3/4 of the way to having a length of braid that, when formed into a loop will fit around the button, stretch it!

When your last braiding segment is long enough it is time to remove the braid from the wheel. First, take the two opposite cords that you would have exchanged next, remove the bobbins, and then remove them from the slots. Tie them in a square knot to secure the work from un-braiding. Now remove the remaining six bobbins and remove the cords from their slots.

The last step is to finish the loop and your bracelet will be ready to wear. To finish the loop you will need a stiff darning needle with an eye large enough for one strand of cord. A pair of chain nose pliers is useful to pull the needle. The center of the braid is hollow but the space gets tighter as each cord is drawn through. I also like to secure the base of the loop with a thin application of Hypo Cement.

Thread one cord onto the darning needle. Fold the loop over and pierce the needle through the base of the braid right above where the beads begin and pull the cord through tightly. Make a half-hitch knot to secure it and insert the needle down into the beaded part of the braid from the top, through the hollow center about and inch or so and then out through the side of the braid. (It is necessary to take care that the needle exits between beads. If the point of the needle goes through a bead hole, chances are that bead will be broken as the eye is forced through.) Draw the needle and cord out the side of the braid and tighten it but do not trim the cord.

Now thread a second cord onto the darning needle. Insert the needle down into the beaded part of the braid and through the hollow center about an inch and then out through the side like the first cord. Repeat with cords three through seven. Cord eight will be wrapped a few times around the base of the loop and inserted through the center of the braid as before. Your last few cords may fit tightly and require pliers to pull them through.

I find it difficult to maintain a neat wrap while inserting the last cord so I insert the cord first, then wrap the loop remaining above the braid around the base of the loop, and then draw the cord through the rest of the way to tighten the wrap. Using the thin applicator tip, coat the wrapped portion of the loop with Hypo Cement and allow it to dry.

The final step is to trim the cords one at a time by putting a little tension on the cord as you carefully cut it close to the braid. The tension causes the ends to slip back into the braid where they remain hidden. Your bracelet is complete!



Tip #1: Although you can stop and add beads, you cannot add more cord. For this reason I cut my cord generously. This allows me to snip off and discard frayed bits from the end of the cord. You will need about a foot of cord per strand at the end of the braiding process in order to comfortably finish the loop. And it is good practice to avoid braiding in the end of the cord that has been weakened by the needle in the bead-stringing process.

Tip #2: Inspect your work frequently so you catch mistakes early. A hole in the braid will result if you forget to move a bead. Loss of tension will cause a bead to slip into the center of the braid and again a hole will result. You can correct these errors by braiding in reverse.

[Return to Part 1.]


Friday, July 18, 2014

Tube Bracelet Instructions - Revised!


Instructions for the tube bracelets have been revised so I am re-posting here. Visit Anita's beads to see all this summer's new kit designs. All components are available separately in silver, gold, copper, gunmetal and antique brass.

Your kit contains:
1 24-inch piece of .015 beading wire
2 crimp beads
2 metal wire guards (look like horse shoes) 
1 magnet clasp
4 3x2mm rondelle metal beads
4 3mm round metal beads
4 2x38mm metal tubes
6 metal flat heishi spacer beads
10 colored bracelet beads
1 focal bead

You will need the following tools:
Chain nose pliers
Cutters

Step 1) Attach clasp to wire guard with crimp:
Thread the beading wire through one tube of the wire guard from the bottom, and then down the second tube from the top. (Note: if you are unfamiliar with wire guards, they are horse-shoe shaped with a hollow tube portion at both ends connected by an open u-shaped channel between them.)

Move the wire guard to the center of the beading wire. Now slip one ring of your magnet clasp over one end of the beading wire and bring it up into wire guard so it rests around the u-shaped channel. Once the magnet clasp is attached, bring both ends of the beading wire through the crimp. Pinch the two tube portions of the wire guard together so they are touching, and slide the crimp up to meet them.

With your chain nose pliers, flatten the crimp so it makes secure contact to hold the wires. For the best appearance, there should be no space between the wire guard and the flattened crimp. Make sure you do not compress the tiny tubes of the wire guard as you flatten the crimp.

Step 2) String on beads:
Holding the two wires together, string one colored bracelet bead, then one metal rondelle, and then one 3mm round metal bead and slide them up to the crimp. Now split the wires and string one metal tube onto each one and slide them up to the 3mm round metal bead.

Hold the two wires together again and string on one 3mm round metal bead, one metal rondelle, one bracelet bead, and one heishi. Continue to alternate bracelet beads and heishi for a total of two, three, or four sets. Then add the focal bead, followed by enough bracelet beads and heishi to match the first side, ending with a bracelet bead.

You can adjust the size of your bracelet by the number of beads added in the center on either side of the focal bead.

String on a rondelle metal bead directly after the last bracelet bead, and then string on a metal 3mm round. Now split the wires again and string one metal tube onto each.

The bring the wires together again and string on one 3mm round bead, one rondelle, one colored bracelet bead, and finally, the second crimp.

Step 3) Add second wire guard and attach to clasp:
Make sure all beads are strung evenly and without spaces, showing bare wire as little as is possible. Separate the two wires coming out of the second crimp and feed one up through one side of the second wire guard, across the top of the wire guard, and down through the second side.

Now slip the second ring of your magnet clasp over the piece of beading wire that you just fed through the second side of the wire guard and bring it up into wire guard so it rests around the u-shaped channel. Once the magnet clasp is attached, bring the end of the beading wire back down through the crimp and the colored bracelet bead. Pinch the two tube portions of the wire guard together so they are touching.

Keeping the crimp in position against the last colored bracelet bead, pull the tail of the wire running through the wire guard until the gap is eliminated between the crimp and the wire guard.

You still have a second piece of beading wire going up through the crimp. Bring this second piece of beading wire back down through the crimp, forming a loop. Then, reduce the size of the loop by pulling on the short piece of the second wire until there is just a small "nub" at the top of the crimp.

With your chain nose pliers, flatten the crimp so it makes secure contact to hold the wires. For the best appearance, there should be no space between the wire guard and the flattened crimp. Make sure you do not compress the tiny tubes of the wire guard as you flatten the crimp.

Step 4) Trim wires:
Carefully trim off the two short pieces as close as you can, one to the bottom of the flattened crimp and the other to the colored bracelet bead. Your tube bracelet is now complete.

Visit Anita's Beads and ask to see a demonstration at the counter if you need help, or join us for Bead Club which meets Monday and Thursday from 2:00-4:00. No appointment is necessary--just drop in!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Shop Hours


Anita's Beads is now on Summer Hours: Open 10-5/Closed Tuesday except by chance or appointment. Loads of new stock so stop in to see our lovely new beads!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Shopping!


Anita's Beads will be open today, Monday December 23rd from 10-5 and also Tuesday December 24th from 10-4 for last minute shopping. Two-Day Special Sales:

Minerals-Crystals-Stones 50% OFF
Daily Bracelets 10% OFF
All other jewelry 20% OFF

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Delayed Opening Sunday


Delayed opening today, Sunday Dec. 22nd, at Anita's Beads. Hope to open by 1:00 but call ahead to make sure. 603-522-6529.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Bead Club


Bead Club meets today, Thursday December 19th, from 2:00-4:00 at Anita's Beads. Hope you can join us!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Bead Club


Anita's Beads is all plowed and shoveled out! Bead club meets today, Monday December 16th, from 2:00 to 4:00. Hope you can join us.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Taking a Snow Day!


Anita's Beads will be closed today, Sunday December 15th, due to the weather. Regular winter hours are 10:00-5:00; closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Toad Hollow Mineral Sale


Toad Hollow Minerals are now on SALE at Anita's Beads. Take 50% off on all mineral specimens and tumbled stones now through December 8th.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Bead Club


Join us today, Monday November 25th, at 2:00 p.m. for our Thanksgiving get-together at Anita's Beads. Sue Girardin has volunteered to bring refreshments.

Anita's Beads will be closed on Thanksgiving day, November 28th. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Bead Club


Thursday Bead Club meets today, November 14th, from 2-4 p.m. at Anita's Beads. Hope you can join us!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Bead Club


Monday bead club will meet today, November 4th, from 2-4 p.m. at Anita's Beads. Hope you can join us!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Closed Monday Oct. 28th


Bead Club cancelled for today, Monday October 28th due to well drilling. Anita's Beads will be closed today due to heavy equipment in the walkway and parking area. I'll keep everyone posted here!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Bead Club


Monday Bead Club will meet today, October 14th, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Anita's Beads. Come join us!