Bracelet No. 87 - Daily Bracelets and Bead Kits designed by AnitaNH. See them at Anita's Beads of Wakefield, New Hampshire
Monday, January 9, 2012
Kumihimo with 3mm Faceted Firepolish
Kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, is my favorite new method for making beaded bracelets. I have recently begun a series made with 3mm faceted Czech firepolished beads strung on S-Lon cord. The photo above shows my first 3mm firepolish creation, the light aquamarine bracelet second from the bottom.
I use my small round kumihimo disc and make an 8-strand round braid. For a bracelet I cut four 2-yard pieces of S-Lon cord and then fold them in half to get eight strands. Each strand carries about 5 inches of beads (approx. 42). After I string on the beads by hand (the holes in these 3mm beads are not large enough to accommodate a needle) I wind the excess cord onto a bobbin to keep the beads from sliding off the cord. The beads themselves are not wound around the bobbin but sit just above it, below the kumihimo disc.
Because I plan to end my bracelet with antiqued silver tulip caps, I have attached a piece of 20 gauge silver-plated wire to the beginning of my braid by running all the cords through a small wire-wrapped loop. I make one rotation of braiding on my wheel with cord only to secure the wire. Then I slide up one bead each time I bring up a cord.
The loop of wire will be hidden in the cap. The tail of straight wire that comes through the top of the cap will be used to form another wire-wrapped loop securing my clasp. On the second side I will form just a loop, one large enough to clasp to.
Anita's Beads offers Czech faceted firepolished beads by the hank in a wide variety of colors. One hank is enough to make one and one-half bracelets. My plan is to make two different plain bracelets and use my extra beads to combine the colors in a spiral pattern on a third bracelet.