Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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April 12th, 2016 at 06:57 am

Correct vs Right vs Because I said so

In my mind, thinking of craft and especially fiber work. There is a world of difference between

—- Wanting to be be Correct – thus, by necessity, a willingness to research, ask questions, especially dumb questions and sometimes question where you think you already know the answers, And most importantly of all – accept correction. And the often difficult to accept “tough love”

— Wanting to be Right simply means because I said so. Were my parents alive today, they would tell you that while I might comply – it was never an answer that taught me anything other than nominal obedience.

A reasonable person might think I had learned by now that most will choose easy or a version of correct that suits their needs personally or most often “business”. Yes I understand, but no I choose not to accept – because that is not the tradition I want to be a part of.

My personal goal is to leave what is “right” to the emotional and spiritual like “sex, religion and politics” because those often subjective. but when it comes to the craft, work on correct –

April 9th, 2016 at 08:40 am

Tutorial Inspiration – Part II – Braid Beginnings

As I mentioned, sometimes the inspiration for “getting it done” is seeing a few to many repetitions of an InterMyth (and the side effects of parents raised during the Great Depression so there is an element of furgality) So it was with Fill The Gap. it is a great braid for accessories, but is not Japanese in origins so not Kumihimo.
There are other sources for its instruction and some might even be better than mine – but my goal is to help you learn the basics and then you choose how to go on after that.

The first step is “elapsed” time. The only way to even remotely avoid infringement is the need to start with a blank pieces of paper, or in my case, choosing not to look at /review the work of others for at least 6monts to a year for the particular braid.

Next I wind up some tama and spend a few hours getting back the rhythm of the braid on Marudai. After that comes what Henry refers to as the slot machine braiding ( comes from the slang for slot machines – the one armed bandit – based on the year I broke my arm and it took a few resets to get the bones back where they belonged)

As with many things Japanese, braiding movements are very much about balance, so “two handed” – which means if working on disc, when only one tama / bobbin is moved at at time – there will be TWO half steps.

Thanks to permission from the BeadSmith to use their images – I make up a number of sheets with two “discs” side by side and room for notes – these are more or less 1/2 sheets of letter size.

I have mentioned before that because I come from MaruDai to Disc – and thus have seen how much more easily the transition can occur if one is always in the habit of not turning the disc – I don’t… ever

It is my understanding that Makiko-sensei and others do to make it simpler – but my feeling is turning the disc just creates an obstacle to overcome later. Like many things, if you never start, the habit is easier to break

Anyway, back to my process. working one hand at time, making notes (adding arrowed lines – noting numbers, etc) I work thru the braid to find the the full repeat (all the steps/half-steps) needed for one cycle of movements to build the structure.

Repeat a few times (okay maybe a dozen) (STILL ON MARUDAI) to confirm – at least enough times to “see” that the braid does “match” the expected pattern and shape.

If all the sketches are clear and “okay” then time to put them to the test on Disc. This is also when I do enough repeats to find how many repeats are needed to return the bobbins to the original starting position. Just because one uses the same slots over and over does not mean the same tama “finish” in the same place.

This is a detail you need to know for purposes of surface design yarn color or with beads.

In not all that long time, this would be the point that the written instructions should be produced – in my case – I talk the sequences out loud which does annoy some people – recording as I go – using notation/comments likely more familiar to those who have weaving and/or crochet or knitting experience –
To start Round 1, with Left hand lift bobbin A from slot 32 and place in lot 18, with right hand lift bobbin B slot 1 to slot 15″ – repeating until bobbin A and all the others have returned to their original starting position. Then I play back and make the braid according to the verbal instructions , on the disc.

Again to use a term most weavers will recognize, –
Tromp As Writ –

If these were to be formally published, once the quick and dirty diagrams and verbiage has been refined a bit – this is point where I would be having a group with varied experience trying these instructions.

More refinements and editing, some q&d images would go off to a graphics person with more skills and tools than I possess. to prepare better diagrams and edit as needed for formal publication.

However, my current “project” is not intended for publication and certainly not something that I expect to be paid for. It is always welcome when others in the Beaded Braid community pitch in –
trying instructions and asking questions, or as Cheryl was so generous to do recently – making photos so you could see that all important point of braiding.

This is just the first part of the process — the braid structure –
after than comes mapping – sometimes easy and sometimes tedious.

I hope that by sharing a small part of the process it will help you to understand some of my eccentricities related to Intellectual property and of course, what “belongs” in a publication for it to be called a tutorial – and oh yes, fair warning, few things make my teeth hurt more than the phrase “standard braid” there is no such thing.

And, I am looking forward to “getting these done” because one of my rules is that I cannot use my books (marudai or disc) while this is ongoing.

Thanks for listening,
I hope you will share what you do with these instructions
so now it is time for you to go

Enjoy The Making


P.S. currently there are instructions for my variation on
Kusari_Tsunagi – an 8 element round braid that has “straight” lines (does not spiral) among others in our Face Book files for Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More
Fill The Gap – a 7 element round braid has two parts, the “History” and SetUp & Stepouts are available on my e-commerce site – ItsAllJustString.com
and eventually all will find their way to the underdevelopment site’s AllJustString.com

April 8th, 2016 at 07:47 am

Tutorial Inspiration – Part I

Inspiration and Tutorial as such lofty words. Sometimes too much so… but they also often “fit” even when said Tutorial is really, as often happens in beaded braiding, nothing more that a set up diagram, a smidgeon of materials used, and a stringing order.

So a bit of history – I am “first” a “Marudai braider” – several decades ago I started with braiding stands and the limited information available in books like the Mark Campbell classic on Victorian Hair Braider.

It is said there are two types of artisan craftsmen and it is especially true in fiber work. There are Process & there are Project –

I am very much a Process person. Working with fiber is, for me, something soothing to my soul. There really is almost no part of the process I do not enjoy – and that one thing is not really a fiber thing – I just don’t like the fume headache that comes with glue –

I also recognize how very lucky I have been beginning as a toddler learning crochet from the “cookie lady” (a neighbor) to today when I have access to wonderful master craftspeople – “raised in the fiber tradition of sharing knowledge” for the good of the craft.

I also think of myself as lazy – so will spend hours, days, weeks, and one case unrelated to fiber crafts or food – finding a way to do it more easily.

There is also more than a little OCD in my quest for knowledge and understanding How It REALLY Works – I blame my parents for that – Other mothers may have preached about clean underwear in case you were in an accident, but valued knowledge – a step past “an education”.

Knowledge is something that only God can take away from you –

once you learn “basic skills” whether that is a beading stitch or a braiding structure – you are freed from the choices of others in the final look of your work.

Of course there are considerations about what and how to share. Still, given my history in the independent design community (few have been removed from as many “craft” groups as I for asserting a defense of the limitation of copyrights and thus doing what I can to protect the intellectual property of self publishing authors – I am quite careful – keeping the kind of copious notes ( learned the importance of that when dabbling in law classes ) so do not publicly share unless I really feel confident about my ethical and moral position

So where does that leave me. Well if I had to choose my greatest super power – it would be not knowing it all, but being willing to look dumb and ask for help. No one really learns anything if they pretend to know it all .

Second to that is knowing where (who or book) “off line” to look for accurate information. So my boring habit of referring people to the books that are, in my never humble opinion, the best resource.

I am also a great proponent of ( and shall miss Jamie, Adam & the crew) of busting InterMyths.

This group, Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More is intended to be a study group where you can, if you wish learn some basic braids. Unfortunately (again IMNHO) the first InterMyth in need of busting is there is such a thing as “the standard Kumihimo braid” –

I do not mind (never have) that some are going to find Kongoh Gumi to be all they want in their skill set – it is after all, Kongoh gumi is likely most “bead friendly of braids” Lord knows given the range of seed colors and shapes available – one could spend years creating varied surface design.

But there are others, some Japanese in origin and some from other ethnic fiber cultures that are not – so maybe the real first myth to be busted is

“While all kumihimo are braids, not all braids are Kumihimo (Japanese) in origin.

Enjoy the Making


P.S., over the coming months I will be sharing my choices for “Bead Friendly Braid Structures” and developing the set up and steps to make them on a disc (and maybe some on plate) Hope you will consider joining us at: Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More

April 8th, 2016 at 06:05 am

Tutorial Inspiration – Part 0 – Somewhat of a Rant

Inspiration and Tutorial as such lofty words. Sometimes too much so… but they also often “fit” even when said Tutorial is really, as often happens in beaded braiding, nothing more that a set up diagram, a smidgeon of materials used, and a stringing order.

Much of my “inspiration” for the series is annoyance with people who either should know better or whatever their motivation – deliberately choose not to give accurate information.

In my strongly held opinion, if a tutorial does not include details (at the very least some basic conventions used I.e., design requires disc be turned counter clock wise – then it is not helpful. There is NO SUCH THING AS A STANDARD Braid – if you want my $$$ then you better do your homework and provide useful information.

So one might say the real inspiration behind my working out the moves for creating specific structures on a disc is a combination of laziness (wanting to find the least number of steps to obtain the desired results) and significant annoyance that those who choose not to take advantage of the PDF Publication process and include a page of basic steps (aka/step outs) –

Even so called advanced tutorials need to at least reference the braid used and if the description only says meaningless things like
Standard – that is clue to the likely value of the content – IMNHO

And so my plan to create a series of Set Up and Step Outs for Bead Friendly Braids,
Hopefully you will enjoy learning the technique and then find satisfaction in applying your choices of materials to make the surface design your own.

Enjoy the Making.


March 30th, 2016 at 08:52 am

Stuff In My Basic Tool Bag for Bead 5D

Like so many things in this life, the following is a work in progress. What seems “clear” to me, may need to be further clarified to make sense to you.

How to choose beads for your braid is a question often asked and so it has me thinking about how do I do that. And, will sharing that help others?

No matter which braid structure the JABber (Jewelry and Accessory Braider) chooses, some combinations will work, and some will not but it helps to know:

1: Maximum Length tip to tip,
2: Maximum Width side to side
3: Maximum Depth front to back
4. Width of bead at the opening – note: sometimes the same as 3.
5. Distance from the center of the opening to the tip.

Fitting beads into a braid structure is not unlike solving a picture puzzle.
For me, the key to puzzle is understanding how the 4th and 5th dimensions of the beads shape will integrate into the body of the braid.

Assuming your willingness to consider all available options one can usually solve your personal concept issues. Options include but are not limited to the use of different structures, bead density Continuous, Fully or Partialy beaded), combinations of bead and stringing materials (1), and the list goes on.

In summary, if you understand the materials and the considerations of the shape, then you are freed from relying on the choices of others.

Whenever possible, braiders tend to like “top drilled” shapes – not the only possible choice – but often the best at least until you have a bit more experience mixing beads into your braids.

There are several inexpensive tools while not absolutely precise, with care, accurate enough to help you plan your project, shop for the beads and stringing materials. These can be found in just about any Home Despot type store – usually for under $10 for all three (amazingly, I do not sell any of them in our store but maybe I should)

As always, your comments, suggestions, request for clarification are welcomed below and in the Facebook (non-traditional) Study Group:
Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More

Enjoy The Making


References & Strange things found in my tool boxes & Go Bag. (add images and/or link details as needed)

1. Carolyn Haulshalter: http://topcenter.typepad.com/

Empire-6in-Pocket-ruler 2. Empire 6inch Pocket Rule Item 2730 0-46609-02730-7

Pocket_ref-Thomas-GloverThomas J Glover – Pocket Ref (2nd Edition – 1997) ISBN: 1-885071-00-0

Lincoln Electric Tip Cleaner Item: KH575 7-25636-08020-1
this tool can be used to determine needle to be used for stringing, to hold the bead while measuring and other things “in a pinch” – while shopping (with floss card) to hold enough beads to get a quick Beads Per Inch count.
also to be explained Wikipedia – Drill Bit Sizes – Conversion Table https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill_bit_sizes#Drill_Bit_Conversion_Table

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