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AllJustString.com – Forum For Fiber Folks

January 1st, 2014 at 08:45 am » Comments (0)

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Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point.

We are finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.

It is also a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,

Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.

It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.

At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.

Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.

I hope you will join us and bring along some friends to show and share our love of our crafts and our fiber artistic adventures (remember, beads are lumps string so they count too)

Always Take Time To Enjoy The Making
Wheat Carr, founder
The Forum for Fiber Folk:

Forum: http://alljuststring.invisionzone.com/
Shop: http://www.ItsAllJustString.com
Like: http://www.FaceBook.com/ItsAllJustString

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Kumihimo – Basic and Beyond – Rebecca Combs

October 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am » Comments (1)

Received a review copy of the new book by Rebecca Combs – Kumihimo Basics and Beyond yesterday.

From a “Braider First” perspective”

Very mixed feelings, on the one hand I like that the author has apparently worked very hard to be accurate and use more traditional terminology.

Ms Combs did supply some “kumihimo math” – but one has to remember that is only going to apply to these braids. For those who preferred to have more detailed materials lists, each braid does have a well done supply list for each pattern supplied in the book.

There is great eye candy, and while I do not really object to “heavily beaded braids” it was disappointing to have it all be “only” 8 element Kongo except for one 16 element project.

There were some other small details, but it did a bit better than most of the books and pattern presently offered in providing some finishing information.

With an SRP of $21.99 US, but already showing up discounted on Amazon, this will be one we likely not choose to stock. but will order if a customer really wants it at the price we can afford to sell.

From the Bead Jewelry Maker Perspective:
with thanks to Carolyn for sharing her view –
Caroyln wrote: “I also got a review copy of this book, thanks to my local bead shop’s partnership with Kalmbach and my status as resident kumihimo instructor. I found that the book is really geared to a beading audience, someone who is looking to expand their variety of jewelry making techniques as opposed to someone who is looking to start in the discipline of braiding. That being said, for that audience this may be the only book they will ever need, and is a starting point for those wishing to go truly beyond.

All the braids in the book are round braid/kongo gumi, so once you have the basics of that braid down you can complete any project in the book. There is a lot of good advice on making braids, and this may be the only book that shows you what common braiding mistakes look like so you can see how to correct them. It’s an excellent first braiding book for those interested in the disk. The only things I don’t like about the book is that she ends every braid by gluing it into a bead cap or cone, and the author doesn’t use a counterweight unless she’s also using beads. ”

We seem (Wheat & Carolyn) agree, tThis would not be a book for someone already comfortable with basics of beading and braiding and ready to grow their skills for more diverse pieces.

However for someone wanting an low cost entry level to the most basic of beaded braiding, it might be okay as it is already being offered at less than I can obtain it thru my distributor, so we will be referring folks to Amazon where possible

Me, I am saving my personal money for the upcoming Jacqui Carey book due in January. In fact, already on order with our distributor.


Russ Olliver Kumihimo Rope Build

October 27th, 2013 at 05:07 am » Comments (1)

uss Olliver  Rope Build -01

Russ Oliver read an article in Crossfit Journal showing how to braid your own climbing rope and thought it was a great idea. Then he thought about what it would be like trying to manage 8 thirty foot lengths of rope. Russ made a few string bracelets back it the day ….

This article was shared in several Kumihimo groups. The link seems to have originated from a climbing forum. Because Wheat did not want it to “disappear”, we are sharing it here – with permission recently (Oct 2013) received from Russ Olliver. We are pleased to share it with you.

To see the complete article, visit our resources pages at:

TIPLET: Length needed for each element of your braid or knot project

September 10th, 2013 at 12:33 pm » Comments (0)

One of the life lessons learned the hard way is about an ounce of prevention. As a result, I am among the proponents for an often dreaded word in the fiber art community – Sampling.

Or, as I prefer to identify with, i am a PROCESS person, one who wants to understand how it works and why, BEFORE I start breaking the rule – after all failure to plan is planning to fail.

How long should the threads be on each element?

This will vary not only from structure to structure and craftsman to craftsman – as well as for techniques like braiding and knotting – it will also vary within the structure for each element, and of course vary with the material used for each element.

The simplest way, in the long term is make a sample using similar materials as you plan to use in the final project.

Measure the length BEFORE load onto the tama/bobbin/carrier or other “loose” thread/cord.

Always allow for the “waste”. The easiest way to do this is to work at least two inches in pattern. MEASURE UNUSED – now you have a starting point.

Mark the point of the first measurement and record “used to this point”
this is your starting point for each element.

Work in pattern until your sample is 6 to 8 inches in length.
Measure Unused, Record amount used
At this point you can either “finish” or based on your experience decide how much more will be used for each element depending on your choice of finishing method.

Subtract the remaining amount from the staring amount, add 10% for insurance and that is your “guideline” for future projects using similar materials with the same structure.

Yeah I know this needs some work and maybe some photos, but I have confidence that those who want to learn will.

Kongo Gumi & Bead Placement

August 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm » Comments (1)

Kongo Gumi & Bead Placement – In a “conversation in the Kumihimo Braiders International group, especially having to do with how not knowing the “language” of braiding leads to stunting the growth for new braiders.

Shirley Berlin - Kumihimo On A Card

For the curious, it had to do with the somewhat confusing use of warps when referring to the material placed in each slot of the MobiDai (Disk). Much can be attributed to the rather short history of Japanese braiding in the US. For a very long time mot involved were a part of the weaving community and so those attempting to educate us used some weaving terms because it might have been hopeless to teach us Japanese.

But what happens when you want to move on, or that blinding flash of the obvious moment when you realize there is so much more to be discovered and you lack the basic in language and skills to advance. This was the thought shared in KBI – so much is missed by those who come into the craft without access to the basics.

It is fine if folks, particularly the “Bead People” are satisfied with only using one of the many basic braids, the Spiraling 8-strand Kongo Gumi braid to make a cord or in many cases an embellished cord. However I sincerely wish those who teach would make it clear that they are only talking about a single braid of the thousands possible.

One of the reasons I started braiding was related to glass, beads, fused, diachronic, – pretty much all that glitters. The ability to coordinate or complement the colors in the glass using the rich sheen of rayon threads (still can’t afford silk) was pretty much irresistible.

After some conversation in the Kumihimo Braiders International, there was a consensus that, for English, we should use the term “Element” – whether a single strand or a gathering of multiple threads – We agreed that Naomi Speiser’s Manual of Braiding was likely the best resource for “details”

So what does this have to do with Bead Placement. Once I got my mind to move past how to “change” the Beaders use of a term that did not really help them in the long run, it got easier.

One member of the bead cord oriented FB Kumihimo group asked about a way to plan bead placement so she could design a beaded cord “her way”. Another mentioned wanting to begin moving on past the simplest structure (yes, I know there are four element braids, but they are often more difficult than you might think)

In my never humble opinion, the next step “ought” to be


Shirley Berlin’s RED Kumihimo On A Card Booklet

Perhaps the most important thing this course of study will do is to enable you step back and realize that Braids can be utterly wonderful in their own right OR are an excellent vehicle to enhance a focal piece of beadwork.

Next it moves you on to the 16 Strand version of Kongo, AND has the color placement for 18 different color combinations. Not to mention lots of other useful information. Using inexpensive cotton YARNandTHREAD it is easy to make samples that can then be “translated” for pre-stringing beads onto your elements to create beaded areas on your braid (or if you must, entirely bead braids.)

Then WHAM before you know it, you will be looking at the samples and illustrations the “other three” best books for use with Disk and Plate wondering why it took so long to get here. Especially once you see the possibilities of the shaped braids like ZigZags, circles, ovals and loops found in CTB: Disk & Plate

P.S. I need to make some revisions for the 16 Element version – mean while you may find the
8 and 16 Element Kongo Gumi Record Sheets and “coloring page” aka/Record Sheet helpful in starting the process.

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    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?!Assumes ONLY YOU can properly and completely perform the necessary due diligence to determine your course of action in life or business - ALL article, like all on this blog, are a starting point, not the last word by any means. While I hope it is worth more, its value is exactly the same as what you paid for it – no dollars.
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