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Tutorial Inspiration – Part I

April 8th, 2016 at 07:47 am » Comments (0)

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

Wheat

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







Braiding Disc – Part II – Disc Dimensions

March 10th, 2016 at 11:30 am » Comments (0)


Disc_Dimensions
ID=A – Inner Diameter       OD=B – Outer Diameter       HT=C – Height / Thickness


Brand Name SRP* Size Handle
Fit
Center_A
ID_Inches
Center_A
ID_MM
Disc
OD_Inches
Disc
OD_CM
Disc
HT_Inch
Disc
HT_MM
BeadSmith DD * 5.00 Large yes 1 1/4 in 35 mm 5 13/16 in 15 cm 0.75in 20mm
BeadSmith DD Mini * 4.50 Small yes 1 1/4 in 14 mm 4 3/16 in 10.6 cm 0.75in 20mm
BeadSmith SD * 3.38 Large yes 15/16 in 14mm 5 13/16 in 15 cm 0.375in 10mm
BeadSmith SD Mini: * 3.18 Small 15/16 in 14 mm 4 3/16 in 10.6 cm 0.375in 10mm
Beadaholique: 5.49 Large no 7/8 in 12 mm 5 7/8 in 15 cm 0.3125in 8mm
Beadalon 3.19 Small no 15/16 in 14mm 4 1/4in 10.8 cm 0.375in 10mm
Beadalon 3.99 Large no 15/16 in 14mm 6 in 15 cm 0.375in 10mm
Dazzle-it: 3.99 Large no 15/16 in 12 mm 5 7/8 in 15 cm 0.3125in 8mm
Fire Mountain 3.52 Small no 7/8 in 12 mm 4 1/4in 10.8 cm .3125in 8mm
Hamanaka: 10.00 Large no 15/16 in 14mm 5 7/8 in 15 cm .4375in 12mm
Sally Battis: 8.00 Large no*** 1 1/4 in 35 mm 5 1/2in 14 cm 0.75in 20mm
Toner 4-pk 6.99 Small no 3/4 in 20 mm 4 1/4in 10.8 cm .3125in 8mm
Weir: 3.95 Large yes 1 1/4 in 35 mm 5 1/2in 14 cm 0.4375in 12mm
With thanks to Carolyn910, BeadSmith, and Sally Battis for providing some details. And BeadSmith for written permission to use their images.

* SRP is the advertised Suggested Retail Price – last updated 2016-March-10 – Always check your seller for most recent price.
** Prior to 2015 BeadSmith SD discs has 25mm center – this do not fit the BeadSmith Handle – price used is with instruction for 8 and 16 Round Spiral (Japanese Name: Kongo Gumi ).
*** Sally Battis disc has a beveled center opening on the bottom. As a result, although the same Center hole ID on top/numbered side, it likely will not support the BeadSmith handle.

Comments, additional details, questions, corrections always welcomed

If you would like to see the line of BeadSmith Disc for Braiding
visit our e-store by clicking here to see our products and pricing







Fill-The-Gap – 7 element English Braid

September 1st, 2015 at 04:42 am » Comments (0)

I cannot emphasize how thankful I am to Anita Clark – I tend to write “as if we were in the same room and having a conversation”

With her help – this version has better grammar, several errors corrected and still, I think, retains the flavor.

Combined with the Fill the Gap Set Up & Movements.pdf – these are likely all you need and perhaps even more than you wanted to know about this easy and versatile braid.

You may download these complimentary files in our Facebook Group by joining us at:
Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More

Note: I am not trained as a graphic artist – so far all have been able to use the diagrams to make the braid. It may not be prettified, but it is apparently functional.

Enjoy The Making

Wheat







Tiplet: Better Beginning The $1 Well Spent

June 24th, 2015 at 22:21 pm » Comments (3)

This is NOT a commercial but it might sound like one.
More like a rant and ramble

And, I suspect I am about to annoy more than a few of those packaging kits for Beaded Braids – but since I do not buy kits, only “hear from my customers” and members of our facebook group about their misadventures – this really is not directed at individual or group of kit makers.

The most commonly used stringing material used for beaded braids is SuperLon (SLon). and you can read more about than you probably really want to know at:
The BeadSmith SuperLon (SLon) Cords and Threads
Happy Endings come from Better Beginnings and Good Better Beginnings start with Proper Planning
– enough with the alliteration

The most commonly given advice is to cut your cords 3 times longer than you want the finished braid.
And, that often works FOR ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF BRAIDS that actually are Japanese and therefore considered Kumihimo.

If you are making the “round hard spiral” Japanese name Kongo Gumi (or Kongoh Gumi) then yes 3x might work. But if you value your time please consider….

One of the victims to paraphrase a friend of the
“Learn It On Monday,
Make a Tutorial On Tuesday
Teach It On Wednesday
Pack a “Kit” with the bare minimum on Thursday
is also the cause of the most grief to new braiders.

Running out of thread before your braid is done and then facing the choice of “taking it out” or going thru the agony of adding – something not always possible.

Remember this happens because Braiding is a FIBER ART and far too often otherwise competent Beadworkers do not understand the differences that really do matter.

Primary among the issues is takeup – this is the amount of thread that is used in each step used to form a woven or braided structure.

Takeup is affected by lots of factors, mostly human and unless that is considered in planning – all too often leads to the running out of cord.

CORD IS CHEAP – Seriously -SLon, at $2.90 per spool is $.083 per yard, So added cost is 67 cents –

What about the cost of shipping you say?

Using our sales records which shows the “SLon Only” order is rarely under 6 spools, that means you could make each cord about a yard longer for a whopping 88 cents.

Hate the idea of waste, well consider “thinking” about making those cords even longer and making matching earring “dangles”, or if you sell your work, a small sample that will the same braid in different beads or colors – or just pat yourself on the back because you now have 30 minutes or more to do something else that makes you happy.

“But I sell my work and have to keep my costs in line”
add the $1 to the price and pat yourself on the back because instead of wasting time unbraiding or otherwise fussing to make it work – because if you can’t see the value of your time, I can’t help you.

Tough Love Commentary – One can often learn more from the misadventures of another than you might think

Professional Crafter or Just love Braiding –

Isn’t your time and enjoyment worth more than maybe wasting $1 (retail)?

Now you know what I think, I’d love to hear your side.







Braiding Disc Counterweights

February 9th, 2015 at 12:33 pm » Comments (1)

DISC-Ctr-Wts-300sq

With the recent announcement of the new accessory for Braiding on Disc – the Kumi-Handle – it seemed like a good idea to address another braiding aid, the Counterweight.

Although I have spent many hours working with a counterweight on a disc so I would understand its use; I do not usually use one. Just not how I learned.

Shown above is the recently released (Fall 2015) version offered by The BeadSmith and the one you will most readily find in my e-store. There are many DIY Solutions and eventually I may put together a list but for today…

So for today’s addition to the “department of general information” espoused by Shirley Berlin – some background on the the three currently commercially available versions of counterweight. It is possible I missed some, but here is what I can “Verify”

kumi-ghator-wt
First produced in Canada by Jamie North’s partner – Kevin Swanson were the Gator Weights – but like many basically one man operations, with the explosion in braiding interest they apparently had some difficulty meeting demand. I know I often waited weeks for BeadSmith to get shipments and seem to always have the item in back order. These weigh approximately 45gm and 87gm and are slightly larger in diameter than the current Kumi-Weight.

About a year or so ago, the next addition to the counterweight field was put out by Beadalon. There version shown in the compatibility photo are intended for use with their spool knitter and for kumihimo.

Kumihimo-Wt-228S-439_100g
The Beadalon hooks are not unlike some machine knitting weights I have use. I have never seen these in person so cannot speak from experience. Like all tools I am sure they will have fans. Still given how I feel about the Knitting Machine hooks I have like that is the look of their hook – I suspect even at their much lower price point, they might not be my preferred solution when a counterweight is required.

Within the product description on my e-shop is more of my thoughts – but I admit to being amused that the first thing TheHenry said was “you won’t use those, the alligator clip will damage your fine threads” – not an issue for those only doing beaded braids with SLon cord.

This all need more thought, but I guess if I were not up for some DIY solutions, then I like that the most recent entry into the market has both the alligator clip and a hook (although I know the folks at BeadSmith have no clue how I will use it besides holding down the table cover on the picnic table.

What is important – is the consideration for those reliant on the counterweight if they will also be using the new Kumi-Handle. With that in mind, I will continue to work with my Handle, use the weight and share my findings.

Kumi Wt Handle Compatible

Looking forward to your thoughts, comments, correction and divergent opinions on to counterweight or not.

p.s. still fact checking the timeline, I know I have the order correct, just need to check further on the exact dates.







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