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Tutorial Inspiration – Part II – Braid Beginnings

April 9th, 2016 at 08:40 am » Comments (0)

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

Pattern or Tutorial

January 9th, 2016 at 08:04 am » Comments (0)

The Question: What are the definitions and standards for instructional
materials came up in a “group”

Answer: They do not exist. … But they should….

This is by no means an exact answer, but I guess – a lot of opinion and a few facts.

Almost daily, I get email, phone calls, or PM’ s from my customers who bought some publication and find it wanting. It never ceases to amaze me the crap that is offered for sale – and I have lost sleep while wondering if they are that much of an amateur or if the author just did not care. I suspect usually a combination of both – especially lately.

Long ago I had a business partner who like to say “Cheap can cost you dear” and I have had the pleasure to work with many old school industry professionals on many different career paths who understood that and so worked towards raising the bar on publications and product.

So a better way to put that might be: There is a difference between Frugal & Cheap =

In beadwork, unlike in the YARNandTHREAD community, (knit, crochet, weaving, sewing etc) there are no National/International Academic “society” and there is no bead specific industry group and there are no organizations remaining professional organizations for “craft” professionals as exist for those who work with fibers and fabrics.

Without those types of organizations, Academic, Professional and Trade, only with a working partnership of 2 or more = there is no viable way to set standards – so it is continues to be the wild west. Even, to the best of my knowledge, the Japanese who have standards for just about everything do not for beads sizing

Realistically there is absolutely no incentive for such organizations to come into being and then to develop standards and work toward getting those accepted. Frankly if it had to happen again in fiber, I doubt it would be possible to get it done today because of the combination of lack of those willing to do what has to be done – at significant personal expense ( dollars and time ) and the apparent unwillingness of the majority consumers to bear the cost of more comprehensive instructional materials. So too small a market for quality.

Hell few know as well as i do that it is almost dangerous to even suggest that at the very least, accurate information should be norm. Because those who do so are often excoriated, ridiculed and told they are mean and nasty Certainly anyone “in the business” knows the risks of not only having higher expectations, but expecting those with a product to meet them. Not the least of which is to have those who offer substandard products and information lobbying a group admin to remove the person and then name call or otherwise harm their reputation.

Personally, I will not buy an instructional materials unless there some way I can see a sample of the quality of the publication. Ideally it should be a complimentary work – and it can be very basic – that will demonstrate the kinds of learning aids that will be included in their product.

I am a fanatic about the details – and if the sample work does not bother to reflect care and concern for enabling the buyer – then I am not interested.

If their offerings are clearly copies of anther’s work

I believe the sales description should include a list of “skills needed” as specific as possible and not some vague or arbitrary and undefined references such “beginner”, advanced beginner, intermediate, etc.

I know many would like an exact list of “materials used” available prior to sale but that is a multi-sided discussion unto itself.

What is included – charts, graphs, illustrations, etc should be mentioned.

Who is the audience? Obviously if the seller is the author and is selling direct to consumers, then their product had better be geared to that niche and have what is needed for those with the skills needed to successfully complete the product.

However, many of the free patterns offered by bead and other manufacturers of products used in the making are not really intended for use by consumers – they are meant to inspire you and it is expected that additional and instruction will be provided by the entity who sells you the supplies.

I absolutely agree Videos should be a supplement not a substitute for well written instructions.

At the same time, you the buyer have some responsibility as well. If you want certain features included then you have to be willing to pay for them.

Wow this got way longer than I planned, so stepping off this soapbox is likely going to at least result in a sprained if not broken ankle

Probably need to edit this more – but really do hope you will consider that there is more to your purchasing choices – instructional or supplies – than just price.

originally posted to the FaceBook group BWAN (not mine) 2016-Jan-08

The Ethical Dilemma of Pattern Derivatives

April 9th, 2013 at 08:55 am » Comments (7)

It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest and seemingly most straight forward of situations can evolve into an ethical dilemma.

In this case. someone is searching for a pattern.
It is in an out of print book
Someone else, who probably had the best of intentions,
but with no clue to the intended consequences of their actions…
Reverse engineers the pattern –
An “okay’ thing IF their own use – not distribution
Not when that derivative pattern is “shared” in many places.
(a blatant violation of copyright in ALL the countries involved Japan, USA, UK)
So now, abetted by the services posting/hosting the “Free Download” violated international law, The Geneva Convention.

And the moral dilemma, well, should I also abet the IP Violation by tell the searcher how to find the improperly shared patterns – justifying with “well then they will like me”
or rationalizing “The damage is already done, so why not”

Or, like our parents always said, “If they were going to jump off a bridge, would you do that just because they already had”.

So I really want to know,
What Would You Do?
How would you handle the situation
and why would you choose that method.

I look forward to your thoughts here, or on Like: FaceBook

Enjoy The Making

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The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques

September 25th, 2007 at 11:04 am » Comments (0)

In case you have been wondering why so few blog-a-mentries this month, I have been preparing swatches and samples of some wonderful yarns and will start blogging about that rather soon. Good as I am I cannot crochet and type at the same time.


The pleasant combination of:

– the gradually developing Symbol Crochet cross reference

– a question on the Crochet Partners about finishing, and

– my rather happy current pass time of swatching and sampling several yarn lines for crochet.

means that many of my Crochet related References are “handy” (read piled around my sit’n’stitch chair)

So with my usual caveat about turning chains, the book for those who wish to move beyond the square or rectangle and begin to take advantage of the many wonderful new patterns for garments (not to mention wonderful yarns just asking to be hooked) I really really like Nancie Wiseman’s book:
The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques.

Tiny URL To Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/2s4mrb

This is not a stitch book – although it does cover the basics. Nor, is it really a book covering the many niche techniques of crochet such as hairpin, broomstick, double-ended and similar speciality techniques.

There are several areas where I could wish Nancie had gone further, and at least one thing that would have *really* helped the Crochet who wants to upgrade the quality of thier finished work by using yarns available in your local Yarn Shop or on the Internet rather than just limited quality of product sold in most craft or other chain type stores.

The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques really is a quick reference with good visuals for the details essential to creating a well done garment.

According to the publisher,

From the first chain stitch to buttonholes and blocking, readers will find expert guidance for mastering America’s hottest comeback craft! Dozens of tips guarantee a frustration-free adventure for first-timers, and will help seasoned crocheters sharpen their skills.

• Take an easy walk through each technique with close-up, color photos and detailed illustrations

• Start with basic crochet stitches; then learn about gauges, increases, decreases, seams, trims, edgings, and finishing

• The book’s take-along size and lay-flat binding allow you to easily crochet on the go

• Includes introductions to filet crochet, intarsia crochet, and the afghan stitch

In the “Wheat’s Reference Rating” This book is rated:

Even with two small “wish she had” in the layout and organization of information; this is a great little book.

Rated CDF, (the only way you will get me to give it up is to pry it from my CDF/Cold Dead Fingers

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