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Kumi Meetup at Cape Cod

Last month I went to the 2nd Annual Kumi Meetup at Cape Cod. We had new faces in the crowd, as well as returning attendees from last year. The ice-breaker dinner the night before was held at a seafood restaurant directly across from the hotel in Hyannis. This is where we got to know the new people coming to the event, and reacquaint ourselves with old friends that we made last year.

This year we had four bead store owners set up to vend, and we collaborated amongst ourselves to make sure that we brought those things that the attendees were going to need, without too much duplication. This gave everyone a wide variety of beads, tools, kits, patterns, and things related to Kumihimo.

This was the first time that I brought kits, and I spent months making up hundreds of them so that there would be a good selection. Sally Battis, owner of Sally Bead Jewelry (http://stores.sallybeadjewelry.com/), and who sells kits for Kumihimo, has years of experience of doing these kits. Where she gets the time I don’t know.

Kumihimo hoop earrings
Figure 1
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Figure 2
All the bead store owners taught different techniques. I started with Sonia Davis Corbin’s Kumi Hoop Earrings (Figure 1) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ5ajr1h6_Q) and added to the pattern instructions by also teaching a little peyote: making beaded end caps for Kumihimo. Of course, I had Sonia’s permission to teach her pattern, and she generously gave a discount to all attending to buy any of her patterns. You can find her on Etsy as The Jewelry Instructor.

Other collaborations took place. Sally Battis and Pru McRae teamed up with Sally selling Pru’s “Feather” pattern with her kits in several colors. Cooperating like this gives bead store owners a chance to sell the beads, while still giving credit and money to the designer. I jumped into this class at the last minute, and I was so glad I did. I did not have to pick out beads, design, or take notes. That equals a fun time for this bead store owner and designer. I loved the way the bracelet finished up (Figure 2).
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Figure 3
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Figure 4
I did a demonstration on the marudai, and was going for a necklace. The middle section did not come out well (we were all giving it a try), but the first section and last section were great. I made two bracelets with those. The movement on the marudai was Twist, Countertwist (Sheila Cleary) with no beads. This made a solid core with the countertwist making the design for two substantial bracelets that do no collapse (Figure 3, 4).

Lastly, I taught the flat braid on a square disk. This was a large class, and I am happy to say that most finished their bracelet. While the students worked on theirs, I tried some variegated pastel colors rattail for my last bracelet made (Figure 5).

With making over two dozen of these bracelets, I think I have the technique down pat. Now I will change it to add some beads and see what I get.
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Figure 5

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