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Kumihimo rope necklace

Weave a spiral rope through a braided cord to set off an art-glass bead

Kumihimo rope necklace

If you love kumihimo and are looking for a new way to incorporate it into your beadwork, look no further. This clever combination of braiding and stitching fits the bill.

 

Below, you’ll find instructions on how to create the kumihimo ladder rope. For full instructions, including how to make the spiral rope and assemble the necklace, download the free project PDF here

Tip!

You can use 20-gauge wire instead of 14-gauge to hang the focal bead.

Materials

Necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • lampworked focal bead
  • 48 4-6 mm Czech glass beads, color C
  • 12-15 4-6 mm Czech glass beads in each of 2 colors: D and E
  • 5 g 8/0 seed beads, color A
  • 3 g 8/0 seed beads, color B
  • 5 g 11/0 seed beads
  • 3 g 15/0 seed beads
  • Clasp
  • 2 cones or bead caps
  • 3 in. (7.6 cm) 14-gauge wire
  • Fireline 6 or 8 lb. test
  • 3 yd. (2.7 m) fiber cord in each of 2 styles
  • beading needles, #12
  • anvil or bench block
  • G-S Hypo Cement
  • hammer
  • marudai or kumihimo disk with 8 bobbins and counterweight
  • metal file
  • scrap wire or cord
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

 

Instructions

Kumihimo ladder rope

Kumihimo rope necklace Photo a
photo a
Kumihimo rope necklace Photo b
photo b

I learned this rope from Jacqui Carey’s book Beads and Braids. It creates a flat rope that has openings in it, like the gaps between the rungs of a ladder.

 

1. Cut two 1 1/2-yd. (1.4 m) pieces of each type of cord, for a total of four cords. Wind each end of each cord around a bobbin, leaving 10-12 in. (25-30 cm) between the bobbins.

2. Position the two style A cords on the marudai or kumihimo disk so they are perpendicular and cross in the middle (Photo A). Move one notch to the right, and position the two style B cords so they are perpendicular and cross in the middle (Photo B). Tie or twist a piece of scrap cord or wire around the middle of all four cords where they cross. Attach your counterweight to the cord or wire.

Kumihimo rope necklace Figures 1 4
figures 1-4

3. Position the marudai or disk so the cords are arranged as in Figure 1. The cord positions are indicated by a letter, and you will always work with the cords in pairs: A and B, C and D, E and F, and G and H for the sides; and C and H and B and E for the rungs. If you are working on a marudai, grasp the first cord mentioned with your right hand and the other cord with your left hand, and move them simultaneously in the direction indicated for that movement. If you’re working with a disk, pick up the first cord of the pair, move it in the direction indicated to the new position, then pick up the second cord, and move it in the direction indicated to the new position.

 

Begin the ladder rope as follows:

Movement 1: Working clockwise, move cord A to the cord B position, and move cord B to the cord A position (Figure 2).

Movement 2: Working counterclockwise, move cord D to the cord C position, and move cord C to the cord D position (Figure 3).

Movement 3: Working clockwise, move cord E to the cord F position, and move cord F to the cord E position (Figure 4).

Kumihimo rope necklace Figures 5 7
figures 5-7

Movement 4: Working counterclockwise, move cord H to the cord G position, and move cord G to the cord H position (Figure 5).

4. Repeat movements 1-4 three times. This creates two parallel braids that form the sides of an opening.

5. Make a ladder rung as follows:

Movement 5: Working clockwise, move cord C to the cord H position, and move cord H to the cord C position (Figure 6).

Movement 6: Working counterclockwise, move cord B to the cord E position, and move cord E to the cord B position (Figure 7).

6. Repeat movements 5 and 6 twice.

7. Continue as in steps 3-6 until the braid is 18 in. (46 cm). Remove the braid from the marudai or disk, and tie the ends together with a tight square knot. Cut the cords close to the knot, apply glue to the knot, and set the braid aside.

For full project instructions, download the free PDF here

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