Multi-bead kumihimo bracelet

Braid multiple beads at once for a new twist on basic kumihimo

Kumihimo braiding is usually done one bead at a time. But what happens when you move multiple beads at once? The possibilities are endless!

Materials

Both projects

  • Big Eye needle
  • bead awl or crochet hook (optional)
  • E6000 adhesive or Super New Glue
  • kumihimo disk with 8 bobbins and weight or binder clip
  • 2 pairs of chainnose, flatnose, and/or bentnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

Seafoam bracelet 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)

  • 76 4 x 3 mm rondelles (green turquoise AB)
  • 3 g 2 x 4 mm peanut beads (Matsuno P4014-MA, matte seafoam)
  • 3 g 8/0 seed beads (Toho 1207, marbled opaque turquoise blue)
  • 1 g 9/0 large-hole seed beads (Toho 1071, dusty mauve; www.artbeads.com)
  • Clasp
  • 2 12 x 10 mm end caps
  • 2 4 mm jump rings
  • 6 in. (15 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • C-Lon cord

Peanut-bead version

  • 2 x 4 mm peanut beads
  • 6 g color A (gunmetal)
  • 3 g each color B and C (cream and matte lilac)
  • Clasp
  • 2 12 x 10 mm end caps
  • 2 4 mm jump rings
  • 6 in. (15 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • C-Lon cord

Instructions
Setup

1. Cut eight 2-ft. (61 cm) lengths of cord. Tie them together with an overhand knot at one end.

2. With a Big Eye needle on one cord, pick up 7 in. (18 cm) of 8/0 seed beads. Wrap the cord and the strung beads around a bobbin and secure, leaving 6 in. (15 cm) of cord to work with. Repeat this step once. These cords will be called the 8/0 cords.

3. For two of the remaining cords, work as in step 2, but pick up 7 in. (18 cm) of 2 x 4 mm peanut beads. These cords will be called the peanut bead cords.

4. For the remaining four cords, work as in step 2, but pick up two 9/0 large-hole seed beads, and then pick up a repeating pattern of a 9/0, a 4 x 3 mm rondelle, and a 9/0 a total of 19 times. End by picking up two 9/0s. These cords will be called the accent bead cords.

5. Feed the knotted end of the cords through the center hole of the kumihimo disk from front to back, and attach a weight or binder clip. 
Multi bead kumihimo bracelet Photo a
Photo A

6. Refer to Photo A to position the cords:

  • Position an accent bead cord in the slot to the left and another to the right of the top-center or 12 o’clock position of the disk.
  • Position the other two accent bead cords directly opposite.
  • Position an 8/0 cord in the slot above the 3 o’clock position and the other below the 9 o’clock position.
  • Position a peanut bead cord in the slot below the 3 o’clock position and the other above the 9 o’clock position.
Multi bead kumihimo bracelet Figure 1
Figure 1
Multi bead kumihimo bracelet Figure 2
Figure 2
Braid

1. To work a section of braid without beads: Position the disk with a pair of accent bead cords at the top. Using the basic eight-cord kumihimo technique, pick up the top-right-hand cord, and move it to the right of the bottom-right cord (Figure 1). Bring the bottom-left cord up, and place it to the left of the top-left cord (Figure 2). Rotate the disk 90 degrees.

2. Repeat step 1 three times to work one complete kumihimo rotation. The beads should be positioned as they were during setup.

Multi bead kumihimo bracelet Photo b
Photo B
Multi bead kumihimo bracelet Photo c
Photo C

3. To begin working with beads: Pick up the top-right cord (an accent bead cord), and slide a bead down to the braid, positioning the bead under the cord crossing over the cord you are working with (Photo B). Move the cord down to the right of the bottom-right cord. Pick up the bottom-left cord, and slide a bead under the crossing cord. Move the cord up to the left of the top-left cord. Rotate the disk 90 degrees.

4. Repeat step 3 for a total of two complete rotations. You should have worked 16 moves with beads at the end of these rotations.

5. Do this for the 5 next 19 rotations:

  • On each accent bead cord, slide down a 9/0, a rondelle, and a 9/0 as a unit.
  • On each 8/0 cord, slide down four 8/0s as a unit.
  • On each peanut bead cord, slide down three peanut beads as a unit.
  • Keep a consistent but not tight tension, and make sure each group of beads sits under the crossing cord and does not drop into the center of the braid.

6. Work the last two kumihimo rotations by sliding down a single bead on each cord, as in steps 3-4.

7. Work a complete kumihimo rotation without beads, as in steps 1-2.

8. Remove the cords from the bobbins, and gather them together. Tie an overhand knot close to the braid. Trim the cord close to the knot, and dab with glue.

9. Remove the weight from the other end of the braid, and gently stretch the braid to adjust the tension. Check the braid for any beads that may have dropped inside, and use a needle or crochet hook to gently pull them back outside the braid (Photo C).

Finishing

1. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire. Form the wire into a U-shape, and slide it through the second round of beads in the braid. Wrap one end of the wire tightly around the braid a few times, and trim.

2. On the other end of the wire, string a 12 x 10 mm end cap, and make a wrapped loop.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the other end of the braid.

4. Open a 4 mm jump ring, and attach the wrapped loop at one end of the braid to half of the clasp. Repeat this step at the other end of the braid.

Design option: Peanut-bead version
  • Select three colors of peanut beads, and string four cords with As, two cords with Bs, and two cords with Cs.
  • When you arrange the cords on the disk, substitute A cords for the accent-bead cords, B cords for the 8/0 cords, and C cords for the peanut-bead cords.
  • In step 6 of “Braid,” slide three peanut beads on each cord for each move.
FIND MORE: kumihimo , bracelets , beads , seed beads

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