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Sand and sea kumihimo necklace

Glass beads in subdued tones flow together in this funky, chunky kumihimo braid

Pressed-glass beads in all sorts of shapes present lots of design options. Combine several shapes in a soft color scheme for a "wear-with-everything" accessory. Remember your day at the beach with beads in the colors of the sand and surf.

Supplies

cream necklace 21 in. (53 cm)

  • 108 4 x 7 mm long magatamas (Miyuki, metallic bronze)
  • 36 12 x 8 mm spade beads (Czech, opaque cream Picasso)
  • 36 6 mm lentil beads in each of 2 colors: color A (cream), color B (cream Picasso)
  • 36 6 x 4 mm teardrop beads (transparent cream)
  • 36 3 x 11 mm dagger beads (transparent cream)
  • 4 8–10 mm round glass beads (Czech, topaz)
  • 4 6 mm daisy spacers (antique-finish brass)
  • 2 20 x 17 mm cones (antique-finish brass tulip cones)
  • 2 15 x 22 mm bead caps
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 12 in. (30 cm) 20-gauge wire (brass)
  • 12 in. (30 cm) brass chain in each of 3 styles
  • 2 6 mm jump rings
  • 4 4 mm jump rings
  • miscellaneous charms with jump rings (optional)
  • C-Lon beading cord
  • Big Eye needle
  • 6-in. (15 cm) kumihimo disk
  • 8 bobbins
  • G-S Hypo Cement or other adhesive
  • large binder clip or other weight
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

green necklace colors:

  • 4 x 7 mm long magatamas (Miyuki, matte metallic green iris)
  • 12 x 8 mm spade beads (Czech, transparent frosted navy blue)
  • 6 mm lentil beads (cream Picasso)
  • 6 x 4 mm teardrop beads (transparent forest green with metallic luster)
  • 3 x 11 mm dagger beads (transparent blue green)

All beads and supplies can be purchased at beadology.net, or call (714) 841-8242 to order.

Instructions

Sand and sea kumihimo necklace 1b
Sand and sea kumihimo necklace 2
Figure 1
Sand and sea kumihimo necklace 3
Figure 3

Setup
1.
Cut eight 48-in. (120 cm) lengths of C-Lon cord.

2. Thread a Big Eye needle on one end of one of the cords. Tie an overhand knot (How-Tos) at the other end to keep the beads from slipping off. Pick up 36 4 x 7 mm long magatamas, and remove the needle. Starting at the end without the knot, wrap the cord and the strung beads around a bobbin and secure, leaving about 4 in. (10 cm) of cord to work with. 

3. Feed the end of the cord with the overhand knot through the center hole of the kumihimo disk from front to back, and attach a large binder clip near the knot. Position the cord in the slit just to the left of the top-center or 12 o’clock position of the disk (photo, point a). You will work clockwise to position the remaining cords in the slits around the disk.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining cords, making the following adjustments:
Cord 2: Use 12 x 8 mm spade beads instead of long magatamas, and position the cord in the slit just to the right of the 12 o’clock position (point b). For this and all the remaining cords, use the same binder clip from step 3 to secure the end.
Cord 3: Use long magatamas, and position the cord in the slit just above the 3 o’clock position (point c). 
Cord 4: Use color A 6 mm lentil beads, and position the cord in the slit just below the 3 o’clock position (point d).
Cord 5: Use 6 x 4 mm teardrop beads, and position the cord just to the right of the 6 o’clock position (point e).
Cord 6: Use long magatamas, and position the cord just to the left of the 6 o’clock position (point f).
Cord 7: Use color B 6 mm lentil beads, and position the cord just below the 9 o’clock position (point g). 
Cord 8: Use 3 x 11 mm dagger beads, and position the cord just above the 9 o’clock position (point h).

5. Gather the cords through the center hole, and tie an overhand knot 1 in. (2.5 cm) from the ends. Reposition the clip just below the new knot to keep the cords taut and centered on the disk.

Making the braid

1. Without moving any beads, pick up the top right-hand cord, and bring it straight down to the right of the two cords in the 6 o’clock position (figure 1). There will now be three cords in the 6 o’clock position.

2. Pick up the bottom left-hand cord, and bring it straight up to the left of the single cord at the 12 o’clock position (figure 2). 

3. Turn the disk a quarter turn clockwise so the cords at the 9 o’clock position are now in the 12 o’clock position. This completes the first half of one kumihimo sequence.

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other two sets of cords. This completes the first kumihimo sequence.

5. Repeat steps 1–4 two more times for a total of three complete kumihimo sequences.

6. Continue working as in steps 1–4, but as you pick up each cord, slide a bead down so it rests under the horizontal cords in the center hole, and then position the working cord in the correct slit on the opposite side of the disk. Repeat for all the remaining beads on the cords, keeping a firm tension and making sure each bead sits under the horizontal cords. As you work, try to keep the point of the braid (where the cords are crossing) almost level with the top surface of the disk.

7. Work as in steps 1–4 to work three complete kumihimo sequences without beads. This will lock your beads in place and prevent your braid from unraveling.

Assembly

1. Tie an overhand knot as close to the braid as possible. Remove the binder clip from the other end, and take the cords from the disk. 

2. Dot the knots with glue, allow them to dry completely, and then trim the cords close to each knot.

3. Cut 3 in. (7.6 cm) 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 once, and trim.

4. On the other end of the wire, string a 20 x 17 mm cone, a 6 mm daisy spacer, an 8–10 mm round bead, and a daisy spacer, and make a wrapped loop

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other end of the braid.

6. Cut six 5-in. (13 cm) pieces of chain and one 2-in. (5 cm) piece of chain. 

7. Open a 6 mm jump ring, and attach the wrapped loop at one end of the braid to the end links of three 5-in. (13 cm) chains. Repeat this step on the other end of the braid.

8. Cut 3 in. (7.6 cm) of 20-gauge wire, make a wrapped loop on one end, string an 8–10 mm round bead and a bead cap, and make another wrapped loop. Repeat to make a second 8–10 mm bead unit.

9. Open a 4 mm jump ring, and attach the end links of chain at one end of the necklace to a wrapped loop of a bead unit. Repeat this step on the other end of the necklace.

10. Open a 4 mm jump ring, and attach the available wrapped loop of a bead unit to a lobster claw clasp. 

11. Open a 4 mm jump ring, and attach the available wrapped loop at the other end of the necklace to an end link of the 2-in. (5 cm) chain to make a chain extension. If desired, attach charms with jump rings to the chain extension.

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