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Fanciful flowercup kumihimo braid

Create a necklace or bracelet of cascading blossoms using Flowercup beads and seed beads in a kumihimo braid.
Fancifulflowercupbraid

SUPPLIES

both projects

  • S-Lon cord
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10
  • 2 pairs of chainnose, flatnose, and/or bentnose pliers 
  • 8 bobbins
  • crochet hook (optional)
  • E6000 or other adhesive
  • kumihimo disk with weight or binder clip

necklace 23 in. (58 cm) 

  • 300 7 x 5 mm glass Flowercup beads (Czech, silver; www.kandrasbeads.com)
  • 24 g 8/0 seed beads (Toho 176B, transparent rainbow soft gray)
  • 5 g 11/0 seed beads (Toho 176B, transparent rainbow soft gray)
  • clasp (www.agrainofsand.com)
  • 2 6 mm jump rings

bracelet 8 in. (20 cm)

  • 72 7 x 5 mm glass Flowercup beads (Czech, silver; www.kandrasbeads.com)
  • 5 g 8/0 seed beads (Toho 176B, transparent rainbow soft gray)
  • 1 g 11/0 seed beads (Toho 176B, transparent rainbow soft gray)
  • clasp (www.agrainofsand.com)
  • 2 6 mm jump rings
     

Setup
1. Cut eight 30-in. (76 cm) lengths of S-Lon cord.

2. Tie an overhand knot at one end of a cord, and pick up 32 8/0 seed beads. Starting at the end with the knot, wrap the cord and the strung beads around a bobbin and secure, leaving 10 in (25 cm) of cord to work with. Repeat this step three times for a total of four cords with 8/0s. These cords will be called 8/0 cords.

3. For each of the remaining four cords, work as in step 2, but pick up the following beads: an 8/0; a repeating pattern of a 7 x 5 mm Flowercup bead (wide end to narrow end) and two 8/0s 30 times; an 8/0. These cords will be called Flowercup cords.

4. Gather the ends of the cords, and tie them together with an overhand knot, leaving approximately 4 in. (10 cm) of cord free between the knot and the beads. Feed the knot through the center hole of the kumihimo disk from front to back, and attach a weight or binder clip. 

5. Position an 8/0 cord in the slit just to the left of the top-center or 12 o’clock position of the disk. Position a Flowercup cord in the slit just to the right of the top-center position. Turn the disk a quarter turn clockwise so a new set of slits is available. Repeat this step to position the remaining cords.

FancifulflowercupbraidFigure1
Figure 1
Click on images to enlarge
FancifulflowercupbraidFigure2
Figure 2

Kumihimo 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 in the 12 o’clock position (FIGURE 2).

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

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 three times, and then turn the disk a quarter turn. 

5. Repeat steps 1–4 four times for a total of five complete kumihimo sequences.

6. Making sure you begin with a Flowercup cord, work as in steps 1–4, but slide down a single 8/0 from each cord when you move it so that the 8/0 rests under the horizontal cord in the center hole. 

7. For the next 30 sequences, work as follows:

  • On each Flowercup cord, slide down two 8/0s and a Flowercup bead as a unit.
  • On each 8/0 cord, slide down a single 8/0. Keep a consistent but not tight tension, and make sure each bead (or group of beads) sits under the horizontal cord and does not drop to the center of the braid, but rather is positioned along the outside of the braid.

8. Work the last kumihimo sequence by sliding down the remaining 8/0 on each cord, and then work five complete sequences without beads.

9. Pinch the braid below the center hole, unwind the bobbins from the cords, and remove the cords from the disk. Tie an overhand knot with the cords at the end of the braid. Remove the weight from the other end, and gently stretch out the cord to adjust the tension. Check the braid for any Flowercup units that may have dropped inside the braid. Use a pair of pliers or a crochet hook to bring them to the outside of the braid.

10. Cut a 12-in. (30 cm) piece of thread, and wrap it tightly around the end of the braid just below the knot, about 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) away from the beaded section, tying several knots as you wrap. Trim the thread, and cut off the knot at the end of the braid. Dab the end of the braid with E6000 or other adhesive to prevent fraying. Repeat this step on the other end of the braid.

11. Make a second braid.

FancifulflowercupbraidFigure3
Figure 3
FancifulflowercupbraidFigure4
Figure 4

End caps
1. On 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread, pick up four 11/0 seed beads, and sew through the beads again to form a ring, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. 

2. Work in rounds as follows: 
Round 1: Pick up two 11/0s, and sew through the next 11/0 in the ring. Repeat this stitch to complete the round, and step up through the first 11/0 picked up in this round (FIGURE 3).
Rounds 2 and 3: Work two rounds of tubular herringbone stitch (FIGURE 4).

FancifulflowercupbraidFigure5
Figure 5
Round 4: Work an increase round: Pick up two 11/0s, and sew down through the next 11/0 in the previous round. Pick up an 11/0, and sew up through the following 11/0 in the previous round. Repeat these two stitches to complete the round, and step up (FIGURE 5).
Round 5: Work another increase round as in round 4.
FancifulflowercupbraidFigure6
Figure 6
FancifulflowercupbraidFigure7
Figure 7

Round 6: Work a round of tubular herringbone with no increase (FIGURE 6).
Round 7: Work an increase round.
Round 8: Pick up an 11/0, and sew down through the next two 11/0s in the herringbone stack. Sew through the increase 11/0 picked up in the previous round, and then sew up through the first two 11/0s in the following stack. Repeat this stitch to complete the round, and step up (FIGURE 7). Do not end the working thread or tail.

3. Make a total of four end caps.

End cap and clasp assembly
1. With the working thread from one of the end caps, sew through the beads in round 8 to exit an increase 11/0. Place the end cap on one end of the braid so that the wide end of the Flowercup beads points away from the end cap. 

2. Sew down through an 8/0 in the last kumihimo sequence in the braid, sew up through the next 8/0 in the braid, and continue through the next increase 11/0 in the end cap. Repeat this stitch to connect the end cap to the braid. Retrace the thread path several times, and end the working thread.

3. With the tail exiting an 11/0 in the original ring of the end cap, pick up an 8/0, and sew through the 11/0 on the opposite side of the ring. Sew back through the 8/0 just added and the 11/0 your thread exited at the start of this step in the same direction. Retrace the thread path, and end the tail.

4. Open a jump ring, and attach the 8/0 at the top of the end cap to half of the clasp. 

5. Repeat steps 1–4 for the other braid.

6. For the remaining end caps, work as in steps 1 and 2, but note that the Flowercup beads will be pointing toward the end caps. 

7. With the tail from one of the end caps, pick up an 11/0, and sew through the next 11/0 in the original ring. Repeat this stitch to complete the round, and step up through the first 11/0 picked up in this round.

8. To join the two end caps: Sew through an 11/0 in the original ring on the other end cap, and sew through the next 11/0 added in the previous step. Continue to zigzag back and forth between the end caps to join. Retrace the thread path, and end the tails.

FancifulflowercupbraidFigure8
Figure 8

Spiral rope pendant
1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread, pick up three 8/0s, a Flowercup bead (narrow end to wide end), an 11/0, an 8/0, and an 11/0, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. Sew through the first three 8/0s again to form a loop around the 8/0s. Move the loop to the left of the core 8/0s.

2. Working in spiral rope, pick up a Flowercup bead, an 11/0, an 8/0, and an 11/0, and sew through the previous three core 8/0s. Move this loop to the left of the core. Repeat this stitch two more times for a total of four Flowercup loops around these three 8/0s in the core.

3. Pick up two 8/0s, a Flowercup bead, an 11/0, an 8/0, and an 11/0. Sew through the last 8/0 in the core and the first two 8/0s picked up in this step. Move this loop to the left of the core.

4. Pick up a Flowercup bead, an 11/0, an 8/0, and an 11/0, and sew through the last three 8/0s in the core. Repeat this stitch three times for a total of four loops.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your pendant is the desired length.

6. Pick up two 11/0s, and sew through the last 8/0 in the core and the first 11/0 just added (FIGURE 8, a–b).

FancifulflowercupbraidFigure9
Figure 9

7. Pick up two 11/0s, sew through the two previous 11/0s, and continue through the first 11/0 added in this step (b–c). Continue working in this manner to create a strip that is 22 rows long and two beads wide.

8. Work in square stitch to add a column of 11/0s along one edge of the strip (FIGURE 9). 

9. Fold the strip over the join between the two end caps at the center of the necklace, and stitch this end of the strip to the two loops on this side of the pendant. End the working thread.

10. With the tail, secure the end 11/0s on the remaining side of the strip to the two loops on this side of the pendant. End the tail.

Bracelet
1. Work as in steps 1–5 of “Setup,” but use 22-in. (56 cm) lengths of cord and string only 18 sets of Flowercup units on each of the four Flowercup cords.

2. Work as in steps 1–10 of “Kumihimo braid.”

3. Work as in steps 1 and 2 of “End caps” to make two end caps.

4. Work as in steps 1–4 of “End cap and clasp assembly” for both ends of the braid, noting that the Flowercup beads will be pointing toward one of the end caps.

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