These are the general instructions for Anita’s Knotted Kumihimo Necklace kits. Refer to the Information Card included in your kit for bead counts and a set-up diagram for braiding. To view a photo of the finished necklace, choose your kit number from the list on the Kumihimo Necklace Kits page.
In addition to your kit you will need the following: small sharp scissors; beading awl; a dozen plastic drinking straws; hypo-cement; a “Big-Eye” needle; a darning needle; eight bobbins; a small kumihimo wheel.
Cut drinking straws into 1″ sections. For the number required, refer to your Information Card.
Begin by stringing the beads for the center portion of the necklace. Matching the thread to the bead color, string beads in sections separated by straws, beginning and ending with a bead. String on all of the beads before you start knotting. A double bead will signal the end of a strand when you are knotting.
Make your first knot one yard from the end of the cord. You will use the extra cord to kumihimo braid the ends later. Slide the first bead up to the knot. Make a second knot right after the bead. Next will be a straw. Move it up next to the bead just knotted. Now make a third knot and slide it up to the end of the straw with the beading awl. Now move the second bead up to the knot and make a knot right after it. Keep repeating until you reach two beads together. The first bead will be the last bead of the strand you are working on. The second bead will be the first bead of the next strand. When you have knotted after the last bead, push all of the un-knotted beads down so you can leave one yard of cord after the last bead.
Begin the next strand by making a knot one yard from the end of the cord and repeat the steps in the paragraph above.
You should have knotted eight strands beginning and ending with one yard of cord. Remove each straw by bending the cord around your finger to move the cord to the bottom of the straw. Carefully cut across the top of the straw with small sharp scissors.
Hold the eight strands together from one end and let them dangle. Stagger the strands so the beads fall in different positions. Tie all eight cords in an overhand knot about 1/2 inch or so from the first bead. Then grasp from the opposite end and tie a second overhand knot.
Each end is now ready to be braided using a small round kumihimo wheel. Draw the cords from the first end of your necklace up through the center of the wheel. The beaded portion and the second set of cords will hang below. Arrange the eight cords on either side of the four dots on the wheel according to your Information Card, and string the required number of beads on each cord, winding excess cord onto a bobbin to secure the beads.
Braid the beads and then do a section of plain braiding to form a loop large enough to fit over the button. Remember to stretch your braid, otherwise the loop will stretch as the bracelet is worn. Finish the loop by stringing one cord at a time back down the center of the braid and out the side. Be careful not to insert the needle through a bead as it will break. Wrap the last cord around the base of the loop before pulling it through the braid. Trim loose ends of cord by pulling slightly as you cut. This causes ends to disappear into the braid. Secure the wrapped portion with a bit of hypo cement.
Braid the second half of the necklace just like the first only omit the plain braiding for the loop. When you finish braiding beads, make two exchanges without beads to close off the braid. Then take the two cords that would have been used for the next exchange, remove them from their slots, and tie them into a double knot before removing the braid from the wheel. Pass all eight cords through the shank of the button. Move the button to within 1/2 inch of the beaded portion of the braid. Choose two of the cords and separate one to the left, the other to the right. Fold the remaining six cords from the button shank down to the braid. Use the two cords you separated to macrame flat using alternate cords to cover the 1/2 inch of cording between the button shank and the bracelet.
Finish the end by stringing one cord at a time back down the center of the braid and out the side. Trim loose ends of cord by pulling slightly as you cut. This causes ends to disappear into the braid. Secure the macrame portion with hypo cement.
This project assumes prior knowledge of basic bead knotting and braiding an 8-strand beaded kumihimo braid. Join us at Bead Club for free instruction on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Anita’s Beads located at 2517 Wakefield Road (Rte 153) in Wakefield, New Hampshire.