Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Statement Kumihimo Necklace

Have you ever liked something so much you decided to make it in every colour? That's what's happened with this necklace.
I bought a jazzy, beaded belt from a charity shop for the beads as it was completely chocked full of them. As a belt it wasn't to my taste but I decided to take it apart and make something new and that led to the first necklace. Then it was a case of making one in each of the colours ;-)
As I have mentioned before, I really enjoy Kumihimo weaving, the basic method is quite simple to pick up and once you've got it it's very quick and a little bit addictive. That's before you even start to use beads, then it takes on a whole new dimension. I have a foam Kumihimo "loom" from Beadsmith and it's brilliant. They're quite cheap, less than £4 (UK) and can be used with everything from nylon thread to chunky wool! They come with instructions and you can also buy kits that include the materials to make your first project.
I have seen people make they're own using cardboard but I think the foam one helps as it holds the strands well.
Here's great link to a video direct from Beadsmith on YouTube which is fantastic if you're new to using beads with Kumihimo - 
It's how I learnt to add beads and explains the technique perfectly! I also have the Beadsmith bobbins as seen hanging down from each thread in the photo below but prior to owning them I just used cardboard bobbins such as used with cross-stitch cotton.

Make a length of beaded Kumihimo weaving approximately 12cm (5") in length.
Wrap your chosen coloured wire around something of a suitable diameter. For example I use knitting needles as I have a lot of them to hand and I can use whichever diameter I think best suits each particular necklace. The picture below is a 5mm needle which is my standard go-to size. You can wrap it as tightly as you like. Sometimes I do it pretty tight but a little loose as in this example looks good too.
Wrap it until you have a coil approximately 3cm (1") long
Thread 3 beads and your wire coil onto a length of wire and create a loop at the end. Hook this onto the end of your beaded Kumihimo. (From the second necklace onwards I actually put a jump ring on the end of the beaded section before I started and one after I finished weaving to make things easier. If you do this hook the length of wire to the jump ring.) Then create a loop at the opposite end, where the beads are, and cut the excess off. Secure the end of the loop inside the last bead.

Thread a length of chain through the loop to create a double layer of chain.
Attach a jump ring the both ends of the chain.
Attach an extension chain to one side and a lobster clasp to the other side.
That's it ready to wear!
As I said I have made it in lots of colours thanks to the belt and a few more with other slight alterations :
I hope you like them too!
Craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x

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