Back in stock! My books and disks are now available for sale.

Prumihimo Book and Disk

Featured Image 3 disks

My books and disks are now back in stock on this website. They are available in a variety of options in order to get the best value out of the shipping costs. The disks are very light, so up to 4 can be shipped for the minimum shipping charge. The extra thick disk is slightly heavier, so up to 2 can be shipped for the minimum shipping charge. The book is heavier, so it falls into the next shipping category, but up to 3 disks can be added for the same charge. I do all the shipping myself, which allows me to keep the costs to the absolute minimum, but a small increase in the charge is likely in the New Year.

It is now getting close to Christmas, so please do not expect pre-Christmas delivery unless you are in the UK. Of course I will get all orders processed as quickly as possible, but once I have posted them they are at the mercy of the Royal Mail and international mail services!

Current shipping charges are as follows, with an approximate conversion to US $

Disks, regular thickness, 1-4 disks = UK £1.50

US = approximately US $5.50

 

Disks extra thick, 1-2 disks = UK £1.50

US = approximately US $5.50

 

Book plus 1-3 disks = UK £2.00

US = approximately US $8.00

If you have not yet tried the Prumihimo disk I think you might find that it is the perfect challenge for the New Year. Learning a new skill is a great way to start the year. It will keep you occupied and give you confidence. Buying the book with 3 disks is great value.

All the different purchase options are available in the shop on this website.

No shipping of books or disks for 3 weeks!

christmas kumihimo

I will not be in a position to ship any books or disks for a three week period from 18th November until 11th December, so during that time they will show as out of stock. This will not affect sales of tutorials because they are downloads. There are plenty of other places where you will be able to buy books or disks, depending on where you are located.

UK – Spoilt Rotten Beads – books and disks

UK – Riverside Beads – books and disks

UK – Stitchncraft – books and disks

US – Simplybeadifulonline – disks (a few books may be available)

Netherlands – Beadhouse – books and disks

In the meantime, this is the perfect time to get lots of lovely Christmas decorations made before the festive rush!  The new Snowflake tutorial is a charming design, making use of the 7 cord technique, so you can learn something new and create something seasonal at the same time! There are quite a few pretty Christmas decoration tutorials in the shop on this site, where you will find 4 pages of tutorials, so have a browse and see if there is something else you like.

Winter is coming … here are the first snowflakes!

Snowflake kumihimo

Kumihimo snowflake

Snowflakes in November means we will be having a cold winter! I have just uploaded my new Snowflake tutorial. It is very, very pretty and is one of those quick makes which become rather addictive, but as you can never have too many decorations on your tree it is fine to indulge yourself and make as many as you want.

All my recent tutorials have been for designs made on the Prumihimo disk, so it has been refreshing to make this one on the regular round disk. The braid structure is the 7 cord braid, also known as Fill the Gap, which has its origins in Europe, rather than Japan, so strictly speaking it is not kumihimo. However, as it is made on the kumihimo disk it is often referred to as kumihimo and it is becoming very popular as an additional technique for lovers of Japanese braiding. The 7 cord braid can be plain or beaded and when fully beaded it is very similar in appearance to Round Braid. It is slightly slimmer and more flexible and with one cord less it takes less time to load up the beads. The great advantage of this braid is that it can accommodate beads of varying size and shape far better than Round Braid.

This braid is often worked with a template or with numbers or letters written onto the disk, but I prefer to teach it the more traditional way, where the slots are counted. Don’t be put off by the sound of that because you only have to count to 3! The reason I prefer this method is that I find people quickly pick up the rhythm of the braid and no longer need to count the slots. This allows them to braid very quickly and accurately, with even tension.

Japanese braids are very symmetrical, with the moves being repeated on each side of the disk, so it makes little difference if you are left or right handed. This braid is different because it is most comfortable with the moves being performed by the dominant hand. The usual instructions favour right handers, so in the tutorial I have provided the reversed instructions.

The aim of the tutorial is to teach the structure plus the embellishment method and then to encourage people to try their own ideas. I have provided two different bead layouts and explained different types of embellishment, so it will be easy for people to explore and make use of what they have in their stash.

This is a counted design, which means that the beads are threaded onto the cords in a specific order to produce the effect. If you want to try designing your own you can try the Kumihimo with Beads app created by Janet Nijman. This is a way of having all the fun of design without the maths!

If you would like to fill your home with snowflakes you can find the tutorial here.

Buy now for Christmas – The Prumihimo Book and Disk

Prumihimo Book and Disk

Prumihimo Book and disk

Anyone interested in buying either my book or disks in time for Christmas may like to place their order now. I will be unable to ship any books or disks after 17th November until 11th December, which brings us rather close to Christmas. International shipping is usually excellent, but it can vary enormously. The majority of my packages reach the US between one and two weeks after they are placed, but I am at the mercy of the postal services and US customs and sometimes a package will take longer. Shipping to Canada has been very slow recently for no apparent reason. Shipping to Europe sometimes takes just a day or two and sometimes it is more like 10 days.

The book and disk package is a great Christmas present either for yourself or for a crafty friend or family member. If you wanted to add to it you could consider a kit from Sally Battis or Jamie North. If you visit Sally’s site just search for ‘prumihimo’ and a number of options will come up for the regular thickness Prumihimo disk. Search for ‘Daisy Chain’ and there are a couple of kits for the extra thick version of the Prumihimo disk. On Jamie’s site search for ‘Mystic Moons’ and don’t forget to buy a GatorWeight Lite to complete the gift. Alternatively, you could add in some cord and beads. I recommend a reel of S-Lon (0.5mm/Tex210/#18), some satin cord/rattail (1-2mm) and a tube of size 8 seed beads. A weight would be a good addition. I can’t think of a better surprise to unwrap on the big day, even if it is not such a surprise because you got it for yourself!

You will find several different options for buying my disk and book. The muli-disk options make best use of the shipping allowance and they could easily be split up for separate gifts.

Prumihimo Books and Disks

Sallybeadjewelry

Gliznkitz

Prumihimo Daisy Chain

Mystic Moons Prumihimo

Learning a new braid structure – the Chidori Braid

Chibori braid

Chibori 4

One of the aspects I particularly like about kumihimo is that there is always so much more to learn. Not only are there hundreds of different traditional braid structures to try, but there are so many new ways of adapting traditional braids to comtemporary jewellery waiting to be discovered. Yesterday I spent the day teaching at a workshop, so I am going to devote today to learning. First on the list is a new YouTube video from Mariella Catz for the Chidori braid. I had never even heard of the Chidori, so I was very excited to give it a go.  Mariella’s videos are very clear and easy to follow and I really enjoyed learning this braid. I am very pleased with the end result and all I need to do now is add the ends and fastening. Now for another one …!

The majority of disk users only ever make one braid on their disk. As the braid in question is Round Braid or Kongo Gumi it is not surprising because this is a wonderfully versatile braid, which is easy to learn and lends itself well to both plain and beaded braids. Once you move beyond Round Braid the structures become more complex and this is understandably offputting for some braiders, so I thought it might be helpful to put together some useful advice for learning a new braid. YouTube videos are the easiest way of learning for most people, so my suggestions refer to that method, but they can be followed in much the same way for written instructions, if you prefer.

  1. Everyone learns at a different pace, so choose a time when you can work for as long as you need to without having the pressure of needing to dash off somewhere else at a set time.
  2. Ensure that the environment is peaceful. Soft music is ok, but the television or other people talking is not ideal. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the phone or social media.
  3. Use a cord which works up fairly quickly and which provides defined ‘stitches’ in the braid, such as satin cord or rattail.
  4. Watch the video for the first time through from beginning to end without stopping, so you know what you need to end up with and you have picked up on all the advice given.
  5. Fast forward to the braid moves and watch that section through several times, trying to follow and understand the sequence of moves. Try to feel the rhythm of the braiding and take note of the shapes the cords form on the disk. Kumihimo braiding is generally very symetrical, so a move will be followed by a similar move on the other side of the disk. Be awar of the symmetry.
  6. Set up your disk and work through the moves, stopping the video as necessary. As most moves are performed in pairs try to watch two moves, stop the video, perform the two moves and restart the video for the next two moves.
  7. Continue to work with the video for as many times as necessary. You should gradually start to feel the rhythm of the braid and start to remember the moves. Do not rush these repetitions because with each one you will remember more.
  8. When you feel you know the moves try again with the video, but this time perform 2 moves and then watch the video to check that you got them right before continuing. If you are correct all the way through, try 4 moves in the next run through before checking. Then try 6 or 8. This part is all about building your confidence and retaining what you have learnt.
  9. When you feel ready to go it alone, braid for a few centimeters without the video. If you get a bit lost, just reset your cords and repeat steps 7 and 8. Don’t try to correct your mistakes in the braid. Reverse braiding can be confusing and disheartening. You should regard your first attempts as a practise braid and not give yourself the pressure of feeling you have to make it into something.
  10. Once you feel you have mastered the braid, try to carry on for as long as possible, so that the moves, the rhythm and the shapes are firmly fixed in your memory. Try it again several times over the next few days and weeks.
  11. Congratulations! You now have another great braid in your repertoire.

chidori braid

 

If you would like to have a go at the Chidori braid click here.  Don’t forget to check out all the other great braids on Mariella’s channel.

 

Chibori braid

 

Stitchncraft workshop programme for 2018

Prumihimo workshops

The Stitchncraft workshop programme for 2018 has been released this morning and I am very proud to be able to say that this will be the fourth year I have been involved in the programme. Lynn Firth, the owner of Stitchncraft, works so hard to put together a a wide range of styles and techniques, from a wide range of UK designers, topped off with a sprinkling of well-known international tutors. The workshops are always very popular, so the programme is available to view for the next two weeks and then bookings will be taken from Tuesday 31st October. So there is plenty of time to download the file, grab a coffee and have a good look through. You have got plenty of time to choose something which will be just right for you.

Click here to visit the Stitchncraft and download the programme

What are the benefits of attending a workshop?

First of all, obviously, is the chance to learn how to make the featured design. The tutor will have spent a great deal of time, effort and thought in the making of this design. The subtleties of the design, will not necessarily be evident from the image you see. Some people may think that they can just take a look at the photo and work it out for themselves, but they are unlikely to make a good job of it. A good design is just as much about what you can’t see as it is about what you can see. A piece of jewellery needs to hang correctly, feel comfortable against the skin and stand up to wear and tear. These issues will have been considered by the designer and the final piece is likely to have undergone many enhancements before the designer releases it.

The second benefit, which may be even more important that the actual design, is meeting and working with other people. In our increasingly digitalised world we often work in isolation in our own homes. Sure, we have the sense of community from social media, but there is no substitution for real human contact. Spending the day with like-minded jewellery makers is very inpiring and can be the basis of life-long real friendships. It is also lots of fun and the day is always filled with laugher. Many of the people who come to my workshops are ‘repeat offenders’, so I must be doing something right!

The third benefit is shopping! Stitchncraft is unique among bead shops for its very calm and spacious environment and its range of beads is truly inspiring. While you are able to access all the goodies on line, to be able to see them with your own eyes is a different experience. My advice is to take your time to look through everything, taking note of all the colours, shapes and special finishes. This will be so valuable when you are buying on-line in the future. It is also a great opportunity to match up colours, which is particularly difficult to do on a computer screen. There are always new bead shapes to consider and you will find that the tutor and fellow students will have all sorts of great ideas to share on how to use them. I often find that one person will pick up something interesting and show the class, a discussion will follow and then everyone wants some!

The fourth benefit is a chance to visit our lovely British countryside. Stitchncraft is situated in Dorset in a historic barn conversion among a cluster of old farm buildings. There are some charming villages and towns nearby, as well as lots of B&Bs, so why not have a long weekend and explore the area.

The fifth benefit is supporting our dwindling number of beadshops! Each year brings new shop closures and if we do not support our shops we will lose them. It would be a tragedy, so please do your bit!

These are the workshops I will be teaching.

Thursday 10th May – Kumihimo Braided Pendants

kumihimo pendant

In this workshop I will teach you how to attach kumihimo to a pendant and braid pretty, graduated sides to the necklace. Please bring your own pendant to this workshop and I will show you how best to attach it to make a neat connection. I have worked out a very pretty loop and ribbon fastening to finish off the design. The regular round disk will be used. This workshop is suitable for everyone, even complete beginners to kumihimo, but even if you have already done some braiding I will still have plenty to teach you!

Thursday 5th July – Granny’s Button Box

granny's button box

For this workshop we will use the Prumihimo disk because the braid made on this disk is straight in structure and perfect for braiding with larger beads, or buttons as in this case. The idea is that you can bring along an ecclectic mix of favourite buttons and we will make them into a quirky necklace. Alternatively, you can bring matching buttons to make something more elegant. Either way this workshop is sure to get you going with my special disk and open up other design ideas. The necklace is finished off with a clever button clasp, which frees you from the need to use findings and can be used for all sorts of other pieces of jewellery. While I do sometimes teach braiding on the Prumihimo disk to people who have not braided before, I do feel that it is best if people have used the regular round disk already, so I have submitted this workshop as intermediate level.

Thursday 1st November – Christmas Decorations

kumihimo christmas decoration

Christmas decoration workshops are always very popular and I am expecting people to love this one! The main project will be the Poinsettia wreath and although this design is small there are several excellent techniques involved, which are useful transferable skills for braiders. The candy cane design is also included in the workshop. It is a quicker make, using the skills learnt for the first design and the two will look totally adorable together on your tree. This workshop is suitable for everyone, including complete beginners. I am confident that by the end of the workshop everyone will have learnt something new!

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at these Stitchncraft workshops in 2018.

 

 

 

The Big Bead Show

Kumihimo on the Med

If you are going to the Big Bead Show tomorrow, Saturday 14th October, at Sandown Park, Esher, London I hope you will come and say hi. I will be demonstrating on the Riverside Beads stand at 10.30, then I will be on the front desk at 12.15 for my meet the tutor slot. After that I will be busy at 1.00 and 2.30 with workshops in the Sports Bar, which is just outside the entrance to the main hall. I think there are still a few places on the workshops, so you can check at the front desk if you are interested. After the second workshop finishes there will be no more workshops in the Sports Bar, so I am hoping that people will come along for a chat.

Tomorrow I will be wearing the jewellery I have designed for the fabulous kumi tour to France next year. I am really looking forward to being able to show people what it looks like in real life. The tour is a great opportunity to take your kumihimo to the next level while enjoying a luxury holiday with like-minded fellow travellers and two tutors. Click here to find out more and take advantage of a very special offer.

500 off (1)

 

It’s Back! The Prumihimo Book is back in stock.

Heart kumihimo

Heart kumihimo

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me by buying my book. I have now received the third print run of the book and plenty are available and hoping for new homes!

I am aware that the shipping charges can be offputting, especially to the US and other far away places. I do all the packaging, filling in of customs forms and trudging off to the Post Office myself, so I am able to keep the shipping charge to the absolute minimum. I also offer an extra tutorial PDF to offset the cost of shipping. For this new print run I have changed the tutorial to Happy Hearts, for a bit of a festive feel. This tutorial teaches a great method of using wire with the Prumihimo disk. It makes a beautiful Christmas tree ornament, but it has a wider appeal for those who do not celebrate Christmas.

I have been delighted by the great response to my book. My aim was to help people to get the most out of my Prumihimo disk, by explaining the different ways of using it and providing projects of increasing complexity to develop skills and confidence. I wanted the book to be small and convenient in size and concise in the way it was written, so I added lots of extra images of braids, snaking through the pages to provide inspiration for further exploration.

I have also added the option of buying the book with an extra 2 disks, making it 3 disks in total. The disks are very light, so I am able to get an extra two disks into the package at no extra shipping charge. For those who already have the book and would like replacement disks I have added the option of a 4 disk package, because that is the maximum I can get into one package. If you want different combinations please contact me (pru@prumihimo.com) and I will be able to provide whatever combination you would like.

Please click here for the book Prumihimo book, disk and tutorial

Please click here for the 4 disk package

Heart Prumihimo

 

ZoliDuos are here!

zoliduo kumihimo

Collage 2

It is no secret that I love to be able to play with new types of bead and put them through their paces. I am probably at my happiest when I can sit down with an unfamiliar bead, some cord and my Prumihimo disk, so imagine how delighted I was to be given some bags of ZoliDuos by my dear friend, Jamie North. Like most new beads, the ZoliDuo has been developed for bead weavers, but virtually any bead can be used effectively in kumihimo and that is certainly true of this bead. The bead is shaped like a curved teardrop or a paisley shape and it comes in two different forms, left and right, which refers to the direction of the curve on the bead. There are two holes running across the width of the bead and they come in a great range of colours and surface effects.

Zoliduos

My Prumihimo disk is the perfect tool for working with something like this because it produces a straight braid, without the spiral construction of the regular round disk, which allows precise positioning of any size or shape of bead. I decided to use the beads in pairs, nestled together and well spaced around the bracelet. I used seed beads to line the edges of the braid to give the shape greater definition and I used simialr colours for the seed beads to keep the effect fairly subtle. Once I had made one I realised that it would look even prettier sitting next to a non-identical twin, so that the pairs of beads are offset. I have now written up the tutorial, which includes two versions and also includes instructions for attaching a safety chain. The tutorial is now in my shop, so if you are interested in having a go please click below.

ZoliDuo Twin Bracelets

zoliduo kumihimo

Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast – $500 off!

Pru banner (1)

If you have been thinking about coming along on this amazing special interest holiday to the South of France, now would be a great time to book because the tour operator has announced a $500 off special promotion, which will run until 15th October. This is a great holiday, staying in 4 star hotels and visiting a really varied selection of locations. From a kumihimo point of view there is the very special opportunity to be taught by two tutors who live on opposite sides of the world. You will benefit from our very different styles and experience and we will help you to take your kumihimo to new levels. If you would like to know more please click here. To qualify for the discount please use the coupon code PRUMCRAE.

500 off (1)