Braid-along 2 Week 2

Prumihimo braids

prumihimo braids

At the time of writing this post 46 people have joined in with the braid-along and posted their work. The contributors represent all levels of experience from complete Prumihimo beginners to very experienced braiders. Many have posted more than one bracelet, using the single beading technique. I would like to say a big thank you to every person who has taken part and posted their braids. Collectively they form a comprehensive resource of what can be achieved with just one method of bead placement on the Prumihimo disk, showing how a multitude of different beads can be used successfully with this braid structure.

Now it is time to move on to Week 2 of our group braid-along and for this week we will concentrate on Double Beading, which is how two parallel rows of beads can be added into the braid. As before, I have filmed a quick video to demonstrate the technique and I recommend that this is watched first. Then the following bracelet instructions can be used to make a beautiful bracelet to match your first one and they can be worn very effectively as stacking bracelets. Perhaps you would like to try something different, based on what you have seen in the first week. It may be that someone else’s beads have reminded you of something in your stash, so why not give it a go? The instructions below are based on 2mm satin cord and beads no larger than 6mm. If your cord is thinner or your beads are larger, you may need to space out the beads more by braiding for one complete sequence of moves (sequence = all 3 moves at all 4 numbers) in between the bead sequences. If you would prefer to make a necklace you will need to multiply the quantities by 2-2.5 times. Perhaps you would like to make something else using the double beading technique, such as a key fob, a lariat, a bookmark or whatever your imagination comes up with.

Every braid is different, depending on the condition of the disk, the materials used and the tension of the braider. If you found that you were left with a lot of unused cord for the first bracelet you can make adjustments for the second one. You may also need to adjust the number of beads used. Keeping careful notes of your cord and bead consumption helps you to reduce waste and helps you to understand your own particular style of braiding.

This week is only about double beading because other bead placements will be covered next week and the week after. When you have made your double beading bracelet please post it in the dedicated week 2 post in the group. By keeping all the relevant posts together we make it easy for everyone to follow and learn from. The images tend to be small when they are posted in this way, so don’t forget to click on each image to expand it and to be able to admire all the lovely detail.

Prumihimo disk

  1. Watch this video
  2. Gather your materials  – 4 x 60cm (24 inches) 2mm satin cord, 4 x 70cm (28 inches) beading cord 0.5mm/Tex210, approximately 32-38 size 8 seed beads and 30-36 larger beads
  3. Set up your disk. Tie all the cords together at one end and put the satin cord in the top and bottom slots with dots at numbers 1 and 2. Put the beading cord in the top and bottom slots with dots at numbers 3 and 4.
  4. Braid for approximately 2cm (1 inch)
  5.  The beads are threaded in an alternating pattern of large and small beads on both the top and bottom cords at number 3. Thread on approximately 31-37 beads, starting and ending with a seed bead.
  6. Continue to braid, adding in a bead from both the top cord and the bottom cords at 3 in every sequence of moves.
  7. Check your braid. The beads should be forming in a straight line along 2 opposite sides of the braid, alternating between small and large beads.
  8. Continue to braid until the length is correct for you, taking into account the length of the clasp and how much of the braid will be inside the clasp. Make sure you finish with a small bead. Every braid and every wrist is different, so it is never possible to give instructions for exactly how many beads to use. This part is up to you!
  9. Remove your braid from the disk. Knot the braid to prevent unravelling
  10. If your braid is slightly twisted you can straighten it using the steaming method. Click here to find instructions.
  11. Attach your clasp. If you need help attaching your clasp please watch this video.
  12. POST YOUR WORK IN THE WEEK 2 POST IN THE GROUP.
  13. If you like what you have made, try making another one with different beads. If you were left with lots of unused cord you can adjust the cord lengths for the next one.
  14. Admire and learn from the work of other members.

Alternative bead layout

prumihimo braid-along

The bracelet on the left has been made following the instructions above. This positions the same type of bead directly opposite on the braid. The bracelet on the right has the same type of bead diagonally opposite. For this braid thread one type of bead on the top cord at 3 and the other type on the bottom cord at 3.

If you want to work out different bead placements remember that the cords swap positions in each sequence of moves, so that the top cord for one sequence will be the bottom cord for the next sequence.

Confused? Just load on a few beads of different colours, shapes or sizes and see what happens when you braid them. Keep a note of the effects you like and then try them for a full bracelet or necklace.

Have fun!

Braid-along 2 Week 1

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single beading

This is the start of the second Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends group braid-along. This group activity is all about learning to use beads on the Prumihimo disk and sharing what we make, so that we can learn from each other. For week 1 the task is to make a braid using the single beading method, which creates a single row of beads on one side of the braid. I have filmed a video to explain the technique and I recommend that this is watched first. Then the following bracelet instructions can be used to make a bracelet. If you prefer you can use more cord and beads to make a necklace. You will need to multiply the quantities by approximately 2-2.5 times. The fun comes when everyone shares their braids and we see how different the bracelets can look depending on the sizes, shapes and colours of beads used. I hope that people will get creative and hunt through their stash to find unusual beads. All I ask is that for this first week of the braid-along you stick to single beading, which is beads on just one side of the braid. When you have made your bracelet please post it in the dedicated post in the group. This keeps all the work together and forms a valuable resource for our group. Please be sure to read the comments and questions in the post before asking questions, so that we do not have duplication.

  1. Watch this video
  2. Gather your materials  4 x 60cm (24 inches) 2mm satin cord, 4 x 70cm (28 inches) beading cord 0.5mm/Tex210, 15-18 size 8 seed beads and 15-18 larger beads
  3. Set up your disk. Tie all the cords together at one end and put the satin cord in the top and bottom slots with dots at numbers 1 and 2. Put the beading cord in the top and bottom slots with dots at numbers 3 and 4.
  4. Braid for approximately 2cm (1 inch)
  5. Thread 16-19 size 8 beads onto the top cord at 3. (You will start and end with a small bead, so one more than the large beads is required)
  6. Thread 15-18 larger beads onto the bottom cord at 3.
  7. Continue to braid, adding in a bead from the top cord at 3 in every sequence of moves.
  8. Check your braid. The beads should be forming in a straight line along the braid, alternating between small and large beads.
  9. Continue to braid until the length is correct for you, taking into account the length of the clasp and how much of the braid will be inside the clasp. Make sure you finish with a small bead. Every braid and every wrist is different, so it is never possible to give instructions for exactly how many beads to use. This part is up to you!
  10. Remove your braid from the disk. Knot the braid to prevent unravelling
  11. If your braid is slightly twisted you can straighten it using the steaming method. Click here to find instructions.
  12. Attach your clasp. If you need help attaching your clasp please watch this video.
  13. POST YOUR WORK IN THE WEEK 1 POST IN THE GROUP.
  14. If you like what you have made, try making another one with different beads. If you were left with lots of unused cord you can adjust the cord lengths for the next one. The single beading method is particularly effective for necklaces, so perhaps you could try a matching necklace.
  15. Admire and learn from the work of other members.

Prumihimo disk

Trouble shooting

If your braid is moderately twisted you can flatten it by steaming it.

If your braid is knobbly, lumpy or kinky you need to return to practising the braid without beads. Watch this video. Make sure you are following the instructions correctly and practise until you can braid accurately and confidently. Then try again.

If your braid is floppy it is probably the result of using cord that is too soft or of using a disk with stretched slots. Try again with a firmer cord. Try using  weighted bobbins or tape a couple of coins to regular bobbins to increase the tension.

If the braid is too long or short make sure you learn from it because this first braid will be used to get the sizing right for the next bracelets.

Many people in the group are very proficient and creative braiders on the Prumihimo disk and this relatively simple task may not seem to be of interest to them, but I really hope they will join in too. There is more to the braid-along than just learning the skills. It is also about having fun and encouraging others, while strengthening our braiding community. The contribution from those at different stages in their kumihimo adventure is what will make this braid-along a success.

Braid-along 2 – Preparation

Prumihimo disk

Prumihimo braid

With just over one week until the start of the braid-along it is time to make sure you are ready for it, by learning and practising the braid structure and by gathering your materials.

This braid-along is all about beaded braiding on the Prumihimo disk. This unique disk was designed by me and it is my intellectual property, protected by patent in numerous countries, including the US and the UK. Only this disk may be used for the braid-along and I hope that all potential participants will respect this. The disk is available for sale on this website, but with time now running short only UK orders will arrive in time for the start of the braid-along.

Lots of people have purchased a Prumihimo disk for the first time in readiness for the braid-along and I have been seeing lots of posts showing that they are learning how to use the disk. This is absolutely what is needed at this stage. The braid-along is about beaded Prumihimo, so you need to know how to use the disk accurately and confidently to make plain braids before 12th July. Failure to do this will result in disappointment! If you do not master the basic braid structure your beads will not form correctly on the braid. When you start to learn the braid it is a really good idea to use contrasting colours of satin cord and beading cord, so that you can identify any errors in your braid. You should be aiming for a smooth braid, with even stitch lengths and the beading cords forming in straight lines along the braid. A gentle curve or twist to the braid is fine. This is a very common, minor tension issue and can be corrected by steaming. You can find out more about steaming a braid here. However, lumps, bumps, kinks and uneven stitch lengths are signs that you are making errors or you are not keeping the braid in the middle of the hole in the disk. This video will help you to get the basics right. Please watch it carefully and practise, practise, practise until you get it right!

Prumihimo Disk Quick Start 

Have you gathered your materials? Please refer to the previous blog for the suggested list of materials. This is only intended to be a guide because you are sure to have other suitable beads in your stash and you may change your mind about what you want to use as the braid-along progresses. Each Monday I will post instructions for the task that week. When you see what other people have made that week it might encourage you to be more adventurous the next week. The aim is that we should learn from each other.

More information about the braid-along will be posted during this week both here and in the Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends group.

 

Braid-along 2 – Prumihimo Bracelets

Braid-along 2

After the success of the first braid-along in my Facebook group during May I have been working hard to put together a new braid-along for the summer. I am now ready to give a few more details.

Start date – Monday 12th July

Projects – 4 bracelet projects, one per week

Duration – 4 weeks

EquipmentPrumihimo disk. The Prumihimo disk was designed by me and it is protected by design patent and trademark. Please respect this and be aware that no other type of equipment is permitted for this braid-along.

Materials – These are just approximate amounts to make all 4 bracelets. You might decide to make them all in the same colour/bead combinations or you might decide to make them all different. If you are not a bracelet person, you could make necklaces instead, which would require 2-2.5 times the bracelet quantities. If you use thinner cord you will need more beads because they will be more closely spaced. Look to see what you have in your stash and be ready to be flexible!

Cord – 10m (11 yards) 2mm satin cord and 12m (13 yards) beading cord (eg S-Lon 0.5mm/Tex210)

Beads – 250 size 8 seed beads, 150 larger beads approximately 4-6mm (eg long magatamas, 6mm top-drilled beads, 4mm gemstone          rounds, 2/0 seed beads, pellet beads, 6mm mushroom beads, etc)

4 clasps, internal diameter 6mm

Skill level – Anyone who can make a basic braid on the Prumihimo disk. My aim is to make this enjoyable and informative for newbies and experienced braiders alike.

How it will work – Every Monday I will post instructions for a bracelet made on the Prumihimo disk and will give a link to a YouTube video for instructions for the technique. You will have one week to make the bracelet and post your work. Some people will probably want to stick close to the pattern I supply, while others will want to try something different. The designs will allow for lots of individual creativity, as well as the chance to use up items from your stash. It makes no difference if you are new to the Prumihimo disk or you have been using it for years, because it is all about joining in, sharing  and having fun. We will all learn from this braid-along and I include myself in that. Seeing how different braiders make use of the same basic instructions will be so interesting and inspiring. Using up forgotten items from your stash will be so satisfying and cost effective. Seeing the progress made by other participants will perk up your mojo. What a great way to spend the summer and strengthen our braiding community.

What will I learn? – You will learn how to use beads on the Prumihimo disk using the single, double, triple and quadruple beading methods. These are the underlying techniques of all beaded designs on this disk. You will also learn how different beads can be used to achieve different effects. You will learn some great colour and bead combinations from your fellow braiders. These skills will allow you to experiment with your own designs with confidence. You will also gain the necessary skills to be able to attend my zoom workshops, which are all aimed at intermediate braiders. Most of all, if you didn’t know already, you will learn what fun it is to braid on the Prumihimo disk.

Can the braid-along be completed at any time? Yes it can, but the real fun is joining in when everyone else is at the same stage. The work-in-progress posts, the critique from me, the encouragement of other participants and the time frame are all part of the learning process and the enjoyment. After the 4 weeks of braid-along it will still be possible to work through the instructions on your own because the information will be transferred across to this website as a permanent record.

Preparation – Find your Prumihimo disk or order one if necessary. These are currently only available from the UK, so if you live in another country time to get one is now getting tight. If you order now it should arrive in time, but there is no guarantee! Gather your supplies. Practise the basic braid without beads on the Prumihimo disk. It is important to be able to carry out the braiding moves confidently and accurately. If there is a slight twist in your braid it is ok, but bumps, lumps and irregular stitches are not!

Where will I find the information? – I aim to post the information for each bracelet on Monday 12th July and on each Monday for the next 3 weeks. The posts will be found in the Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends Facebook group. Look out for the posts on a turquoise background and they will be tagged #braidalong2 to make them easy to find. The information will also be available in the blog posts on this website and once the braid-along has finished they will be transferred to the Resources section of this website.

Let the fun begin!

Kumihimo Braid-along – the Sampler Necklace

Braidalong

 

braidalong1In May I ran a braid-along for the members of my Facebook group (Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends). It took place over a 2 week period and involved daily posts with instructions and links to my YouTube videos. Each day the participants made a new beaded section on a braid, which worked up into a beautiful necklace. The aim was not only to have fun and make something pretty, but also to teach new skills. The main skill I wanted to teach was how to create a bead counted design. By that I mean a braid where the beads have to be threaded onto the cords in a specific order to create a particular design. To simplify matters I devised a series of 4 row repeat patterns. These can be repeated as many times as necessary to make a long braid for a bracelet, necklace or lariat. For the braid-along each 4 row repeat pattern was used to make a different beaded section, that built up into a sampler necklace. This can be used to help with design of future braids. I deliberately did not provide a detailed list of materials because I wanted participants to be able to use their own creativity and stash to make something individual to them. Each day I encouraged people to post their work in progress. Over 70 people took part and posted their work, while an unknown number joined in without posting! The daily posts were lively and inspirational and I was delighted to find that a wide cross section of braiders took part. Some of the participants were complete beginners and made huge progress. Some of the participants were very experienced braider and I was very honoured that they chose to join in even though the techniques were not new to them. The feedback showed that everyone really enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next one.

Now that the braid-along has finished it can still be followed and to make it easier I have put all the posts together on this website. I hope it can now be enjoyed by many more braiders. All I ask is that if you use my material and post your work that you credit me with the designs and encourage others to watch the videos.

Click here to find the braid-along.

The next braid-along will be for the Prumihimo disk and will probably take place in July or August. I am currently working on ideas. The Prumihimo disks are now back in stock on this website. They are currently only available either from selected shops in the UK or directly from this website, so if you live elsewhere and you would like to take part in the braid-along I recommend ordering your disks promptly. Inernational shipping can be expensive, so in order to make the best use of the shipping categories and weight limits I have bundled together disks and/or books.

Click here to order disks and books

Braidalong

Counted Designs for Beaded Round Braid

counted designs

Beaded kumihimo is so popular, especially fully beaded round braid/kongo gumi and I have been looking for a way to share my favourite counted designs for beaded round braid on YouTube. A counted design is one where the beads have to be counted and threaded carefully in a specific order to create a particular design. Typically a counted design would involve a long chart detailing the beads to be threaded on each cord. This is not very video friendly, so I have been working on a series of counted designs for beaded round braid that work on a 4 row repeat. This allows me to share the set up in a concise manner, which can then be used to make braids of different lengths and widths. By changing the beads the same set-up can be made to look totally different. Once someone has understood how my charts work they will be able to have fun with a range of different designs.

These videos are not for complete beginners, because I assume knowledge of how to braid and finish off braids into jewellery. Instruction on these subjects can be found in many of my videos if it is needed. These videos are about technique, so I do not aim to provide a complete tutorial for a single item, with cord lengths and number of beads because I wanted to broaden the focus and allow the information to be used for different types of braid and different shapes and sizes of bead. Each video will feature a different bead set up shown on a chart. To use the chart it can either be captured in a screen shot or the charts can be found on this website under the Resources tab.

The first four videos have been recorded and I will release them gradually over the next few weeks. In them I will show how to make a braid with a triangle pattern, a horizontal stripe, side beads and a splodgy, cloud-like motif. Flowers, diamonds and new stripes will follow. The first one I will release is for a wide stripe, which is a classic and versatile design.

These videos are intended to be an introduction to the counted bead method. Once someone  has had a go at one I am sure that they will want to try others and I hope to be able to provide an interesting selection of designs using this method. The starting position is the part where people often go wrong, so in each video I spend time clarifying how the disk needs to look when the beads are loaded onto the cords. Don’t be tempted to do a few more moves of plain braid after this point or the location of the cords will be changed and the design is unlikely to work out.

I am often asked how to design such braids and in the past this was very difficult to answer. It is not easy to understand the cord path of the round braid because 8 cords and a spiral path are difficult to get you head around! Some of my early designs, such as Luscious Lentils, Sleeping Dragon or Precious Posy took a lot of time and hard work to plot and check. The good news is that an app is now available to take the difficult calculations out of the design process. If you are interested, check out the Kumihimo with Beads app in the app store. It was designed by Janet Nijman and it is extremely effective. I use it a lot, but I also use my old method, just for the challenge and to keep my skills up to date.

I really enjoy being able to share my ideas via YouTube, but it would be great to be able to spread the word further, so I ask that people remember to credit my video if they use my work. The designs for these videos are not in themselves very complex, so it is very likely that many people have worked them or something similar out using the app and of course, in that case there is no need to mention my name or video. However, if you use the information in my videos, which I have worked hard to present in an easy-to-use format, please remember to give credit to my video when you post your work on social media or to recommend my videos to others. This helps me to gain recognition for my work and also helps to spread the kumihimo joy to others! It is also really helpful to add a like to the video and perhaps a comment. These actions are picked up by YouTube and my video will get recommended more widely. Your help is really appreciated, both my me and by those who find out about my videos for the first time!

Click here to watch the video.

Introduction to Prumihimo Virtual Workshop

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Since June I have been teaching Prumihimo braiding skills in virtual workshops. The fun name I have given to my program of workshops is Zoomihimo by Prumihimo and since June I have had the honour of welcoming over 60 students virtually to my home. The feedback has been brilliant and the high number of returning students, some as many as 6 times, speaks for itself. I am so grateful to all my students and have really enjoyed both reconnecting with old friends and meeting new people. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I have enjoyed every moment.

Setting up a program of virtual workshops has also been a great learning experience for me because there is no rule book and I have had to experiment and work out the best ways of teaching kumihimo in the virtual environment, while aiming to replicate the best parts of in-person workshops. There are some significant advantages to teaching in this way, but inevitably there are also some disadvantages. As these disadvantages have cropped up I have found ways of minimising them, but one problem persists and that is that I am not able to watch a student braid. If someone is having a problem with the actual braid structure I would like to be able to watch them braid and unless the person has a set-up with an overhead camera it is very hard for me to see exactly how they are braiding. When I teach in person I am able to see at a glance if someone is holding their disk or working their cords incorrectly. For this reason, I have only offered intermediate workshops so far. For these workshops I ask that the student has used the Prumihimo successfully before the class. However, I am frequently asked for beginners’ workshops, so I have given a lot of thought to how I can make this work and I have come up with the Introduction to Prumihimo workshop, which includes some pre-workshop contact with me to identify any correct any issues before the day of the workshop.

The Introduction to Prumihimo Virtual workshop is suitable for anyone who had not yet attended one of my intermediate workshops, whether they be complete beginners or just lacking in experience and confidence to call themselves intermediate. This workshop is all about the Prumihimo disk, which is different to the regular round kumihimo disk. There is no need to have prior experience of the round kumihimo disk, but it is probably an advantage.

It is important to say at this stage that the worldwide pandemic has had an adverse affect on the availability of the Prumihimo disk and other Prumihimo products. I live in London, where we are currently locked down, so I am unable to ship anything at the moment. Disks are available from spoiltrottenbeads.co.uk, but international shipping may take longer than usual. New stock is on its way to this supplier, so if they run out just keep checking. As soon as the lockdown is lifted I will be able to ship. In the meantime, the Introduction to Prumihimo virtual workshop is only available to those who already have a Prumihimo disk. Please do not book a place unless you have one. If you are interested in trying one of these workshops I suggest purchasing a disk and booking a place on a workshop when it arrives.

The structure of the Introduction to Prumihimo virtual workshop is in three parts.

Part One – Preparation – When the workshop is purchased you will be sent a list of materials you will need for the class and it is a good idea to send off for anything you need promptly. You will also receive written instructions and a link to a YouTube video where you will be shown how to set up your disk and how to start to practise the braid structure. You will be asked to send a photo of your practise braid to me, so that I can check that it is going well for you and give any necessary assistance. This means that I can address any potential problems before the class and make sure that everyone has a great experience. You will also be given instructions on how to prepare your cords and set up your disk before the class.

Part Two – The first session – The workshop is broken down into 2 sessions. This takes the pressure off those who may work more slowly because they can catch up before the next class. Faster braiders may decide to make a second braid. I keep the class size small so that I can help people individually and everyone can work at their own pace. The first session is all about the braiding and you will be asked to complete the braiding before the second session.

Part Three – The second session – In this session I will teach embellishment techniques to enhance your braid. These are great transferable skills that can be used for other types of kumihimo. I will give advice on how to finish off the ends.

The aim of the workshop is to teach the skills necessary to get the best out of the Prumihimo disk. Having attended the workshop you will be able to use your new skills to explore your own ideas. You will also be able to take part in any of the intermediate workshops I offer.

As over 60 people have found out, a Zoomihimo by Prumihimo workshop is a very relaxed and enjoyable experience. You will meet other braiders and as they are likely to be from different countries or states it really makes the braiding world seem smaller.

If you have a Prumihimo disk and you would like to try one of these workshops please click on the links

Introduction to Prumihimo Virtual Workshop Monday 15th March and Thursday 18th March 2021

Introduction to Prumihimo Virtual Workshop Saturday 27th March and Sunday 28th March 2021

 

The Festive Wreath Decoration Virtual Workshop

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Every year I design a new Christmas decoration for workshops and it is one of my favourite activities. Christmas is the time when you can bring on the bling, knowing that you can never have enough. To my mind there is no such thing as an overdressed Christmas tree! I also love this design task because I know that the Christmas workshops are particularly popular and are always such fun to deliver. Imagine my disappointment when the first wave of the virus stopped all workshops. However, since then I have learnt how to design and teach a virtual workshop and my Zoomihimo by Prumihimo programme of workshops has proved to be particularly successful and enjoyable. Hooray, Christmas teaching is on again!

I am now ready to offer my Festive Wreath workshop on two dates. Like my previous workshops this one is made up of two sessions. The first workshop is on Monday 7.12.20 and Thursday 10.12.20. The second workshop is on Saturday 12,12,20 and Sunday 13.12.20. In each case the workshop starts on both days at 4pm UK time, which is ET 11.00am/CT 10.00am /MT 9.00am and PT 8.00am. Unlike previous workshops the first of the two sessions will be the longer one at 3 hours and the second session will be 2 hours. This adjustment is made to fit the lesson plan.

After 5 years of designing Christmas decorations you might think that I am running short of ideas, but that is so far from the truth and I actually found it difficult to cut back my plans to only one! The reason that this particular design is the winner is that I believe it perfectly combines ‘tree appeal’ with a good selection of transferable skills. Students will learn how to braid with wire, how to use 2-hole beads, how to shape and finish a decoration, and three variations of embellishment technique. Armed with these skills they will be able to make lots of other beautiful ornaments, adapting the design to the materials they have in their stash. The design can be very easily transformed into a bracelet or necklace, so it really is very useful and versatile.

I have been asked many times to provide kits for my workshops, so the price of this workshop will include a full kit. Only glue and equipment need to be added. The advantage of kitting this particular workshop is that I can be sure that students have exactly the right wire and cone finding to make this design work. This decoration includes quite a few elements from different sources, so it is a good way for students to avoid having to order from different suppliers, incurring multiple shipping charges. Please be aware that this kit will be sent by tracked mail to the US and Canada and this will be added onto the cost of the workshop at checkout. I know that this shipping is expensive, so I have kept the kit price element of the overall price lower than it would usually need to be.

Unfortunately this workshop is only available for those who already have and can use a Prumihimo disk. In the new year I hope to have some workshops for complete beginners, but this one is not suitable for beginners because we will be using wire and correcting braiding mistakes is difficult with wire. If you have not used a Prumihimo disk yet I suggest trying my new starter kit, which is explained more fully in my previous blog. This will give you all the experience you need to be able to make the very best of one of my virtual workshops and I have got some very exciting designs lined up for next year.

For more information please click on the following links,

Week day workshop

Weekend workshop

Brand new starter kit for Prumihimo

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I have been meaning to put together a dedicated starter kit for my Prumihimo disk for a long time, but I just did not find the time to work through all the possibilities and decide what to include and exclude. The first lockdown this year gave me time to give it some serious thought. I wanted to put together a selection of materials to allow the purchaser to pick up the disk and get going right away, but I also wanted to be able to support further understanding of the properties of the Prumihimo disk. My first book and the original disk are perfect partners, so they form the basis of the kit. To them I have added the extra-thick disk, which is designed for thinner cords. This disk is only available directly from me. So that covers the equipment, but materials to work with are needed. I have included cords suitable for that first attempt on the disk, using contrasting colours so that any mistakes can be easily spotted. In addition I have put together a carefully curated selection of cords to teach the differences between various popular cord widths. Understanding what affects the structure of a braid is fundamental to learning to create your own designs and having samples of different widths makes it easier to purchase future supplies. I have also added in small bags of beads of the 2 most popular sizes of bead for Prumihimo braids. Having the correct materials makes learning so much easier. After all that learning it is important to be able to make something wearable and the bracelet kit is the perfect first project. It is great just as it is, but it could also be customised by using other materials in the cord kit. Finally I am throwing in a PDF for another Prumihimo project to make sure that the learning continues!

This kit is a great way to prepare for a Zoomihimo by Prumihimo workshop. These are proving to be very popular and loads of fun. A prerequisite of attending one of my virtual workshops is the ability to use the Prumihimo disk. The more you practise the braid structure the more you will get out of the workshop and the better your final braid. Understanding the different widths of cord available and their effect on the braid would be very helpful when selecting materials for a workshop.

The starter kit is now available in the shop on this website and I hope that it will encourage a new generation of braiders to try the Prumihimo disk, enabling them to further their kumihimo adventure.

Extra-thick Prumihimo disk

Prumihimo kit

Prumihimo cords

Live Virtual Workshops – the Prumihimo Way

zoomihimo by prumihimo

zoomihimo by prumihimo

Now that a few of my live virtual workshops have taken place I can offer more insight into how the Zoomihimo by Prumihimo classes work. The tutors of in-person workshops all develop their own style of teaching according to what works best for them and their medium. In the same way we all need to find our own way of teaching effectively in the new world of live virtual workshops and this will differ from tutor to tutor. There are many decisions to be made and I am gradually finding out what works for me and for my type of kumihimo. Some things I have learnt from being a student myself and other things I have learnt from the workshops and trials I have carried out so far, but I know I still have lots to learn.

My aim is to replicate the best parts of the in-person workshop as closely as possible, while taking advantage of the best parts of being able to learn in your own home.

The most important part of any workshop is for every student to be able to see and hear clearly. Many people worry that this might not be possible in a zoom workshop, but they are pleasantly surprised when they find that the close up views are just as good, if not better than in person. This is achieved by having a separate screen for my hands for demonstrations and overriding the gallery view of all the participants and making my hand screen the dominant screen. Demonstrations can be repeated as many times as necessary. The volume can be controlled by the participant, so you will definitely hear everything, but you can also lower the volume if you wish to work more peacefully.

Socialising with other like-minded people comes a very close second in importance to what you learn in a workshop and this may seem challenging in a virtual scenario. However, by controlling the class size and working out a lesson plan I believe that I am able to help students to feel that they are working with a group of people. I do not plan to increase the class size above 12, but at the moment I am limiting the classes further to just 8 students and I will only increase the numbers if I am confident that the ability to teach and socialise is not compromised. The class structure is comprised of periods of demonstration, followed by time to work and some on-topic chatting. At this point the gallery view of all the other participants is available, so they can see each other. From time to time I will spotlight individuals, by making their screen dominant, so that they can show what they are making and talk a bit about themselves if they wish to. Most of my workshops will be split into 2 sessions, which means that the second session starts with people greeting each other like old friends! Feedback from students tells me that this is working well and they are enjoying the opportunity to get to know other braiders, especially as we may be working in many different countries. Most of my future workshops will be timed to suit people in the UK, Europe, North America and similar time zones, so that we can bridge the gap between these countries.

Do not underestimate the convenience of being able to work in the comfort of your own home! Some workshop spaces in traditional bead shops are cramped or you may have to turn round to see the teacher. They may be too hot or too cold for your liking. In a virtual workshop you can sit in your favourite chair and have everything just the way you like it, with everything to hand. You can get up and walk around or eat and drink whenever you need to. There are no worries if you have forgotten something because you can just get up and find it. That works well for me too. Sometimes the conversation may lead us in a direction I did not expect, but I can easily find any sample or piece of equipment I need to show you.

Interaction with the teacher is what makes a live virtual workshop totally different to a pre-recorded workshop or a Youtube video and this is probably the most challenging part for a tutor. I am finding that I can get a reasonably good view of what the work of the students by asking them to hold it close to the screen. So far this has worked well, but if I need a closer look to inspect a particular problem I can ask the student to send a photo of it by email or messenger. At each stage throughout the workshop I ask to see each student’s work to check that they are getting on well and assist if necessary. This also enhances the sense of being a group, by enabling the rest of the class to see what others are making and to enjoy their colour choices. At all times students are able to speak to me and each other.

The atmosphere I am aiming to achieve is relaxed and friendly, with quality tuition and a high level of achievement. So far, the feedback has been totally positive so I plan to continue to develop my program of workshops. In the next phase I plan to offer some workshops linked to kits to give me the opportunity to introduce unique or hard-to-find materials. I also plan to offer some Christmas designs and some workshops for the regular round disk. I am open to suggestions about what other workshops I could offer.

If you are interested in joining me on one of my zoomihimo by Prumihimo live virtual workshops I currently have spaces available on the two workshops below. Further information and new listings can also be found under the Workshops tab.

Daggerella Necklace Workshop 

Super Sparkle Bracelet Workshop