Counted Designs for Beaded Round Braid

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 someoneĀ  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!

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