If I could only work with one type of bead for the rest of my braiding career it would have to be the Long Magatama! Although they were developed for the bead weaving community, it seems as if they could have been designed specifically for beaded kumihimo. They are a quirky sort of shape with their angular teardrop profile and the slanting hole. Although they are made by Miyuki, who are known for their regular bead sizing, they can be quite irregular and individual in shape and size. But those facts just add to their appeal in kumihimo. Once you get the hang of how to work them into the braid they are very easy to use. The pointed ends fit together in the centre of the braid perfectly, so you never get ‘squishy braid syndrome’ even though the holes are nice and large to thread the cord through. A quick look around the shop on this site will show that I have used them in many of my tutorials, but I am far from finished with them! I have just posted a brand new tutorial, called Magnificent Magatamas, which is full of detailed instructions and advice to make sure that people can make the most of these fabulous beads. This tutorial is suitable for all levels of experience, including complete beginners and is great value because it includes the set-up for six designs! Following on from this tutorial I will soon be posting a necklace design, which was first seen in Beads & Beyond magazine and it also features long magatamas, mixed in with other elements. After that, perhaps I had better hide away my mags and concentrate on something else!
If you want to treat yourself to a great new tutorial, click here!