What could be more summery than a pretty braided bracelet of flowers? The flower garden bracelet kit contains the materials needed to make a charming bracelet featuring a row of flower beads, nestled in a bed of toning colours of seed bead. Each flower bead is encircled by a tiny ring of galvanised silver seed beads. It is finished with a secure and comfortable flower button fastening. The braid is made on the regular round disk, which is not included. A drop of glue also needs to be supplied by the purchaser.
The braid is a counted design, which means that the beads are threaded onto the cords following a chart to ensure that the beads sit in the correct positions. This is a great skill development because once the technique has been successfully completed a whole new world of intricate designs is opened up. Lots of tutorials include bead charts for counted designs or the Kumihimo with Beads app can be purchased to allow you to work out your own designs.
For counted designs there are two very important considerations to be aware of.
- Accuracy of threading on the beads is essential. A single bead out of place will throw the whole design. Thread on the beads when you are feeling fresh, using a good light. Don’t rush. Double check the accuracy of each cord before you begin to braid.
- The cords need to be in the correct positions when the beads are added into the braid, so once the beads have been threaded onto the cords no further moves without beads should be completed.
What are the correct positions? For all round braid counted designs that I am aware of the correct cord positions for threading on the beads and starting to add beads into the braid are when the cords are on either side of the dots at north, south, east and west and the next cords to be moved are top right and bottom left. There may be other designers who work differently, so be sure to check their instructions.
How do I identify which cords are the next ones to be moved? There are several ways of doing this.
- Look closely at the point of braiding and identify which pair of cords were the last to be moved. Turn the disk so that these cords are in the east and west positions. The cords that are now in the top right and bottom left positions are the next cords to be moved.
- Look at the shape formed by the cords close to the point of braiding and identify which ones look more like a V and which ones look more like a U. Turn the disk so that the V cords are in the north and south positions. The cords that are now in the top right and bottom left positions are the next cords to be moved.
- Perform 64 individual cord moves – don’t worry, you do not have to count each move because the disk will help you! When the disk is set up the cords are put in the slots on either side of the dots in the north, south, east and west positions. When you start to braid, the cords move away from these dots and work their way around the disk to the next set of dots. After 32 individual cord moves the cords will be back on either side of the dots and you have done half of the necessary moves (the cords are still not in the correct positions). Continue to braid and when the cords next come to the dots the full 64 moves will have been completed. The cords that are now in the top right and bottom left positions are the next cords to be moved.
If you would like to have a go at a counted design a kit is a great way to get started because you will have all the materials you need, together with clear instructions. All you have to add is a disk and a drop of glue. I have put together the Flower Garden kit in 5 different colours to suit different tastes and moods.
When I make up kits I tend to make them up in limited numbers. The measuring, counting and bagging up of a kit is surprisingly time-consuming and it takes me away from my favourite activity, which is designing. I only buy enough supplies for the number of kits I have the time to make up. Sometimes I have been able to restock a kit due to popular demand, but with fewer bead shops and suppliers it is now becoming much harder to source materials and even a simple kit may contain materials from 6-10 different suppliers. It is highly unlikely that I would be able to restock any of these kits, so when they are gone, they really are gone!