I had great fun working on the square kumihimo plate from Prima Bead. Most people who make these flat braid bracelets would use ribbon clamps. So I came up with this tutorial to show not only how the braiding is done on the less common square plate but how to put in a buttonhole. This design is ideal for those who are allergic to metals.

I followed the basic instructions for the anda braid which came with the plate but made one simple but crucial change to get the opening.  Here is how the work progressed. It has rhythmical and relaxing movements which explains why so many people love kumihimo just as they might do with knitting, crochet and tatting. As one reader pointed out yesterday, it is ideal for traveling as you won't lose any beads!

This anda pattern is a 10-warp one.  So I prepared 5 rat tail satin cords, each about 38 inches in length.  3 were in goldish color and the 2 were in a pastel multicolored on.  I tied them together in the middle with a bit of ribbon.  Some people like to start with one great knot of all the cord ends together.  I prefer this way as it made one end neater and created the perfect place for a button.

I didn't have a proper kumihimo weight. So I improvised by tying the cord collection to a rubber band around a small can of catfood!

You could get away without using bobbins for a bracelet project like this but I recommend you do use them as it keeps the cords tidy and add a little tension on the cords to help keep the braiding even. Bobbins are essential if you are making longer necklaces or have very curious cats!

The plastic ones like those I got from Prima are the best. They are inexpensive and simply pop inside out to reveal a place to wind cord on. Once popped back, the bobbin does a great job of holding onto and feeding out the cord.

I didn't quite have enough bobbins so I improvised with knitting bobbins.  They are okay but do need a clip to hold the cord in place especially when the cord is almost gone.

The cords are placed such that the main color occupies 6 spots on the top and the secondary color in 4 slots at the bottom.

Starting position
The first step in the pattern is the crossing step. 6  to E  and 5 to e.  This is the step where the increasingly divergent braiding halves are brought together as the pattern repeats.

First step - crossing
 Then you start working on the the left half, working westwards, moving up 15 to 5.

 Bring down 4 to 15.

 Take up 14 to 4.

 Bring down 3 to 14.

Now work on the right, moving eastwards : up 16 to 6,  down 7 to 16, up 17 to7 and down 8 to 17.

Once complete, move the cords sitting in west and east up to 3 and 8 which means the whole thing now resembles the starting position.  Repeat the whole pattern again and again until you get the desired length.

side cords now back to the top
Here is the interesting part.  The braiding on both halves makes the work look divergent.  But the crossing step at the beginning of the pattern repeat will bring the work together.

To create the button hole, don't cross!  Just move 5 to E and 6 to e.

How many times you do this non-crossing step will depend on how big your button and how thick the yarn is. So place your button near the hole and check.

When the buttonhole is big enough continue the braiding with the crossing step until you get to where you wish to end the bracelet. Take the work off the plate and place a clip on all the strands.

Remove the scrap ribbon from the beginning of the bracelet and sew the curved portions together so the cords will remain together.  I used a matching Gutenberg sewing thread doubled up.

Sew on a button - I used a pearlized one with a shank.

Now sew through all the cords several times at the other end to keep them together.  Try not to let your thread show.

Tie simple knots on each cord and trim.  Apply some quick setting glue to keep the knots secured.

And you're done!


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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