Just when I thought there could be nothing more new with kumihimo when along comes another inspired instructor and designer with another innovation!

Cindy Grayson is a seasoned kumihimo jewelry instructor who came up with a way to help users visually layout their beads and create unique graduated bead patterns of their own!

I recently received her first book, independently published, Bead Runway Technique Pattern Series Volume 1 for review.  It is smaller than the usual jewelry making book.  Kumihimo projects are highly portable so it makes sense to be able to pop this book into the bag!

The book is colorful which is not surprising as Cindy is a graphic designer by trade.  It is different from many book designs which have a lot more white space. So I found reading it harder going. But on the other hand, it meant that I read more carefully! That really helps as Cindy packed a lot of information in the book.

For example, the Appendix has charts for cording sizes and what kind of beads they fit as well as one for the number of beads per warp  for 1 inch of finished braided length.  Helpful info for any kumihimo enthusiast. 

You can also see a flip through of the book here.

How the beads are visually arranged prior to stringing to the typical 8 warp disc method is achieved by using 8 lines of beads. The focal beads are laid down first. The other graduating size beads are then follow in multiples of 8. These graduate down in size as you progress out both ways.

Cindy developed her Bead Runway (patent pending) tool to specifically help with the layout. This tool is only available for US deliveries via Cindy's shop. As you can see below, it consists of two concertina style sections, each of which has 4 channels. A helpful ruler is on one side. The Bead Runway is also very portable!

You do not absolutely need this tool to do the visual layout. But it is handy to keep beads in place and in order. You know what I mean - 8 lines of beads on a bead board can shift very easily!

A basic layout pattern is included in the Technique section of the book which will allow anyone to begin using their own beads.  But there are also projects with specific beads to follow and learn from.  Once the layout technique is tried out and understood, beaders can go on to design their own necklaces and bracelets.

The project section includes instruction on how to work with different kinds of beads, how to plan a pendant placement and how to work in segments.

I particularly like the use of beaded extensions which are the sections around the back of the neck. Cindy's idea of making them interchangeable with magnetic glue on end caps is brilliant!  These lengthen otherwise short necklaces, complete necklaces if the focal beads are limited and so forth. As she mentioned, if the length is suitable, these extenders can also be used as bracelets.

Shown below  are examples of simple extender but in the book, there are also braided extenders to inspire.

Cindy teaches kumihimo classes both locally and on tour - the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee in June and then in Philly in August, 2019. But she is working on web classes.  She is also developing teacher training to allow other instructors to teach the Bead Runway technique in their local areas.

This book suits kumihimo fans who are tired of doing the same old thing and want to create their own graduated kumihimo designs.


If you'd like to win this giveaway for a copy of Bead Runway Technique Pattern Series Volume 1 (book only), please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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This giveaway is for US, Canada and Europe only.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, May 20, 2019. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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