Featured in Beadwork Magazine December 2015, this pattern continues to be very popular. Nearly 1,000 kits have been sold and many designers have created their own color ways.
The directions have been revised since the article in order to simplify stringing the beads for this project. Take note that this stringing pattern differs from the Beadwork Magazine article. The supply list is also different, so do not use the stringing or braiding directions in the magazine for this version of the necklace.
I recommended to braid around a soft core, about 3mm to 6mm in diameter. The purpose of a core is to keep the braid’s round shape and prevent it from collapsing when using large beads.
Project can be made on the marudai or round disk.
Technique: Drop Bead Kongoh (8 strand round braid)
Pattern is for a 18.5 in. (46 cm) braid, about a 19 to 20 in. (47.5 – 50 cm) necklace with clasp. There are directions for adjusting the braid length prior to loading the beads.
Materials in Kit
• A – 22g Toho 6 round #Y301F Natural Picasso Frosted
• B – 17g Toho 6 round #221 Antique Bronze
• C – 14g Toho 3mm magatama teardrop #1633F Opaque-Rainbow-Frosted Khaki
• D – 10g Toho 3mm magatama teardrop #995 Antique Bronze
• E – 10g Czech Mini Daggers 2.5x6mm Metallic Suede – Dark Plum
• F – 24 Fire-Polish 6mm – Matte Metallic Bronze Iris
• G – 24 Fire-Polish 6mm – Oxidized Bronze Tanzanite • CLon/SLon Bead Cord & split ring
• Flexible soft core, to be used double
• Magnetic Clasp
Additional Tools & Supplies needed to complete project
• Marudai, eight weighted tama, counter weight 30% of total tama weight & chopstick – or – Disk and eight plastic bobbins (counter weight optional)
• Cord zapper
• Bead mat
• Two part epoxy adhesive, 5 minute setting
• Fray Check (or similar product)
1 Cut four 8 ft. (2.4 M) lengths of cord. Fold the cords in half and tie an overhand knot near the fold to make a small loop to hang the counter weight. There are now eight cords.
2 Coat the end of each cord with Fray Check to string the beads without a needle, let dry about 15 minutes.
3 Set up
Disk: Feed the cord knot through the center hole of the disk. Secure the cords in the slots.
Marudai: Feed the loop through the hole of the marudai mirror. Slide a chopstick through the cord loop and secure chopstick to the underside of the mirror.
Note: Beads are strung after the cords are set-up on marudai or disk.
String beads according to the directions below. After beads have been strung on a cord, tie a tama loop and attach cord to the corresponding labeled bobbin/tama. If using marudai and tama, the cord is attached with a slipping hitch, link to video.
• 1n & 1s
28A, 24B, 28A
• 2n & 2s
28A, 6G, 12F, 6G, 28A
• 3e & 3w
12 in. of C beads (this allows for any length necklace)
• 4e & 4w
56D, 48E, 56D
1 Set up the core, see below.
2 Braid eight moves without beads. (One move equals two hand movements, see braiding diagram, figure 4, page 2.)
3 Braid with beads: When dropping 6/0 beads and Fire-Polish Rounds, one bead is worked into the braid on each cord with each move. When dropping 3mm magatama beads or mini dagger beads, two beads are worked into the braid on each cord with each move.
4 End the braid with eight moves without beads.
5 Secure the cord ends with knots or Cord Zapper and remove braid from marudai or disk.
6 Attach clasp with two part epoxy, link to directions for using two part epoxy.
Braiding Around a Core when Using a Marudai or Disk
Managing a core while braiding is easier than you might think.
• The cord that is used for the core needs to be at least 6 inches (15cm) longer than the finished braid length.
• If possible hang the core from above the marudai. Using a ceiling fan, ceiling hook, or overhead lamp, or use Adrienne’s Core Gizmo. For more tips on braiding around a core on both a disk and marudai see Braiding Aroung a Core post.
• For this project use the cord doubled to achieve the desired core thickness.
• Thread the cord through the cord loop at the POB (point of braiding) and tie the cord ends together with an overhand knot. Cut a piece of CLon/SLon that will be long enough to hang over the fan blade (or other support) and also have enough to wrap a bit on an plastic bobbin. Tie one end of the CLon?SLon to the knot at the end of the cord. Wrap the other end of the CLon/SLon onto a plastic bobbin. The bobbin will weigh down the core allowing it to move easily while the braid is formed.
• Braid as usual. At the beginning, when braiding without beads, it may be necessary to yank the core a little to get it neatly positioned inside the braid. End the braid as usual, leaving the core in place while braiding without beads. The core is nylon and can be burned off with a Cord Zapper.