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07/11/2013 / katnewman

Finally, our secret collaboration is revealed!

After much hard work I’m delighted to reveal to you my partner in crime and collaborator on this project. As soon as I tell you who she is you’ll have a good idea what we’ve been up to so without further ado I give you, Pru McRae! She’s a well known and respected artist in the art of kumihimo. For those who have never heard of it, it’s Japanese braiding. It can be done on a really simple disc or you can invest in a big contraption like they use in Japan, it’s so versatile and transportable – it can be done with such a massive variety of mediums it really is a pleasure to play with.

Pru lives over at Prumihimo, where you can find lots of useful information, free tutorials and her more advanced tutorials for sale. She is a regular contributor to Beads and Beyond magazine.


A few months ago, I designed these little pixie caps and cone ends. I could see that they would have so many uses, with kunihimo, Viking knit etc and they were just adorable strung simply as a lariat. I wanted to show how great these would look all made up and I have always loved Pru’s work so I sent her some to play with. The first samples were so awesome, I sent her some more!

The beads are stepped – so the wide end has an opening of around 5 or 6mm and the smaller end is around 2 or 3mm and Pru assures me they are the perfect size for hiding the chord in.

And here they are!

I’m in love with all of the designs Pru has come up with, and she’s inspired me to try so many different designs and colourschemes with the beads – I don’t know when I’m going to get time to realise them all! You can check out her blog and links to the tutorials here

For anyone who hasn’t tried kumihimo yet, I urge you to give it a go – its utterly addictive! What I love about the beaded kumihimo is that you get the lovely tactile effect of the beads without all the fiddliness of sewing stitches. Once you have threaded all your beads on, its just a case of moving the threads around in a very simple routine. The possibilities with kumihimo are endless, and you can use so many different ‘stringing’ items, thin or thick thread, leather thong, rubber laces, wire – so many possibilities – and Pru does a marvellous job of inspiring you and getting you started with so many free tutorials and she also has some wonderful ones for sale. She’s blown my mind just a little and I have to thank you, Pru for such a fun and beautiful collaboration 🙂

So, all of the designs Pru has come up with with my pixie and cone ends are available as FREE instructions on her website!! A little prior knowledge of kumihimo would be an advantage for some of the designs.

Here are some of my cone ends.

Alongside launching these designs, I have devised a couple of very simple kits myself, and these will be available in my Etsy shop and would be a great starting point if you aren’t too confident with beaded kumihimo yet, or great stocking fillers for someone who would like to have a go – braiding disc not included but very easy to get hold of.

The finished projects from my kits look like this:

Both Pru and I are always open for questions so feel free to drop either of us a line!

Checkout Pru’s site for lots of tutorials and reference material.

The Pixie caps, end caps and kits are available in my shop, and there is also a section for spacer beads that can be used to complement your project



Leave a Comment
  1. Cindy / Jul 5 2014 1:23 pm

    Awesome – very unique, clever – love them!


  1. 52 Things challenge | Beads By Kat

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