Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kumihimo - coming together of threads

It's a very quiet Sunday afternoon here, so I thought I would share with you my latest craft obsession.  It's called kumihimo.  And for those of you that have never heard of it, I'll give you a little information.  Kumihimo is Japanese braiding.  Kumi means 'coming together' and himo means 'of threads'. At least that what I've read.  The Japanese started braiding cords for the Samurai warriors to lace and decorate their scabbards and armor.  That's about all I know of the origins of this craft.  I know there are many, many different ways of braiding, all varying the look and pattern of each cord, but so far I've only learned 2 ways.  One way, uses eight strings or cords and the other way uses 16.  It's all done on a braiding disk. Here's a picture of it with my braid already started.
It's fairly simple. You take one thread from the top and place it at the bottom and then one of the bottom threads is placed at the top.  Then the disk is turned so that the next set of cords are at the top. One of those cords is placed at the bottom and one of the bottom cords is placed at the top. Then the disk is turned again and you just keep repeating the same pattern.  It's very methodical and I think that is one reason I enjoy it.  The braid comes through the round opening in the center of the disk.  I've made several of these cords and now I'm ready to move on to another, hopefully more challenging pattern.
This is a picture of 3 bracelets I made.  Each one took moving the cords over 1,000 times to get the over all length for a bracelet!  And yes, I counted.  (That's my OCD taking over!)  Each bracelet took 16 feet of thread and around an hour to braid.  And they still aren't complete.   I was working on these while sitting outside enjoying a beautiful spring day in my comfy new outdoor chair cushions.
And while outside, I had a little visitor.  Isn't he cute?  He was enjoying my new cushions too!  I don't know if he was trying to scare me away or another unseen lizard!  Well, that does it for now.  I hope everyone has had as a relaxing Sunday afternoon as I did.  Until next time, happy crafting!

2 comments:

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  2. I've never seen one of those disks-pretty cool! And the lizard-whoa! I've never seen anything like it!

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