Kumihimo cord was first created centuries ago by a form of finger-loop braiding. Later, tools such as the marudai and the takadai were employed to make more complex braids in a shorter time. For photos and information on these braiding looms, check out the American Kumihimo Society. Here is a YouTube video of a braider demonstrating the use of a takadai for making complex flat braids. The most prominent historical use of the braided cords was by Samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their armor and their horses’ armor. Contemporary Western use includes jewelry making, with or without beads.
A modern kumihimo disk made of firm but flexible foam plastic with notches can also be used as a portable marudai. The disks have 32 notches that create tension on the cords. The foam kumihimo disk is lightweight, portable, and significantly more affordable than the traditional marudai. Braiders can create complex braids up to 24 bobbins and incorporate beads. There are many sizes and shapes of foam disks available. Look for a disk that is sturdy and doesn’t bend easily, otherwise the braider will experience uneven tension. Continue reading “Brief intro to Kumihimo jewelry”→
It is craft fair season — and I’m madly making items to sell — so I’m sharing a page from an old Workbasket magazine. The feature “Making Cents” highlighted projects for the crafter to sell. Usually made from common household items (these days we call it upcycling,) the projects even included a suggested price range. Why, wouldn’t someone just snap up a hat for a doll made from a nut cup for a mere $.25! And for about the same price, everyone will be grabbing the crocheted chocolate chip cookie pins off your table.
Get crackin’, time’s awasting.
Are you participating in craft shows this season? What are you making; what are your best-sellers? Do you have any tips for us? Comment below.
Plus some finished items too. And, yes, I know it is Friday. But I have been working on this post for two days.
It has been over three weeks since I last posted my WIPs, but lest you think I’ve been slacking, here are some photos of what I’ve been doing.
I finished the 4-Hour Fall Sweater sample for the store, even though my own is not finished. I completed the Headband and Fringed Scarf sample for Michael’s, plus the phone cozy and Floppy Hat. I’ve done everything but weave in ends and block my Blue Curacao. (What an accomplishment!) I had to prepare for the CAL, which meant making sure the correct yarns had been ordered, getting the pattern ready — to which I added two charts and some notes.
True story: I was weaving in some ends on a project, and when I trimmed the yarn, I cut the wrong yarn. Go figure! Hence, the hole where no hole should be.
The moral is, if you are a maker, you will be a mistake maker. Don’t let it define you. The best batters in baseball get hits in only one-quarter to one-third of their trips to the plate. But they keep practicing, keep coming back, keep aiming for the fence. Every at bat is a new opportunity.