Wednesday WIPs is taking a backseat today for two reasons: I’ve way too many WIPs, but I have a lot of finished projects I want to show off. It doesn’t help much that I’ve been gone for so long. What with two trips in two months under my belt, who has time to write. Additionally, I’m still publishing two newsletters a month for The Yarn Store at Nob Hill, teaching classes, and now getting ready for craft fair season.
One project that took quite a bit of time and effort was getting a teaching plan and patterns ready for a project for The Yarn Store (TYS). The store wanted to reach out to the university crowd by offering kits at a reasonable price. The kits are for either crochet or knit and include how-to instructions for beginners, five patterns, yarn and tools in a pouch plus lessons with an instructor. Another woman did the knit portion, and I did the crochet portion. I wrote three original patterns, a photo-tutorial on a granny square scarf in chart form, and an adaptation of the Amazing Grace headband. Since starting this blog, I’ve been updating my color scheme in my patterns, so you’ll notice that they coordinate well with the blog. I also like the bi-fold style layout which looks like this:
I had to put the watermark on them because they are for sale on Ravelry and in TYS kits. Here is what the others look like.
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”→
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.
The classes at Michael’s are finally on the calendar and the projects are picked out. As if I didn’t have enough to do, I also signed up at Hobby Lobby on Eagle Ranch Rd to teach both crochet and jewelry making. The set up there is less formal and more to my liking. I get to choose my own projects and set my own fees, while they post the schedule on the web site and allow me to post flyers on a bulletin board just inside the entrance to the store.
Here are my flyers for two of the classes. They are laminated and have little pull tabs on the bottom with contact info. In this case, I do handle all my signups.
I’m really excited about the Hobby Lobby venture and hope it works out. Since I can set my own hours, I’ve decided to try a full kumihimo class of four hours. This is a rewarding project because it is easier than it looks and students feel such a sense of accomplishment when they are done. The flyer is really pretty too.
You can access the calendar from the menu bar and see the what/where/when of the classes. I hope you sign up for something, because you know that I usually have a few tricks up my sleeves to teach you yet.
When I’m making my beaded wrap bracelets, I like to use Fray Check on the ends of my cord. This makes a needle-like tip which passes easily through the beads. I cut the tip off the bottle of Fray Check, run the end of the cord about two inches into the solution for 2-3 seconds, repeat on the other end, then hang the cord to dry.
I will do several cords at once which means that I’ve always got one ready when the urge to bead strikes.