Sunday, 4 November 2012

Handmade Monday: Kumihimo experiment

Last week, I gave in to temptation and bought a Kumihimo braiding starter kit.  It's an ancient Japanese craft and the real traditionalists do it with a beautifully crafted wooded disk. Mine is mass produced and made of foam, but if it keeps the craft alive, I'm all for it!  Anyway I had a go.

Making the braid is great fun and surprisingly easy.  The board has loads of numbers on it, but you don't need any maths for the simple braids.  All you need to do is keep to a simple pattern of moving the left and right cords and rotating the board.

I'm severely dyspraxic, so I have a lot of trouble with left and right (as well as spatial awareness, balance, co-ordination and a whole variety of other stuff which means that some days just remaining standing without falling over is an achievement in itself!) but this is actually quite good for me to practise.  After a little while, you can do it whilst watching Coronation Street (although you don't want to miss any of the Sue Johnston, Nigel Havers and Sue Nicholls storyline which has been comic genius with three of our acting national treasures, IMHO)

So far so good.  Then I came to the end.  You are supposed to then 'squish' (technical terms!) the ends into a bead cap or stopper, having first 'whipped' them by tying them with a piece of cotton.  My ends were way too big (it's been said before, LOL!)  I think the bead caps in the kit were a bit small.  My maths isn't brilliant, but I'm struggling to see how eight threads each at 2mm diameter with cord wrapped round them can fit into something with a 6mm diameter.



I tried with a bead cap and a bit of wire wrapping but it's not up to standard really.  Going to have to do some more research as the glue in end caps don't seem to be widely available in bronze tone in the large size.  Anyway this was the idea - to combine the braid with this ornate leaf clasp so that it can be worn at the front of the necklace or the back.

I'm terrible at abandoning things when I hit the first bit of difficulty, so I'm relying on you lot to keep nagging me to carry on with this one, OK?

In the meantime, here's a link to what other crafty folk have been making this week.


21 comments:

  1. Do Not Give In. You only have to re-read the beginning of this post to remind yourself why not. I like what you have created and the leaf clasp is beautiful. I can only begin to imagine what wonderful things you will create if you keep this up.

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    1. Thanks - that's just what I need, friendly nagging ;-)
      Alison x

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  2. this looks superb!! i love the clasp you've chosen and the cord looks so beautifully made - absolutely gorgeous from where i'm standing, you don't need to change a thing! x

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  3. Carry on it looks great! I love the leaf clasp. It sounds quite complicated I really don't think I'd have the patience. Thanks for sharing.
    Ali x

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  4. OK you can now consider yourself nagged lol so get finishing it. Although it looks fine to me from the photo. I learn something new on every blog I visit, it's great.

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  5. The braiding looks beautiful so I hope you find a solution to your big ends!!

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  6. ive not heard of that craft at all, but i'm impressed with your efforts!

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  7. can you share a picture of the disk with your next creation???
    debbi
    -yankeeburrowcreations

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  8. It is so easy to give up and say 'I'll come back to this' and we never do, so set aside some time to sort out the difficulties and you will be so pleased that you persevered. The brading looks beautiful and reminds me of something I used to do when a child - using a cotton reel with four nails on the top (sounds very rustic, but good fun). Hope you have a good week

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    1. Thanks :-) Are you thinking of French knitting? It is a lot like that. I remember doing that at school and glueing the strand in a circle to make a coaster. Happy days!

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  9. I think your end result looks great, I find macramé very therapeutic and this looks like it would be too. Could your big end problem be solved by making your wire wrapping tighter, so it squishes the ends together to get them into the bead cap?
    Sarah x

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    1. That's a good idea, thanks, going to try it out.

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  10. Oo, never heard of it before. But it looks amazing!

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  11. That is beautiful and don't you dare stop - I'm relying on you to sort it out and then do some more stunning things with it. xx

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  12. The braiding is great, I think for a first effort the end is really nice. I too find often that the finishing is the hardest part, but please don't give up. That is quite charming as it is (I would wear it) so it will only get even more charming. Maybe I'll have to try it. I'm a bit of a butterfingers with fine motor skills tho. :)

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  13. It looks lovely and I really like the colours you have used for the braiding, the fact that it is something you can do while watching tv means that you can NEVER GIVE UP :)

    Jan x

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  14. Hello, what a beautifully neat and pretty braid! I've no idea what the board looks like, but the end result is gorgeous! Defintiely keep it up :-) I've just joined Handmade Monday, so am having a lovely time getting into a whole load of new blogs! Simmi x PS. Totally agree with you about the Coronation St plot with Nigel Havers & co - brilliant stuff!

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    1. Thanks Simmi :-). Great to have another Corrie fan on the Handmade Monday circuit. A xxx

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