Kumihimo Kits

Goodness I am behind on posting, sorry. The slow posts will probably keep up at least until after the Fiber Arts Festival (August 10 and 11!) and maybe a week or so beyond. I just don’t have any projects done or any new ones starting cause I’m busy getting ready! But I mentioned the kumihimo braiding kits in my last post so I figured now would be a good time to explain them more in depth.

So my mom wrote the instructions in the kit. And she cuts out the foam cards that the braid is worked on, as well as cutting all the strings, which is good cause I don’t have the patience for that. Or the string. So she prints the instructions, sticks them in the nice little plastic bag with the foam thing, two sets of strings, and either a clip or a keychain ring. And then she gives them to me.

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So then I double check the number of strings in both sets (I started doing this after discovering a kit that was short a string in one set, so I figured I should double check them all), and get one braid started. I like to give the braids a fancy loop at the top around the hardware so I start by making a knot in the middle of the strings and doing a short braid on one half of the strings, with the knot on the other side of the card.

Once I have a braid that looks long enough to loop around the hardware and still have a little slack, I untie the knot, put the hardware on the braid, and loop the hanging parts of the strings back up to the top of the card, through the hole. This is the hardest part of the whole process cause it’s hard to get things to stay in place. Once I have all the strings on the top of the card I re-distribute so that the top and bottom halves of each string are in the same slot in the card.

Then I start braiding again. I like to braid just until the strings are sitting nicely in the slots and there is enough of the braid that you can see there is a smaller loop and a bigger main braid.

The braiding is done by taking the third string to the right of the empty slot and moving it to the empty slot. And then repeating that over and over and over and over and over… It gets kind of repetitive when I’m making a lot of the kits. This makes a pretty small braid, great for using as a decorative cord or a drawstring, but you can make much bigger and much more complex braids using the kumihimo technique. There are all different kinds of patterns, including flat braids like the one in the picture of the kit I got at the Fiber Arts Fiesta.

That’s the kumihimo kits in a nutshell. They’re pretty easy to make and kids just love them so they go like crazy. Now I’ve just gotta quit procrastinating and work on the second bag my mom gave me to finish, too bad I don’t have another long car trip or a boring job with time to sit working on them, *sigh*.

 

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