· r e j i q u a r · w o r k s ·
the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Red white & blue mitake
No. 8 crochet cotton—cheap materials make a beautiful braid

This braid, like all of the red/white/blue braids made in 2013–2014, were made to be drawstrings for omiyage, little gift bags to hold beads that were to be given to the six Japanese families—those of our 4 Japanese daughters who stayed with us, and the two Japanese families who hosted the f2’s —whom we were to visit but it is, in my opinion, the finest and most beautiful.

Point of braiding. Shot 07jul2013, on the N8.

It was also the longest, in all senses: overall length; time to make (months) and time per inch.

Still chugging along, as of 26nov2013. I practiced half lotus while making these braids, hoping to be able to do lotus while in Japan.[1]

Original notes for this braid:

  • 5 ea of ecru, ombre navy & red (purch recently @ Joanne's; a 6 pack, 10g each, about $1/ea after discount—some off brand I never heard of)
  • 1 extra ecru to make up 16 (n.b. ecru is thinner)
  • also, 4 of the red threads have add'l fine red metallic
  • see phone pic for beginning date (roughly 07jul13)
  • threads were roughly length from doorwall handle to distance of north edge of living room doorway—about 19 – 24 feet 228 – 288” so a 38 to 61% of original length (takeup)
  • standard fukaru, 100g tama (about 45%)
  • completed (& photographed) 02may14 – 175 inches!


It's quite possible the braid started with the white arrows to the back,[2] but for most of it, they faced me. Cotton, red metallic blending thread (i.e. metallic sewing machine thread)

Normally, I photograph these braids by putting them in a spiral[3] but this one, in addition to being flat, was way too long and too stiff to style that way. I really wanted to show off the shear sheer[4] length of the thing (about 14.5 feet, or 4.5 meters); I finally hit upon wrapping it around a piece of pvc.

Mitake braids are not symmetrical front to back, as you can see. Shot with the E620, 02may2014.

One of the things that distinguishes this braid is the subtlety of the ikat (color shifting) effect—very appropriate for drawstrings, which are mostly hidden. This would probably show better if I had a longer depth of focus, but I wanted to soften the end of the pvc (since I was far too lazy to cut it to exact length, which would've been the sensible way to resolve the problem.)

Unfortunately, the casings were too small to use many of the braids; so I took them separately, and gave those which were particularly admired away; however, I managed to retain some of this braid. Someday, I would like to make myself a little red, white and blue bag to go with:)

[1]Never happened. We barely had to sit seza, which I can actually do for a half hour or so.

[2]The setup photo above certainly suggests this.

[3]Obviously I make mostly round braids.

[4]07nov23—I guess since I cut the braid into lengths that could be called an eggcorn...


[blue] [white] [kumihimo] [red] [2013] [2014]