Kumihimo
Otherwise known as samples, samples, samples.

I've been making braids since I was very small; I have a veritable trove of three-stranders made of yarn and that colored string old ladies like to make into crocheted doileys. I remember some clerk at a bead store that told me she would “rather I didn't” watch her braid 4 strands together for the ends of a necklace in an attempt to learn this arcane art; (why then was she in the public part of the store, working at the counter?) and recall with fondness the generosity of another textile artist at the Ypsi Heritage Festival, upon hearing this story, vowing to teach me; but Catherine Martin's book on Kumihimo opened a magical world I didn't know existed.

Silk braid from the purple and green twisted diamond series. 2002?–2005.

We're so incredibly fortunate nowadays. Even before that treasure trove known as the World Wide Web became common, computers were making publishing accessible by orders of magnitude; all the sudden, people could write, illustrate—even color-separate—for a fraction of the cost before the days of desktop publishing. And all these specialty craft books have multipled as a wonderful result.

Now there are whole books on braids, ribbons, tassels, Japanese embroidery, glass beadmaking. When I think of them all, it makes me feel wealthy beyond anything I could imagine as a child. And it helps, too, that as so many traditional and ethnic crafts are being lost as the people doing them no longer have the time nor interest that they are springing up, irrepressibly, in other cultures, such as ours. Someone once told me there were more —and more skilled—armorers now than in the Middle Ages.

It is my hope other crafts will prosper, be revived, re-interpretated and enjoyed as well. —These pages are my small contribution.

20160305

Fugly flat braid

 
20151012

The addition of a kumi drawstring made this post-worthy. Sort of. 12oct2015

 
20150907

My first kumistrung necklace in a long, long time. It's also the first to feature my own lampwork beads. 07sep2015

 
20150904

collection of wonderful temari, lovingly documented by a grandchild by a woman now in her late 80s, who took the craft up in her 60s. 04sep2015

 
20150902

This was supposed to be a masterpiece of shifting colors, braided on the marudai. Except I forgot & did it on a disk. 02sep2015

 
20150820

purple, green and harvest gold kumi... 20aug2015

 
20150904

kumihimo reviews: Jacqui Carey, Catherine Martin, Roderick Own. 04sep2015

 
20140504

Notes from the kumi class I took with Tada-sensai. Incomplete & hard to read; mostly for the benefit of other folks in the class, whom I hope will find them useful. 04may2014

 
20150819

5mm x 83" 16 str kongoh completed approx 16feb15 19aug2015

 
20140612

Two 1.5" hollow pressed lentils, with frit, powder, shard and floral decorations, with minor production notes. 12jun2014

 
20140610

Ikat style broken diamond patterned keiruko no himo kumi in orange and blue. 10jun2014

 
20151123

Red white and blue kongo, cordage for omiyage made on a disk. 23nov2015

 
20140107

Aya's polar bear stocking 07jan2014

 
20121022

wool kongo braid in earth tones—mustard, brown, purple. 22oct2012

 
20130920

I speculate about a beautifully simple silk braid, or kumihimo, from Japan. 20sep2013

 
20130814

purple braid with teal/aqua accents. Completed 08feb09, photographed 21dec10, documented 14aug2013

 
20130815

black and white blast from the past: zigzag D weight silk keiruku no himo kumi. 15aug2013

 
20130813

orange and blue kongo kumi done on a disk. 13aug2013

 
20150903

notes for flat mitake 16 strand red, white, blue braid, started near beginning of july. 03sep2015

 
20130430

Lentil shaped pink floral on kumi necklace with etched copper bail. Omiyage for f2tY. 30apr2013

 
20140619

Pink kumi/floral vessel omiyage. Page created 16apr13, posted 19jun2014

 
20130329

I try the hand/fingerloop method of braiding for the first time. And it's awful. 29mar2013

 
20130324

Continuing on with the sort of winter theme, I guess, even though technically, it's spring. But as JDftY noted, there's still some snow on the ground (albeit, very small, lonely patches.) So anyway, f2tY's JD (Japanese Dad), upon learning of my interest in kumihimo, sent an interesting excerpt ...

 
20150430

Purple, lime green and fuchsia kongo kumihimo, made on a disk. 30apr2015

 
20150901

Easter oval braid uses two weights of cotton thread. 01sep2015

 
20120409

Orange braid, kongo, made on a disk. 09apr2012

 
20120328

2011 JDftY3's braid, continued. 28mar2012

 
20120326

Pink, purple and green kumi. Completed Feb2012;

 
20150831

a sample braid testing out some oval braid structures. 31aug2015

 
20120215

About a quarter century ago I tried card-weaving. Recently I took it up again.

 
20110902

Japan Daughter for the Year's parents sent me not one but two wonderful yukata (summer kimono) plus a bunch of other stuff. Not to mention entrusting me with their child for ten months. This piece was my attempt at arigato gozaimasu . 02sep2011

 
20090630

Elemental Mojo bears the distinction of being the only other person I know who does ikat kumi —that is using variegated yarns to shift patterns in and out of a braid. Originally posted 30jun09 30jun2009

 
20081112

Updated documentation on my favorite layout, twisted diamond for my one of my very favorite braids, keiruko no himo. Originally posted 12nov08. 12nov2008

 
20081002

This piece was one of my earliest pages, then dropped off because I wanted a better picture, and so of course I forgot about it, until I needed to refer to it for another post. The original probably dates back to '96, but this version was first posted 02oct08. 02oct2008

 
20080619

This drawstring bag and figurine ensemble features a foam-card woven 16 strand diamond patterned kongo braid . Originally posted 19jun08. 19jun2008

 
20071128

16 strand flat braid using rainbow cotton string. Originally posted 28nov07. 28nov2007

 
20071124

This flat braid was the first sample made using 24 100g tama; originally posted 24nov07 24nov2007

 
20130716

cranberry red and blue violet oimatsu braid 16jul2013

 
20070526

200 Braids to twist, knot, loop, or weave. Jacqui Carey, 2007 26may2007

 
20061026

These are among the oldest braids I've made, going back to at least the late 80s; even the image is 5 years old. But only posted 26oct06. 26oct2006

 
20060810

Stripeys to me are hollow round bead stripeys, but these beads do have the stripes built into the glass, so, technically, they qualify. Plus, some day I want to develop the theme further. So here they are, even though really this is mostly a post about teaching kids how to braid. Originally po...

 
20050823

This index page collects my posts on kumihimo (Japanese style braiding on a marudai, or round stool, with tama/bobbins) and other braids. 23aug2005

 
20050812

Rainbow kongo in silk. created & posted 12aug05, indexed 23aug05 12aug2005

 
20050508

The first and so far best and most successful effort. (originally posted 14dec01) 08may2005

 
20050330

A textured braid made of a textured yarn during winter05, posted 31mar05 30mar2005

 
20050328

This one wasn't working out so I turned it into a split braid. (originally posted 14dec01) 28mar2005

 
20050328

Well, that didn't work, so let's try in the cotton again. This is a little better ... (28mar05) stay tuned for more thrilling developments... 28mar2005

 
20050328

Moved the purple and green `twisted diamond' series all onto a subdirectory page which includes two new braids, 28mar05 28mar2005

 
20050328

But hey, I think I've got it down anyway, so let's try it in silk (28mar05) 28mar2005

 
20040815

Variation on a Theme by Gail Frederickson ; (closeups posted, 14aug04) 15aug2004

 
20040522

Lots of Black & Yellow Stripes 22may2004

 
20040522

Extravagant color blocking 22may2004

 
20040522

a Spiral braid in browns, creams, greens & pale blue 22may2004

 
20040522

Horrid experiment in attempting my own braid structure. Added 14Dec2001. 22may2004

 
20040522

More green and purple round braids 22may2004

 
20040522

Rectangular braid in green wool 22may2004

 
20040522

Orange & pink yarn braids 22may2004

 
20040522

fuscia & purple braid in perle cotton 22may2004

 
20040522

pink, purple, & cream round braid 22may2004

 
20040522

Purple and Green Fuzzy braid 22may2004

 
20040522

One of my favorites 22may2004

 
 

Not strictly a braid book; provides a variety of cord-making techniques, aimed at the (relative) beginner. Originally posted 26may07

 

For more braids check out various necklaces in the Beadweaving & Stringing Pages; also Holiday Crafts now include stockings with kumi (some of them originally shown here!

modified: Wed Aug 24 03:22:23 2005; 18oct06