Sunday 29 March 2020

Kumihimo Braiding

About a month ago before everything went weird, I went to Unravel at the Farnham Malting's - a festival of all things wool.  While there were lots of lovely things to look at, it was busy (as normal) and out of my price range.  I really can't afford £15 for a 50g ball of wool, however beautiful it might be.

A simple eight-braid spiral pattern in DK wool
One thing did catch my attention though.  One stall had some pretty beaded jewellery and when I spoke to the lady she told me it was kumihimo and showed me a little how to do it.
It looked interesting but it was only when I got home that I realised how much I wanted to give it a go.  So I bought a beginners kit and A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo by Donna McKean-Smith online, and finally found some time to give it ago.

Same pattern but in Chunky wool
While what I really want to do is make the beaded jewellery, I wanted to learn how to do basic braiding first before adding the complication of beads.

An eight-braid stripe pattern
So I went through my wool stash to find something suitable.  The first one I tried was an eight-braid in double knit wool which came out really fine, so then I tried with some chunky wool.  
Once I was happy with the process I tried some different patterns, all done by the way you lay your wool out on the disk.

An eight-braid twist pattern
Its such an easy process but makes some really lovely patterns and I love how something as woolly and flexible as wool can turn into something so substantial.  It reminds me of the cord climbers use.
I'm very much looking forward to taking the next step and adding some beads to the process!

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