Monday, 15 May 2017

Kumihimo? I'm A Frayed Knot!

Have you come across Kumihimo? It's yet another Japanese craft. I mastered Kusudama [paper flowers]  few years ago, but this was a new one to me. My friend Kim was doing it at our Craft and Coffee morning last year. Kumihimo - the word means gathered threads - is a method of weaving braid using a circular loom. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a kit [this site has a lot of information and a link to purchasing materials]
In Norwich after Easter, I spotted a starter kit for a couple of quid in Tiger [that crazy little Danish store] So I decided to have a go.  The mathematical repetition of the method appealed to me. 
You cut 8 lengths of nylon yarn to twice your 'finish' length [the yarn came in the kit] and knot the ends together. This goes down through the centre hole, and then you weave the threads over, whilst turning the disc - it's rather like the way children braid ribbons as they dance round a maypole!

It is not hard, once you get into a rhythm, but it is very labour intensive. It took me more than 2 hours to weave a braid 35 cm long.  It is pretty, and the nylon yarn makes a strong, even weave. But now what do I do with it? Kim puts end caps on her braids, and threads beads onto the yarn,  to make bracelets, or necklaces. Also she makes keyrings. 
But I found the whole thing rather slow, so I doubt this is a craft I'll be continuing with. I shall keep the loom, in case I ever do find a project which requires braids like this. But it's not going to be high on my list of "Crafts I enjoy" Without buying fancy end caps, can I see no good way of finishing off the ends. Opportunity here for bad puns about "I'm a frayed knot" 
Which segues neatly into something else - this "Knot Prayer" has been doing the rounds of the internet recently. It is a bit contrived - but maybe the words will encourage you if you've got that 'Monday Morning' feeling...


  1. If it's nylon, can you melt it with a match or cigarette lighter? It wouldn't look as neat as having a cap, though.

    1. That's a good idea, worth experimenting with. Thanks

    2. Don't forget that if God makes a knot in the string holding you to him, the string is made a bit shorter and draws you closer to him.

  2. I could never see the point of those dollies with nails in their heads that you used to wind wool round to make a long rope thing. I never had any idea what to do with it

  3. I love Tiger! I recently discovered that we have two nearby, one in Southampton and one at Whiteley. I keep finding excuses to go there... My friends keep telling me about Hema in Birmingham New Street Station, and I've just discovered there is one in Euston as well.

  4. I've never been good at crafting involving weaving threads. One for me to avoid maybe!


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