Knit Flix

Friday, September 26, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday. What hand knits do you have on today?

I'm wearing entrelac socks.


A Step Above socks
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, September 19, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits do you have on today?

I'm wearing Matsudana socks until it's too hot to wear wool socks.

Matsudana
Matsudana


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Friday, September 12, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits do you have on today?

Another hot day has me reaching for bamboo/cotton socks.


Early Spring
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, September 05, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday. What hand knits are you wearing today?

I'm wearing socks knit from yarn dyed by Lisa Souza.


Petroglyph Socks
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, August 29, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits do you have on today?

I'm wearing cotton/wool socks.


Primavera socks
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, August 22, 2014

HKF

It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits are you wearing today?

I have the day off so I'm kicking around in my Fiber Trends clogs.


Felt Clogs
Project details on Ravelry

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adventures in Kumihimo

That's right, I have a new craft these days and it's called Kumihimo. This is a technique from Japan for making braids. I believe the Japanese traditionally used silk for their braids.

Last year (or was it the year before?) I stopped by a vendor at Stitches West that was selling Kumihimo supplies. I wasn't ready to jump into braids at that time, but I did buy some cord for some of my other beading projects. Well, I guess my time is now because I recently purchased 2 Kumihimo disks--a round one for round braids and a square one for flat braids--some seed beads, and a clasp.

Armed with supplies and a YouTube video, I learned how to make a simple 8-warp beaded spiral.



I didn't have all the supplies I needed, so I improvised and used corks for bobbins.


Kumihimo

Et voila, here is the necklace:


Kumihimo necklace

The square loom came with some sample cord, so I used all of it to make this non-beaded braid:


Kumihimo braid

At this point, I wanted to buy more clasps--I had only bought one and used it for the necklace--and some proper bobbins. Armed with the current week's coupons, I went to my local craft store and found... nothing. All the pegs with labels for Kumihimo clasps and bobbins were empty. Foiled!

I turned to the internet, found Primitive Originals, and liked what they had to offer. I bought some satin cord, an assortment of clasps, and a set of bobbins. Now we're talkin'.


Kumihimo supplies

For my next project, I wanted to make a bracelet and necklace using these beads.


Beads for Kumihimo

I thought I'd go with a random pattern so I took all ten 16" strands of beads and mixed them up in a bowl, then strung them on 8 warp cords. Well, the result wasn't what I had envisioned. I wasn't sure I liked it and when I solicited opinions from home and my friends, they pretty much said the same thing. It wasn't great. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.


Trying out a random pattern

I un-wove about 7 inches of braid and separated all of the beads so I could plan a pattern. That took forever. As I looked at the braid, I thought I understood how the braid worked, how beads were placed and in what order, so I strung beads on the warp threads again, but this time just 6 inches of beads on each so I could start weaving sooner.


Starting a not-so-random pattern

It turns out that it was a very good thing that I only put a few inches of beads on each warp thread because I was completely wrong about how the beads would be placed in the braid. I didn't take a photo of the braid because it didn't survive long. I used it to record how the warp threads and beads made up the braid, then dismantled it. I transferred my notes into a spreadsheet and figured out how to implement the design I had in mind.


Kumihimo Worksheet

With my crazy chart, I restrung the beads and started attempt #3. Did it turn out the way I planned? You bet it did. Here is the bracelet.


New design

It may not be obvious, but there are 2 columns of 4 black beads and a grey bead and 2 columns of 4 gunmetal beads and an iridescent clear bead. These alternating columns spiral around each other, with the grey & clear beads occurring in the same "round" in the braid. That's probably too much information because it's the overall non-random effect that I was going for and I'm very pleased with the result. I finished it off with a magnetic locking clasp from the assortment I purchased from Primitive Originals.


Kumihimo bracelet clasp

I still have plenty of warp remaining for the necklace and now I know how to replicate the pattern and how many beads I'll need. I'm very happy with the braids so far, but I'm happier about what I learned with this bracelent--
  • How to un-weave a braid.
  • How to remove a braid from the disk and put it back on with the warp threads in the proper order.
  • How to design and chart a beaded Kumihimo braid.
That last point needs a disclaimer because I have no idea how Kumihimo designs are charted. Rather, I created my own design and chart style, so although it may be non-standard, I understand it and can follow it. Perhaps some day I'll buy a book or do some research and find out how others do it.

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