Knit Flix

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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Friday, August 15, 2014

HKF

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

I'm wearing Waving Lace socks.


Waving Lace socks
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, August 08, 2014

HKF

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

I'm wearing bamboo/cotton socks.


Early Spring
Project details on Ravelry

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Best Day Ever: Part 4: Leather, Fabric, Glass, and more

At the California State Fair, there are many types of pieces that are displayed in the California Crafts exhibit hall. There are sewn garments, toys & dolls, scale models, jewelry, blown glass, leather items, embroidery, and straw art to name a few. Perhaps my favorite piece in the "not fiber arts" categories is this one called "Fused Glass Quilts":


22 - Association of Clay & Glass Artists - Glass, 04 - Most Creative Award, 1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 07 - Glass
Susan McGarry
Fused Glass Quilts


How creative is that? Colorful glass quilts hanging on a clothes line, and a quilt draped in a glass laundry basket. This one was really lovely.


22 - Association of Clay & Glass Artists - Glass, 04 - Most Creative Award, 1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 07 - Glass
Susan McGarry
Fused Glass Quilts


Here are the rest of the photos I took in the California Crafts exhibit. In the next blog post I'll show you some pieces from the Fine Art exhibit, animals (Llama!!), and other fair treats.


Best of Show, Best of Division, 1st Place, 170 - Wearing and Designer Apparel, 02 - Costumes and Formal Wear
Sherry Werum



2nd Place, 170 - Wearing and Designer Apparel, 02 - Costumes and Formal Wear
Dyana Martin Byberg
1875 Silk Wedding Dress



1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 04 - Leather
Deanna Owen
Leather Cuckoo Clock



3rd Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 04 - Leather
Deanna Owen
Set of Two, Rose Bag & Wallet



1st Place, 140 - Wood Art, 02 - Wood Turning
Clair Daugherty
3D Salad Bowl



13 - Tandy Leather Factory Award, Honorable Mention, 150 - Other Handcraft, 04 - Leather
J. J. Jackson
Embossed Leather Purse



3rd Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 05 - Scale Models
Bill Reese
Dayton Washington Train Depot



1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 02 - Dolls & Toys
Nancy Husted
Ms Haight~AshBEARy



2nd Place, 170 - Wearing and Designer Apparel, 03 - Wearable Art
Tonja McCarthy



2nd Place, 180 - Embroidery & Counted Cross Stitch, 03 - Cross Stitch, framed
Gail Moore
Andrea Pilkay Graduation



3rd Place, 170 - Wearing and Designer Apparel, 02 - Costumes and Formal Wear
Wendy Frazier



1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 05 - Scale Models
Matthew Mason
Full Working Steam Locomotive



2nd Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 05 - Scale Models
Bradley Stewart
Uptown: The walkable high-rise



2nd Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 05 - Scale Models
Bradley Stewart
Uptown: The walkable high-rise



1st Place, 110 - Straw Art, 04 - Any Other Type of Straw Art
Christine Swanson
Cabernet Cluster



2nd Place, 223 - Special Contest Upcycle Fashion, 01 - Garments
Kathy Orsburn
Kiss the Cook Apron



1st Place, 150 - Other Handcraft, 06 - Porcelain Painting
Marna Parks
Anticipation



2nd Place, 180 - Embroidery & Counted Cross Stitch, 01 - Traditional Embroidery, framed
Lori Love
Jacobean Crewel



1st Place, 223 - Special Contest Upcycle Fashion
Dakota Sedger
Nike Triple B Skate/Snow Shirt



Honorable Mention, 105 - Jewelry & Bead Art, 03 - Bead Weaving
Gabrielle Acevedo
Witch Tapestry



Best of Division, 1st Place, 185 - Needlepoint and Other Counted Techniques, 01 - Needlepoint, framed or unframed
Michelle Rey
Blue Moon Kimono


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Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Best Day Ever - Part 3: Quilts

There are beautiful quilts shown at the California State Fair every year. They're hanging everywhere in the exhibit hall, and some are closer to the observers' eyes than others.

Many of the quilts look like what you'd expect in pieced or appliqued quilts. However, there was one piece that my brain wasn't able to figure out, even after getting as close as I could and really trying to understand it from a fabric and thread perspective. It is called Threads of Time.


1st Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 03 - Other or Special Technique Quilts
Lori Wisheropp
Threads of Time


The rings are machine stitched, but the cracks still baffle me. What a wonderful piece of work. Click on the image to see a larger version.


1st Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 03 - Other or Special Technique Quilts
Lori Wisheropp
Threads of Time


Here are the rest of the beautiful quilts that I captured this year.


2nd Place, 190 - Large Quilts, 02 - Pieced Quilts
Shireen Hattan
Angotti Mystery



1st Place, 190 - Large Quilts, 04 - Group Quilts
Linda Crawford
Bountiful Baskets



1st Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 01 - Applique Quilts
Sherry Werum
My Favorite Silouettes



3rd Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 01 - Applique Quilts
Jan Hollins
Days Gone By



1st Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 02 - Pieced Quilts
Jan Soules
Chuparosa



2nd Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 02 - Pieced Quilts
Linda Bergmann
Civil War Legacy



1st Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 03 - Other or Special Technique Quilts
Penny S. Hanscom
Tryotuich



2nd Place, 193 - Medium Quilts, 03 - Other or Special Technique Quilts
Jan Millner
Heart and Home Village



2nd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 01 - Applique Quilts
Audrey Keebler
View East from Coloma



2nd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 01 - Applique Quilts
Audrey Keebler
View East from Coloma



2nd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 02 - Pieced Quilts
Inger Blood
Sweet Potato



2nd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 03 - Other or Special Technique Quilts
Inger Blood
Harvest Time



20 - Dorothy Killian Painter Award, 3rd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 04 - Mini Quilts
Kellie Willey
Bitty Burgoyne in Blue



3rd Place, 195 - Small Quilts, 05 - Group Quilts
Marilyn Siefker
Dia De Los Muertos


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