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Topic: My first kumihimo  (Read 343 times)
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« on: October 23, 2019 09:56:20 AM »

Since I'm going to be leaving Japan at the end of this year (after living here since 2004), I've been trying to make the most of my last year here, and one of the things I've been doing is taking lots of classes of traditional Japanese crafts!  So while my parents were visiting this month, I took them with me to learn kumihimo for the first time in Kyoto.

I'll start off with the finished product: here's a long wraparound bracelet and a bag charm that I made!

We used these square bases called kakudai (this is my mom in the photo):

Apparently these aren't made much anymore, especially square ones as opposed to round ones, but they were SO useful! The work in progress was held taut above the work space, and the weighted spools kept the tension on each of the strings, which stayed neatly in place thanks to the square shape.

Here's a closeup so you can see how the strings overlap:

And if you're interested, here's a short video of me doing the relaxing, repetitive movements to braid the strings:

Seriously, it was SO relaxing and rather hypnotizing, and so easy!  There's no sound in the video, but the clacking sounds the spools made was really soothing.  I would LOVE to have one of these kakudai at home, but I'm not sure how practical it would be to find one and get it back to the states.  But at any rate I had a ton of fun trying it out!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019 10:32:35 AM by roler » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019 10:57:00 AM »

This is lovely! Maybe when you get back to the states you could build the frame?

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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019 11:15:56 AM »

This is amazing - I have only used the cheap foam frames here - where the completed product goes down through the center sort of upside down of how you are building it. I would love to try on a frame like this. As always, so envious of your life!

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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019 11:40:36 AM »

Fascinating!  Thank you so much for sharing this with us.  Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019 01:11:11 PM »

So neat! The kakudai would make the braiding so much easier! Yours turned out great!

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