Kumihimo Braided Necklace
Please welcome, our guest blogger and winner of our ‘Think Spring’ Craft Challenge: Irene Lenihan of Flight Of Fancy Creations! She was kind enough to forward us the details on her challenge entry, a Kumihimo Braid Necklace:
Kumihimo Braid Necklace
After buying a Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) disk, I started using all kinds of fiber, yarns, cords and ribbons in various combinations to see how it would look braided. So when the challenge came up to use the May Arts ribbon in the Think Spring Challenge I had to try it. The braid came out very colorful, intricate and beautiful.
I used a Kumihimo braiding disk, 8 bobbins and 4 different shades of pink ¼ inch silk ribbon from May Arts. The width of the ribbon determines the thickness of the braided cord.
I cut a piece that was 10 feet long of each of the colors.
I laid them side by side and found the middle of the pieces and tied the middle together with a twist tie. You can use a piece of ribbon or yarn if you don’t have a twist tie. (FYI…If you use ribbon to tie the middle of the pieces together the ribbon will be slippery and move.)
Next I picked up the Kumihimo disk and pushed the middle of the pieces through the hole in the center of the disk.
You can add a weight to the middle so that it would hang taut if you like. I have used a small fishing weight since that is something that is easy to find at my house but you can use whatever you have on hand. Or you can leave it without a weight and just pull it taut every once in a while.
As I held the middle with one hand, with the other hand I arranged the strands, pulling them into the slots on the disk. The pattern of the braid is determined by how you arrange the colors and the sequence used. I wrapped the ends of the ribbon on some bobbins that came with the disk. They aren’t necessary but do make it easier to keep the ribbon from tangling while you are working.
Now I braided according to the instructions that come with the disk.
If you are like me you’ll probably peek under the disk after you’ve been braiding about five or ten minutes to see your braid emerging. It seems like magic to see the patterned cord emerge from the middle of the disk.
To finish my braid, I pulled the pieces out of the disk, and tied the ends of the ribbons in a single knot close to the end of the braid. Next I cut off the excess length. Then I used a ribbon bead cap on that end and added a clasp. I cut the twist tie out of the other end of the braid and added a jump ring and attached it to the other end of the clasp. Next I added a focal bead to the center and it was done.
I have made a purple and lavender combination and a blue and teal combination and plan on doing a red, white and blue one next. I want to try some wider ribbon and see what affect that has.
Blog Posted By: Irene Lenihan