Kumihimo – Dyed Silk

I used dyed silk thrums (loom waste) left over from weaving my turned twill scarf and designed a kumihimo braid that echoed my twill blocks.

Silk Scarf Background - Kumihimo Bracelets and Thrums on Stand

Silk Scarf Background – Kumihimo Bracelets and Thrums on Stand

I adapted the kumihimo pattern I showed in Blue.

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And this is my “pattern”. The gold areas on the pattern represent the dyed warp. Note: I used the design tool at craftdesignonline.com to make the adaptation.
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The smaller braid used thrums from the dyed warp and the solid blue used in the scarf (20/2 silk). This is a 20-strand braid and this sample used 2 strands of silk for each slot. I did not use a core and this made a very small braid. Using the thrums (or loom waste) from my scarf meant my sample was quite short – not enough for 2 wraps around the wrist.

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For the second sample, I used the same 20 strand braid, but used 4 strands for each slot. I pulled the wrong solid blue and it was not  as dark and intense. I also used memory wire for the core. This made a much more robust bracelet, but too short for 2 full wraps.

Silk Thrums Bracelet

Silk Thrums Bracelet

I liked how the design echoed the blocks from the turned twill.

I did not like the “finishing”.  The first endcap looks slightly better than the second but I was all thumbs as I tried to handle endcap, braid, glue, etc. I have never been a crafter  and have little skill, experience, or patience with the fiddly parts. Determined to get some experience by finishing the ends of these samples, I *was* successful in obscuring my fingerprint sufficiently with glue and glue removers so that my fingerprint no longer works on my iphone. I improved slightly on the second endcap in that I did not adhere any body parts. I don’t know if I have enough time and grit left to make up for my crafting illiteracy. I think most people learn to glue MUCH earlier in their life journey. Hmm, wonder if there is a nearby pre-school with space for a large student? Meanwhile, I will braid on, and boldly “finish” every little braid to learn some techniques that work for me.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Wanted a boy-like pattern and came across a camouflage design. Used DMC floss for these with rattail for a sliding knot closure.

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Luckily you do not need camouflage in your hunt for ideas for the bracelets. The search for patterns for these easy little bracelets is as close as your ipad … or whatever device you choose.

Friendship-Bracelets.Net has a staggering number of patterns. It can be filtered by number of strings, number of colors, pattern number, pattern similarity, user and a few others. Additionally you can sort by several criteria including newness and popularity. The site also includes a Pattern Generator so that you can create your own patterns. Thousands of patterns can keep you browsing for days (ask me how I know….)

For example, here’s the page for the kumihimo pattern for the camouflage bracelets above:

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Check it out at Friendship-Bracelets.net – Pattern 1066

The page shows the pattern (keeping in mind this is a round braid and the pattern might be mighty small and of course wraps all the way around….) It shows the placement of the threads on the disk and the total number of colors and threads. I usually print this and note on it the colors I use.

Craft Designs Online is another useful site. I have used its kumihimo generator to modify a design but the site has many areas I have not yet explored.

If you want inspiration, head on over to Pinterest and search on kumihimo. I love that such a simple search will take you to Pins on the topic but with a tab for Boards as well.

I haven’t even touched on the beaded kumihimo but your pinterest trip will offer plenty of eye candy for that. Using beads creates new color opportunities because your bead placement can drive your pattern instead of being locked into the progression that thread colors and braiding dictates.

Thanks for coming along on my journey through this craft.

My weaving starts in August. I really don’t think I yet have an appropriate weft. More on that in an upcoming post.

Wearing the Colors

My first stab at braiding these little bracelets started with July 4th. I thought what better way to celebrate than to send some little bracelets to the boys – and their older sister.

These are pretty rough, especially the closures – but you’ve gotta start somewhere….

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And found some memory wire hanging around so tried this one for the gal in the family:

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Along with a little ring. I knew she had some activity in full red, white and blue regalia coming up….