Saturday, May 18, 2013
Beads, Strings and Other Things
I've always been into crafts for as long as I can remember. I think I got part of it from my grandmother who was always knitting, crocheting or making something else useful, cute or out of necessity.
I learned to crochet at about 6 years old but didn't really pick that up more seriously until I was out of college, but I always needed something to do and to keep my hands and my brain busy.
As a kid I did painting, drawing, sculpting, floral arranging, paper crafts, macrame, lanyards, clay, beading, loom weaving, sewing, cross stitch, jewlery making and more. I've carried many of these crafts into adulthood and still enjoy some of the things I did when I was a child.
Last year, I made a resolution to try something new as often as I could whether it was crochet stitches, craft project, re-learning knitting (Still working on that one), more types of jewelry making or whatever. I just wanted to learn & try something new as often as I could.
So in August sometime I believe it was, I was just browsing around the internet and I saw a picture of a beautifully woven bracelet with this really neat pattern and the photo said "Kumhimo bracelet" under it. I had never heard of it but I definitely thought it was cool! And it looked like something I DEFINITELY wanted to try!
So I began to investigate. I searched google, youtube, pinterest and more just trying to learn what it was & how do you do it. I found this video on youtube for the basic spiral braid & it didn't look too terribly difficult and the supplies were simple looking enough, just a little slotted disk and some strings. So I found the supplies I needed and set about learning how to do Kumihimo.
Sounds simple enough doesn't it? LOL Well the basic part was simple enough, but little did I know that this artform had been around for many many years in Asia & in other countries & there were literally THOUSANDS of patterns, tools, methods and more! This is literally one of those artforms that kind of reminds me of poker where as the basics take 5 minutes to learn, but the true "ART" aspect of it takes years to master! The worst and best part is... It's Addicting & FUN! LOL
I have barely scratched the surface of this artform and I am still learning lots of different aspects of it, but I am definitely having fun in the process!
My favorite part of it is the jewelry aspect of because it fits in with other jewelry items that I make and gives me a new spin on things there, but there are some really amazing pieces and patterns out there that can be made from it! My favorites are the Beaded Kumihimo pieces right now. The possibilities are endless and they all work with the same basic principals as explained in this video here.
I've joined a couple of Kumihimo groups online and some of the work, the patterns, the materials and tools used in making these Kumihimo pieces just astounds and amazes me!
Each braid is unique & beautiful in it's own right, but some of these patterns and creations just literally blow my mind! I just can't believe that they can make some of them! Don't believe me? Just do a google or other search for "Kumihimo" and you will be quite surprised at what you see. :)
Someday I might get into the more technical aspect of things and possibly invest in the other more elaborate equipment you can use to make Kumihimo pieces, but for now, I'm happy with my little $2 foam disk and with what I have learned and am still learning so far.
It's a fun craft and if you are looking to try something new, this one is a great one and it doesn't cost that much to get started!
If you would like to see some of my Kumhimo pieces, you can check out more here on my Facebook page.
Also, if you do Kumihimo and would like to share, I'm always happy to see what other's have made. You are welcome to share on my page or link in the comments here.
Have fun & happy braiding!
The Perfect Knot