Monday, June 28, 2010

Upon Learning Kumihimo

Now.... you'd think a simple braiding technique wouldn't be beyond my last remaining brain cell (lrbc), wouldn't you?  Well, let me tell you... the lrbc gave up the ghost.  It was gruesome.  Ok, here's what happened.  My friend Chris who lives in the wilds of Scotland was telling me that her mom was making kumihimo braids for her pendants.  Now, that sounds good to me because I was getting tired of chains and beaded cords/chains.  So, I buy the equipment.  I can do this, I sez to myself.  HAH!

My friend Kathi, who lives in the wilds of Bakersfield tells me it's fun and easy.  Ok, she never lies to me.  Kathi and a few other clay friends go in together and we make a giant Munro's order.  Kathi sends me my share and I sit down all ready to produce some really cool Japanese braids.  Man, WHAT was I thinking??!

I take out my disc and unfold the directions to find they are totally written in Japanese. Kanji.  Even the pictures are in Japanese!  :(  I can't read it.  Here in America we at least have directions written in about 30 languages, none of which are English but at least you can make a dent in understanding if you have a Latin background.  Luckily, this is the case.  However, a nice Latin background helps with Japanese just about as much as mayonnaise helps with sewing.  I am stymied.  But wait!  In my lrbc wisdom, I have purchased not one but TWO kumihimo discs.  One makes flat braids and the other makes round braids.  So they say.  How would I know?  I can't read what it says.

I open the round disc.  OMG!  ENGLISH!  Happy Dance!  I make a valiant attempt at following the directions.  I is a literal girl. Did this help me?  HAH!  No a whit.  The directions sucked.  I wound up with my kumihimo disc mummy wrapped in cord.  Wasn't pretty.  I tried again.  Got varied mummy wrappings.  Tut would have loved me. I hear my wine calling.  Yep, I surely do.

I give up and the next day go whining to Chris and Kathi who you KNOW are screaming with laughter in their wilds places.  They think I can't hear them.  I can hear them.  However, being the uber sweeties they are, they have pity on me.  Chris sends me a youtube video link.  Kathi promises step by step instruction and to snail mail me stuff.  Ok.  I is now happy.  I can do the kumihimo.  A small aside here:  I watch the woman on the tute and look at the Japanese directions at the same time.  Not EVEN close!  Hmmm, maybe it's from right to left?  Oiks.

I sit down and cut what seems to me to be an exorbitant length of cord.  Several feet.  I braid happily away and W.T.F.!  I am out of cord!  I have a lovely kumihimo braid that is all of 6 inches long.  Sigh.  What is the matter with direction givers??  Don't they KNOW there are people like me who have NO idea that it will take 739 feet of cord to get a 20 inch braid?  I mean...really!  :(  I is not happy.

I keep cutting more cord thinking I'll be able to wrap our condo and I keep winding up with 7 inch lengths of braid.  Ok, I is undaunted!  These cool 6 and 7 inch lengths are why God invented chain.  I will use them.  Yep, I will.  If I can figure out how to end the braids.  More on this later.

I now cut 40 feet.  Hah!  I will not be outdone by a foam disc!  I braid away.  I is happy.  I haven't come close to running out of braid.  No shit.  Ipo is chewing the cord as it lays in snake piles on the floor.  She thinks it's her toy.  I braid and braid and braid.  WOW! This is great!  I have a braided cord about 22 inches long.  JUST what I wanted!

HAH!  Does anyone bother to tell me how to end these braids?  No, of course not.  Nothing I have works. Naturally.  10 billion dollars of supplies and I don't have the right thing.  Be nice if I knew what the right thing was though, don'tcha think?  Hah.  So, I toddle to the trusty computer and order ends of all kinds.  Something will work.  I decide I like the cone idea.  Oh... how to attach them?  As Kathi says, "elifino".  So, until I can think how to use the cones with bundles of cords and no loops, I will use these pinchy ends.  So, Here is my necklace.  Well, ok, it's up there^^^^.  :(

But, I made an almost skinner blend.  :D  I am skinner blendly challenged.  And I made a bead cage for the cab which I only had to cut apart once.  Pammie????  Are you proud?  :)

All in all, even though it's blue..what is it with me making blue things?  I am delirious.  Anyway, I like this necklace. Really.  My lrbc heads for the fridge.

6 comments:

LadySaotome said...

I have a book that gives pretty good pics & step-by-step on Kumihimo & other types of braids.

http://www.amazon.com/Braids-Patterns-Japan-Peru-Beyond/dp/1883010063/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277762910&sr=1-12

Maybe something like that would help?

LadySaotome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathi said...

Poor Ipo. I think you done did good with not having someone there to walk you through it.

Now...I have an idea on how to use cones. take your thin wire and wrap the end of the cord. don't make it too big of a wrap and then slip it in the cone with the end if the wwire coming out the hole in the cone. Then make your wire loop :D

MoeArt said...

Hey thanks, Lady! I will check this out. I have been wanting to make an Amazon order. :D I appreciate you sending me this. :D

MoeArt said...

Did you ever wonder how I got through the first 58 years of life without you? I wonder often. :D xoxoxoxoxo, Ipo!

Melobeau said...

Moe, You prevailed. You did good! You made something beautiful. BRAVA.

Ever think how boring our lives would be if we didn't take everything so literally and could understand how to follow directions....well maybe not the ones in Japanese.

Hugs!