Kumihimo: Braiding Practice on the Karakumidai II
May 1, 2016
Reasonably comfortable with my competence regarding the required hand-movements, I upgraded from 8-ply acrylic yarn to pearl cotton 5. The dimensions of this sample are the same as the previous ones: for each bobbin, 2 metres of thread, folded in half and attached via a cow-hitch or strangle knot or half-hitch to a plastic curtain ring.
This is a “5-element diamond” design; by that, I mean that the colours at the curtain ring, from left to right, are two lots of five pairs of threads, or set up (from left to right) Grey-Yellow- Pink-Purple-White-Black-Black-White-Purple-Pink-Yellow-Grey. This is repeated twice for a Double Diamond braid: Diamond 1 ([GYPiPuWB][BWPuPiYG])+Diamond 2 ([GYPiPuWB][BWPuPiYG]).
Why do I mention 5 in the sequence of colours? I mention it because if there are six colours, it’s possible to work small and large diamonds, mixing up the regularity of the full diamonds so their colours intermingle. Later down the track, I’ll work up a sample of “6 element diamonds” to show what I mean.
For the moment, though, this sample was devoted to trying to memorise the hand-movements and to acclimatise myself to the tensioning required in using pearl cotton 5.
What became increasingly obvious during the braid was how to deal efficiently with what I call “boundary threads”, that particular colour which runs around all the diamonds but is never part of the ‘worker’ pairs producing the diamonds and half-diamonds. In this sample, the ‘boundary threads’ are grey.
The colour scheme is not my own – it comes from watching the Youtube video featuring UK braider Marjie.
My next sample progresses from Double Diamonds to Triple Diamonds, requiring me to source additional EzyBob plastic bobbins from the current 48.
This sample is 3cm or 7/8″ wide and 35.5cm/14″ long (braided), finishing in 4cm/1.5″ of twelve four-element braids, acting as a fringe, done while the bobbins are still on the threads and strung over the four sides of the braiding stand.