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Kumihimo Study Group on Facebook

From the myriad Facebook groups focusing on Kumihimo comes one that I am particularly enjoying. The group to which I refer is Beaded Kumihimo The Next Step. In January, the administrators announced that they would organize a study group that would focus on Beth Kemp’s book Twist, Turn, & Tie. An array of other books was listed as reference material and I bought just about all of them. When you own a bead store that specializes in Kumihimo, you need all the reference material you can get your hands on, even if written in Japanese.

We had a month to prepare. When I saw we were given time like this, I knew I had some very good teachers about to proceed with this study group. I ordered Beth’s book, and I had it in time to start with the group. There were lists of projects with their due date handed out, and we were given enough time to plan our projects, read the instructions, get help in the group, and pick our colors. The level of difficulty of the project increased as the months go by.
kumihimo figure 1
Fig. 1
kumihimo figure 2
Fig. 2
kumihimo figure 3
Fig. 3
kumihimo figure 4
Fig. 4
Even though I knew how to do the simplest braids with which we started, I did them anyway. Part of the learning experience is to join and bond with the group, and I wasn’t going to miss that! For my first project, I did and eight strand Kumihimo braid with eyelash yarn, my first attempt using the eyelash yarn. I didn’t like the bracelet at first, but eventually I started to get use to the way it looked (Figure 1).

Fig. 2
The second project I did twice because I really disliked the first braid that I did. This braid was all fabric and I like to have at least a few beads in my work. Even adding a 14 karat gold pin to it did not make me like it any better (Figure 2). This braid was called "Frou Frou" by Beth, and it’s just not for me.

Fig. 3
I thought maybe if I use the yarn that I like best I could make something that I would wear if I convinced myself it was a scarf (Figure 3). But no, I didn’t like that one either. It just goes to show you can’t like them all.

Fig. 4
The third project I did on a marudai (Figure 4). I was really pleased with the way this piece evolved, and I got more practice on my new marudai that I bought from BraidersHand.com. This tool is a work of art, and it made such a difference in my braiding! I am sure the necklace was better done on the marudai rather than using a foam disk.

Next time, I will show more of the work I am doing in this group. It is not too late to join the group and get started with this course of study. New students are joining even now, and getting caught up with the group can be easily done. I am learning so much about the different fibers and they make a difference in the results. I know plenty about beads, but I have much to learn about the fibers. With so many choices, making a distinctive piece of jewelry is very easy. I welcome you to join this Facebook group Beaded Kumihimo-The Next Step.
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