Analee Art
Paying it forward with joy and rapture!
Handworking Techniques
   Kumihimo is a Japanese braiding technique.  Beginners can start with a 3" cardboard or foam disk with 32 slits around the edge. Strands of silk, perle cotton, metallic threads, and/or pearl cotton can be used to braid a wide variety of cords. The samples shown below were done with a seven strands of threads in the basic wheat braid. Shirley Berlin has disks and instruction books available at www.berlinbraids.come

   An easy beginner's technique, called Wheat Braiding, can be done with an octagon shaped disk.  You can make your own out of foam board, cereal box cardboard, or put  3 pieces of stichy back foam sheets together.  Cut a 3"  or 4" square and then cut off the corners to make an octagon. Cut a small slit in the center of each of the 8 sidesCut a 1/4" hole in the center. Measure off 7 strands of yarn or pearl cotton (size 3 or 5). Make the strands twice as long as your finished cord.  Tie all 7 strands together with an overhand knot and insert from the top, down into the hole.  Attach a heavy clip (a large metal magnet clip from Office Max works well) to the knot. This keeps tension on the cord as you braid.
   Now you are ready to braid.  Place one thread firmly in each of 7 sides of the disk. There will be one empty slit. Rotate the card so th empty slit is at 6:00 facing you. Take the thread at 1:00 and lift it up and over two threads and place it  in the 6:00 slot. Rotate the disk so the empty slot is at 6:00 and repeat until your braid is complete. (When you see the pattern it is: *braid over 2 threads, skip 1 thread* repeat.
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