"Kyou Kara Gumi" Braid

Here's the braid I did on Sunday in the workshop led by Rodrick Owen. It's a 24-tama braid, with each tama holding a doubled-strand of cotton embroidery floss.

Kyou Kara Gumi, in cotton

This braid is from Makiko Tada's book, "Kumihimo: The Essence of Japanese Braiding", where it's on page 36. I don't own 24 matching tama, so I had to borrow some from the Tracy, the owner of the store where the wokshop was held, The Lacemaker. This braid basically took me all day. It only has a few minor errors in it.

Each full iteration of the braid has 68 individual steps, though some of those are repeast of earlier steps. I tried to use embroidery floss that was nearly the same color as the illustration, but my selection was limited. I'm sure with some more carefully-chosen colors it would not be as garish.

This pattern has a great 3D texture, and an interesting color pattern. It uses a lot of material, though. I started with more than a yard of floss on each bobbin, but the finished braid is only about 18 inches long!

I finished the braid off by pairing up the colors and making smaller 4-tama braids with them. This is challenging, since you're trying to work six individual braids on top of each other. It's a lot fancier than just gathering all the threads into a single tassel, though.

2010.05.05 at 12:00am EDT