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Moving From Disc To Dai

October 12th, 2014 at 07:02 am » Comments (0)

Braid thinking out loud – there is a conversation in Kumihimo Beaded Braids that reminded me of a tip of sorts I had been meaning to share.

Although I do not have a smart phone, I do have an OLD Video Camera that I use exclusively to develop instructions and to determine where my execution of instructions is going horribly wrong.

Most recently I applied that to introductory Kumihimo Braids and more specfically what could be done to help those who want to move from disc to dai.

It has long seemed to me that the biggest & easiest issue to lose site of in the transition is so many do not understand that they are different. While I know some agree, it may well be we under estimate how long it is going to take for our frontal lobe to be convinced and as a result our progress and certainly our speed of execution is hindered.

So how to “fix” this. Flying in the face of conventional wisdom – creating a new Paradigm – and likely severely annoying a certain segment with the bead & braid world since it will mean rethinking and perhaps rewriting instructions – not to mention all those you tubes and free tutorials that (at least in my never humble opinion) hinder the growth of the braiders knowledge and skills.

For some time, my mantras were altered to start with “on this disc” and “on this dai” – AND I really needed to find out why I seemed to be having so much difficulty reacquiring the needed muscle memory as well as why I seemed to be losing it between projects.

In a effort to more objectively evaluate where I am going wrong, I used the video camera to see what I was doing and find the errors of my ways. The BFOO (blinding flash of obvious) there is no reason why a disc must be used with only one hand and in fact that is a detriment to the student to insist they should

It seems such a simple answer, using two hands regardless of the tool – disc or dai. Why not teach – to quote a wonderful Quaker lady a bit out of context – to start as we mean to go on. I have always found the reliance on numbers (and the tedious lines of instructions that creates) a hinderance. In braiding it is and should be about the movement and flow, not about moving eyes from page to disc to find the numbers.

I suppose this “thought” has been brewing for sometime and might just be why I “Suddenly” needed to work the introductory braids in Art of Kumihimo on a disc. A project that went more quickly because of using two hands as I would to have followed the information on a Marudai and when I then moved over to the marudai – was back up to speed within one full sequence of moves, instead of several inches of braid.

Further the self critique reminded me one of the reasons I like to braid is the use of two hands. now I deliberately use both hands prefer to use two hands with the disc is because when analyzing my own technique that there was a definite correlation between which tool I have been using more heavily and how long it took to get back the skill level previously enjoyed.

As always, since I already know what I think, I hope you will share you thoughts with me.

Now I need some guinea pigs to test my theory – hoping my braider friends will give it a try and let me know if it helps their transition from disc to dai.

Marudai Dreams Can Come True

August 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm » Comments (2)

FiberArtistSupply.com Ultimate Marudai Kit In case you missed hearing about my present of the year, well maybe 2 years – this is about the FiberArtistSupply.com Deluxe Marudai kit –

Apologies in advance for gushing more than a little. Wheat (me) is an especially happy customer of FiberArtistSupply after recently receiving my “dream” Kumihimo equipment.

Tim Hale and his company, FiberArtistSupply have been supplying affordable quality tools to the yarn community since about 2007 – when I saw the photos of Tim and his family on Facebook, I was surprised that he is such a young guy – great news for the yarn users of the universe.

Since 2008 I have acquired more than a few of Tim’s Tools. Now, I am grateful that about the same time I decided it was time to follow the tradition of commissioning a marudai to meet my personal needs, Tim was just about ready to embark on a “redesign” of his Marudai and gave me the the opportunity to be among those providing input into the redesign.

I love traditional fiber as much as the quite recent practice of adding beads and other inclusion into the braid. (and, yes, have always know that what I was doing was braiding, but not exactly Kumhimio) My biggest wish was for a larger than usual center opening for the mirror than is now standard for Tim’s Tall Deluxe Marudai. My “kit” included both weights of tama – a minimum of 16 each and both sets of legs.

The 9.75 inch diameter mirror is excellent for my preferred 8-16 tama projects and adequate for the occasional mad foray into 24 tama braids. My goal is to eventually add another 8 as I use them as both tama and counterweight.

One of the issues with the taller “American” style of Marudai is that the traditional friction fit for the legs to allow easy set up and take down gets a bit wonky and wobbly. Add in the sometimes less than perfectly controlled movements for someone regaining muscle use and memory and Tim’s new screw in legs are a personal Godsend.

A compromise was needed related to the finishing. As a young woodworker Tim has some strong feelings about finishing. After listening – I had to agree that if the result was a more appropriate finish there was no reason not to take advantage of the kinds of finishes available today for the Marudai mirror.

So, after months of “engineer meets artisan” that included lots of me explaining WHY that detail was important in terms that would appeal to his sense of engineering and my desire for a reasonably traditional work and his educating me the nuances of creating a design for hand crafted production it finally arrived (early July) – I have been braiding happily away on samples for a future book “to test” the limits of my new toy and am not the only one amazed and amuzed to find nothing I would change or wish was different.

I am not sure if Tim will consider working on a custom project anytime soon (and I take full responsibility and hold him blameless) but am very pleased with the outcome of this one.

The only thing left on my braiding “I want” list are larger capacity bobbins and rumor has it Tim will be solving that problem for all very soon – well that and more time to braid and bead and weave, and most important of all ….

Enjoy The Making


Oh, almost forgot – for ordering, pricing and availablity, visit FiberArtistSupply.com and check out the Kumihimo tools. Web Links Open In New Windows:
Kumihimo Tools at FiberArtistSupply
E Mail FiberArtSupply
Telephone: 847-530-0816
Email FiberArtistSupply

CC: Kumihimo Marudai Resource Links

CC: AllJustString.com Forum
FB: ItsAllJustString.com

AllJustString.com – Forum For Fiber Folks

January 1st, 2014 at 08:45 am » Comments (1)

click to visit

Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point.

We are finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.

It is also a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,

Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.

It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.

At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.

Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.

I hope you will join us and bring along some friends to show and share our love of our crafts and our fiber artistic adventures (remember, beads are lumps string so they count too)

Always Take Time To Enjoy The Making
Wheat Carr, founder
The Forum for Fiber Folk:

Forum: http://alljuststring.invisionzone.com/
Shop: http://www.ItsAllJustString.com
Like: http://www.FaceBook.com/ItsAllJustString

click to visit

Kumihimo – Basic and Beyond – Rebecca Combs

October 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am » Comments (1)

Received a review copy of the new book by Rebecca Combs – Kumihimo Basics and Beyond yesterday.

From a “Braider First” perspective”

Very mixed feelings, on the one hand I like that the author has apparently worked very hard to be accurate and use more traditional terminology.

Ms Combs did supply some “kumihimo math” – but one has to remember that is only going to apply to these braids. For those who preferred to have more detailed materials lists, each braid does have a well done supply list for each pattern supplied in the book.

There is great eye candy, and while I do not really object to “heavily beaded braids” it was disappointing to have it all be “only” 8 element Kongo except for one 16 element project.

There were some other small details, but it did a bit better than most of the books and pattern presently offered in providing some finishing information.

With an SRP of $21.99 US, but already showing up discounted on Amazon, this will be one we likely not choose to stock. but will order if a customer really wants it at the price we can afford to sell.

From the Bead Jewelry Maker Perspective:
with thanks to Carolyn for sharing her view –
Caroyln wrote: “I also got a review copy of this book, thanks to my local bead shop’s partnership with Kalmbach and my status as resident kumihimo instructor. I found that the book is really geared to a beading audience, someone who is looking to expand their variety of jewelry making techniques as opposed to someone who is looking to start in the discipline of braiding. That being said, for that audience this may be the only book they will ever need, and is a starting point for those wishing to go truly beyond.

All the braids in the book are round braid/kongo gumi, so once you have the basics of that braid down you can complete any project in the book. There is a lot of good advice on making braids, and this may be the only book that shows you what common braiding mistakes look like so you can see how to correct them. It’s an excellent first braiding book for those interested in the disk. The only things I don’t like about the book is that she ends every braid by gluing it into a bead cap or cone, and the author doesn’t use a counterweight unless she’s also using beads. ”

We seem (Wheat & Carolyn) agree, tThis would not be a book for someone already comfortable with basics of beading and braiding and ready to grow their skills for more diverse pieces.

However for someone wanting an low cost entry level to the most basic of beaded braiding, it might be okay as it is already being offered at less than I can obtain it thru my distributor, so we will be referring folks to Amazon where possible

Me, I am saving my personal money for the upcoming Jacqui Carey book due in January. In fact, already on order with our distributor.


Russ Olliver Kumihimo Rope Build

October 27th, 2013 at 05:07 am » Comments (1)

uss Olliver  Rope Build -01

Russ Oliver read an article in Crossfit Journal showing how to braid your own climbing rope and thought it was a great idea. Then he thought about what it would be like trying to manage 8 thirty foot lengths of rope. Russ made a few string bracelets back it the day ….

This article was shared in several Kumihimo groups. The link seems to have originated from a climbing forum. Because Wheat did not want it to “disappear”, we are sharing it here – with permission recently (Oct 2013) received from Russ Olliver. We are pleased to share it with you.

To see the complete article, visit our resources pages at:

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