Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday Techniques

This past week I heard of the Japanese art of Kumihimo. I no longer remember where I heard of it, but when I Googled it, I found a website called Primitive Originals that sells every type of tool for this craft that you might need, including the portable Kumi Loom (tm) which is much preferable for me to the large wooden marudai would be.

While it's a beautiful piece of equipment, it would take up way to much room in my tiny abode. Besides, I've been looking for something that is relaxing and portable, like knitting and this fits the bill. The learning curve was a lot less steep than that of knitting (at least for me) and the end result is something I can use in my jewelry making. Plus it allows me to indulge my nearly unhealthy addiction to embroidery floss.

This is the Kumi Loom kit I bought. It really does have everything you need to get started and the book is well written and very helpful. I didn't read it all the way through, but every time I needed guidance the info I needed was easy to find.

Here's the first piece I made with my Kumi Loom and the practice yarn that comes with the kit. Not something I'd use for a jewelry project, obviously, but it's definitely a fun, easy technique with plenty of room for variations and creativity. I've already incorporated the technique into my jewelry, making a necklace cord for this week's Thursday Sweet Treat piece. I'm very happy with the results, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I've done with my new toy.

If you're interested in trying Kumihimo, I highly recommend the Kumi Loom and the starter kit available at Primitive Originals. As you can see from the photo of the loom, the quick start instructions are printed right on the back of the loom. That was all I read before starting my yarn practice piece and it came out wonderfully. The foam loom is sturdy and holds the fibers firmly but gently. I have not used any other type of portable Kumihimo device, but the plastic ones I've seen online don't seem as comfortable to use. The bobbins that come with the kit (or are sold separately) are ingenious as well. Two simple pieces of plastic hold the fiber to keep it from tangling and only require a little extra tension to release more length as you work. And they make a lovely windchime-y sound as the bump against each other while you work. I think I'm going to become some sort of Kumihimo addict!

Have a great day!


  1. so cool... thank you for sharing. I cant wait to see Thursdays Sweet Treat :)

  2. Oh, I'm so happy with it, glass! I can't wait to share it!