Friday, March 23, 2012

Kumihimo Braids - Seven Strand Braid

kumihimo beads

This is a great introductory braid. You can make your own disk by cutting a circle out of cardboard or craft foam. For this braid, you will need 8 slits cut around the edge of the disk (evenly spaced) and seven strands of yarn cut to your desired length. Also cut a hole in the center of the disk (shaded area shown at right.) For fun, experiment with using different color & texture yarns.

Tie an overhand knot in one end of the strands and place it through the hole in the center of the disk.

NOTE: If you want to make a bracelet, use three long strands folded in half plus one strand (half the length of the others) to make your seven strands. Fold them in half before tying the overhand knot so that it forms a loop that can be used as a clasp.

Place one strand in each of the slits (1-7), leaving slit 8 open. Hold the card with the empty slit towards you. (You don’t need to keep track of the slit numbers, I just wrote them here to help with the initial set-up.)

From the empty slit, count three slits to the right. Take that strand and move it to the empty slot. Repeat this process until the braid is to desired length. It helps if you turn the card so that the new empty slit faces you after each strand movement. [For a numeric description, if the empty slit is #5, count three to the right and take the strand from slit #2 and place it in slit #5.]

To finish off the braid, do one of the following:
• Tie a knot
• Divide the tails in half and braid each half with a regular three-strand-type braid and tie off.
• Divide the tails into two sets of two and make cordage with each set and tie off.

With either of these last methods, you can tie your two ends through the loop to make a closure
for a bracelet or necklace.

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