How to make an 8-strand Kumihimo


Materials
1.Yarn (string) in as many colors as you want
2.disk (buy a foam one or here's how to make a cardboard one.
a.cardboard
b.bowl (or round object like a cd or small plate)
c.pencil/pen/marker (something to trace bowl with)
d.scissors (cut string and cardboard)


Board

1.Trace the bowl (or round object) onto the cardboard.

2. Split the edges of the disk into 32 tabs.

3. On 4 of the tabs, put 4 dots in the cardinal directions of the disk (basically so they are all 90 degrees from each other). These dots act as starting markers. I added letters to mine to show the rotation of the disk, you don't have to.

4.Cut this circle out from the cardboard and cut the tabs to be about a quarter inch deep.

5. In the middle of the disk, make a circle about the size of a quarter (the closer to the center, the better) and cut that out too.

6.(optional) It may prove useful to cut the corners off your tabs so it's easier to get the string in without damaging it.


Cutting your string
(Mine will be done in two colors)

1.Decide what you're making (necklace, bracelet) and wrap that body part 3 times.

2. I make mine with loops and thick knots to interlock them, so I double the string and add an extra half inch to include the loop and knot.

3. After you have one string at the right length, cut 3 others. Meaning you will have 4 long strings if you are doing my knot-loop method, but if you have knowledge on how to use clasps and beading closures, you will need a total of 8 strings.

4.Tie all these into a knot (my method requires you to fold the strings then tie them in an overhand knot, leaving a moderate size loop, remembering you'll have to make a knot the same size. I suggest twisting the strings before knotting them so they make a neater loop that's easier to use later.)


NOW! Let's get to business!

1.You've got a knot in your strings; put that in the center hole.

2.While keeping the knot in the center hole, take the strings and put them so they are surrounding all the dots you made before. (Patterns change depending on where you place your strings, so as you keep trying them, try different colors and starting patterns, maybe even with more strings.)

3.Now we're ready to start the actual braiding.

a. Holding the board in your left hand on one of your string sets, take the bottom right string straight to the top and the top left straight to the bottom.


b. Turn the loom so clockwise, so that the part that was on the bottom is now in your left hand.

c. Repeat A and B until you have almost all the string braided. Periodically check to make sure your strings aren't getting tangled (if they are really long, I suggest wrapping them around separate cardboard rectangles with slits to hold the string on them). The braid itself will "grow" out under the board and might even start curling into a loose spiral.

4. Now that you're down to the last bits of string, tie them in single knots with the string it moves with (lower right and upper left).


5. Remeasure this around your body part (I'm making a bracelet, so around my wrist). If it's long enough, knot the ends in a tight over hand knot, then trim the ends. Too long? Make the knot where you need it then trim off the excess.

Congratulations! You've made your first Kumihimo!

Keep playing with colors, placements, and see if you can find some cool patterns out there!