The other week I was browsing Quilter Blogs.com when I came across a post with a picture of a beautiful bracelet like I'd never seen before. It was made from yarn in a Japanese braiding style called Kumihimo. I immediately searched the web to find out more. I found supplies, patterns and videos. It's so simple that you can start with what you have on hand if you want but I knew I wanted the disk made from thick fun foam. I searched around for it and found it at Jo Ann's in the kids' craft section as a lanyard maker. It was very reasonable priced with a 50% off coupon so it came home with me.
I finally broke it out one day last week when I was feeling rather slow brained and started on a basic braid. The kit came with flat plastic lace in ugly colors so I used some embroidery floss instead. I had my daughter pick out 4 colors, cut a 2 yard length of each and started on it. The instructions with the kit were very good and had a nice variety of options from the beginner braid to advanced. I chose the beginner option and cut the strands way too long. It took me forever to finish, because of it's thinness, but I ended up with a nice 18 inch long piece.
It was a really fun, portable, brainless craft that will keep your hands busy while waiting or watching TV. I need to get some jewelry findings to finish it off into a two strand bracelet. The only things missing from this kit were a weight, I kept a tight pull on it to keep everything taut, and bobbins to wind the excess on to keep the thread from tangling, embroidery floss bobbins would work or cut your own. I thought this craft would be perfect for my son so I bought some thin yarn in a box of several skeins and taught him how to do it this weekend. He started with a small piece to get the hang of it and made a key fob.
Now, he's making a collar for his cat. He doesn't like working with his hands much but this craft didn't take much manual dexterity so he found it not as frustrating as other things we've tried. I gave him this wheel and now I have to get another for myself. There are so many cool patterns that I want to try a few. My daughter wants some thick ones for the ties on some hats she's sewing. Maybe I'll couch them onto a quilt.