Saturday, March 30, 2013

Kumihimo - Part 2 - By Sue (Flamin'Eck)

Kumihimo blog week 2

It has taken me a while to get my head around the instructions for the weights for the Maru Dai.  I had looked online for weighted bobbins (tama), but with little luck.  They are extremely expensive, and come in three different weights, so eventually, if all the weights were purchased it would be around or above £100, dependent on the finish, wood or acrylic.  Being a cheapskate I decided to go for homemade.  I am fortunate in having good friends, one of whom provided me with eight clear pots with a screw on lid.


I was going to use sand but this didn't quite work out; stainless steel shot was perfect!  It means I can change the weight according to need.  I drilled a hole in the tops of the pots and also another (for my sons diabetic testing strips), which I would use for the counterweight tied to the centre braid. Ah, how I love my trusty Dremel, just perfect for little tasks like this.  And there I was stopped dead by an evil invention aka 'the Slipping Hitch', which you can just see in the book in the second picture. Aaaaarrrrgh!  I tried to do this so many times and simply failed.  Repeatedly.

Thank goodness for my friend visiting.  Linda (of Earthshine beads) was staying overnight, and between us we puzzled out this dreadful and fiendish thing.  I'd given up on my glass bobbins by this point and we decided it was best to use the weights as bobbins themselves, it took a fair bit of time but we actually managed to attach a weavers knot to each and then the slipping hitch to set up the Maru Dai for weaving. My conclusion?  Buy the dratted things!

It is possible to weave like this and it would be fine for small and simple braids, but it's not the most comfortable bit of kit, tends to tangle, and I think it would be much faster to use the specifically designed tama.  It is, however, a great way of starting to braid on a Maru Dai, and will give me the opportunity to purchase the tama as and when I can afford them while still being able to make lovely braids. Again, the lovely Linda has come to my rescue and found a website which sells everything I could possibly need in the future The Carey Company.
Now to find which threads work the best .... I'll tell you all about that next time.

Written and illustrated by Sue of Flamin'Eck


  1. We had fun didn't we Sue! Glad to have been on hand to help. Great rightup x

  2. Looks fabulously interesting. Can't wait to see the finished braids.