Life & Light Kumihimo

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
1 Comment 

My husband gifted me with an enameled silver cross with the greek letters for Life and Light entwined. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)


I wanted a special chain. The Kumihimo neck piece is single stands of turquoise and lime embroidery threads entwined with metallic “silver” embroidery thread. The black thread provides definition. I “capped” the ends with sterling silver caps and and silver findings.

Tropical Twister


Crazy Week … Make that Month

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Kumihimo , Socks , Spinning , Techniques 
No Comments 

I’ve accepted a teaching job for the month, teaching two sections of Psychology 101 AND 6 family members will be arriving from out-of-state Saturday to celebrate “spring break” with us. All this in additon to writing two grants due April 20 and maintaining my private practice. My world is insane and I fear that it will be the blog that suffers. Please suffer me infrequent entries until me life settles down. My stress reliever, clearly my fiber projects. I spun a bobbin of wool and nylon sock yarn last Saturday at Fiber Space. My plan is to spin another bobbin and dye the finished yarn “blog blue” and boganvia pink. My backstap loom is ordered and waiting for it’s arrival. I’m still playing with my paddle loom and during breaks at school, I braid silk on my kumihimo loom.

I’ve become a distributor for the Thread Gatherer, hand dyed silk threads & ribbons….more on that later. They have the most amazing color combination. More on that later; I’ll be adding thread to my etsy site.

Have to run…
Tropical Twister


Silk Kumihimo Braid

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
[2] Comments 

This is my first silk kumihimo braid. It’s a simple 8 stand spiral with hand painted silk stand alternating with hand dyed black silk.

(Click on photos for larger image.)

Tropical Twister


Kumihimo Pattern on Maurdai

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
[6] Comments 

See the under $15 Marudai in action below:

I liked the kum-loom but I was frustrated by the slow speed. Using a Maurdai allows me to move two strings at once. The action is different from the rotating kumi-loom. Instead of moving in a circular manner, the loom remains in the same orientation to the braider. I wanted to learn the Maudai action before I became too habituated to the kumi-loom. Movement was slow at first but picked up. The movement is repetitive so I expect it will get faster and faster. At first it’s a bit like patting your head while rubbing your stomach (LOL).

HERE is an example of someone making a simple braid on a Maurdai.

This is my first attempt. (This is a different pattern that the one demonstrated above.) The braid is only two colors and eight strands. I am trying to keep it simple The braid produced is a flat alternating diagonal pattern. (After I stopped for the night, I used the clip to mark the front of the Maurdai so I wouldn’t loose my place when I went to start again.) I move the right and left hands at the same time (like in the video). Indicated by R & L in the pattern. The numbers represent the positions on the loom. This same pattern could easily be worked on the kumi-loom.

The braiding process needs weight. I used a small quarter ounce fishing weight inside each EZ bobbin. I clipped the braid with a large clip to weight the braid. I had to play with the weight on the braid a bit to get the right tension. (While I was braiding the braid was down inside the Maurdai. I took it out to photograph.)

See the pattern below:


CHEAP Marudai for Kumihimo

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
[9] Comments 

Here is how to build an inexpensive, as in cheap, Marudai for Kumihimo that you can build with no woodworking skills and easily obtainable materials. I’d been wanting to try a Marudai but didn’t want to spend one to two hundred dollars on one until I was sure this wasn’t one more hobby I’d cast aside. I saw a lovely Marudai HERE but it required a marble topped side table from a yard sale which I haven’t happened to run across. I’d also considered putting a hole in a bar stool and may still make one of these but it’s really heavy and not reall portable for this back. So, my solution …

I took the plastic ring used as a ceiling decoration above a fan and a waste basket. The ceiling ring is from Lowe’s ($6.63) and the waste basket is from WalMart ($5.16).

I cut the top off the small plastic waste basket and mounted the ring.

You can see that the top of the waste basket was cut off in such a way as to leave the rim. The rim was glued to the underside of the ring. The Maurdai has it’s draw backs. You have to remove the top to adjust the center weight and to examine the braid. It also has it’s advantages. It’s very light. It’s very portable and all my stuff can be toted easily within the Maurdai. The braid winds itself up within the waste basket so it doesn’t get dirty even if I take it outside. In subsequent postings I will demonstrate the setup and will demonstrate how to create various Kumihimo patterns on the Maurdai.

Tropical Twister


More Kumihimo Braids

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Kumihimo , Projects , Socks , Techniques 
[4] Comments 

It’s chilly (for Florida. . . in the 50’s), strawberries are blooming, brocolli is coming to a head, Lacy is enjoying the yard, my feet are toasty in my seaweed socks, and I’m still playing with Kumihimo braids… Life is Good! Thank you God.

Tropical Twister


Kumihimo Braids

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
[3] Comments 

I’ve continued to play around with the “Kumi Loom” I purchased from Primitive Originals.

The first braid I made was three color black, teal and metalic. The second, linen in spring colors of apricot, sage, taupe, cornflower blue, and maise metalic.

I played around a bit with the blue necklace. I scattered a few beads at one point and put on a clasp from the discontinued bin at Michhaels. All and all, I’m pleased with my self. Enough so that I’ll try it with homespun.

Tropical Twister


Kumihimo Braiding

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Kumihimo 
No Comments 

I started doing my own Kumihimo Braiding. See demo HERE.
It’s fun and it’s fast! (You’ll notice Lacy wandered in to see what I was doing…did it include food? …see her foot in the video – – – I’m real high tech. LOL)

Tropical Twister


Fiber Space

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , FIBER SPACE , Kumihimo , Spinning , Techniques 
No Comments 

We met for the last time this year for Fiber Space. Again, a mix of projects. Vicky was working on a “tree skirt” she plans to gift to her daughter, beautiful net over gold satin; I was spinning wool/silk/seaweed for socks on my new Mason Wheel; I created the roving “buns” on the Louet Jr Carder before I got to Fiber Space; I had given Jennifer homespun which she transformed into Kumihimo braides which I displayed over the roving; and Jennifer was working on a cross stitch project, a Nut Cracker (yes, no beads BUT she intends to scatter some beads in the background). Fun to take some time for ourselves during this Christmas season.

(Click on photos for larger images.)

Tropical Twister


Kumihimo Braiding (Japanese Braiding)

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Hand Spun Yarn , Kumihimo 
1 Comment 

I gave a fellow crafter some home spun to experiment with Kumihimo Braiding. The photos are three braids she created from Merino & Silk turquoise and green homespun.

For more information you can contact Jennifer Wiles at or visit her web site at She is an amazing bead artist.

Tropical Twister