A couple of weeks ago, I went along to the Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne. I went on a bit of a shopping spree, but I also took the opportunity to go along to a class on Japanese braiding, run by Trish of TrishAlan Designs.

I'd never even heard of Japanese braiding (known as kumihimo) before doing the class. It's a bit like friendship bracelet making - which I never got the hang of in my school years - but there is a lot more variety to it. There are many different ways of making the braids, using different patterns, colours and threads. You can use the braids to make cords for jewellery, bag straps, cushion piping, Chinese knotting, headbands, and *ooh* all kinds of pretty things!

Here's a pic of my first attempt at making round braids (two different types) using a kumihimo disk.

Kumihimo first efforts (2010)

They look pretty simple, but they are really robust. And I can see a lot of potential for experimentation with different media.

Since I enjoyed my first taste of kumihimo, I went ahead and bought myself some supplies to get started. As well as a round disk, I got a square board too, for making flat braids. I also got some bobbins for helping to keep the threads organised.

Kumihimo supplies (2010)

I like the portability of kumihimo - it's easy to pick up and take with you anywhere. So hopefully it shouldn't be too hard to find the time and opportunity to play around with this interesting craft. I'll post some photos of completed projects in the not-too-distant future :)