Am I unfaithful?

This week has been one of those which I thought was going to be fairly quiet but actually turned out to be quite busy. Good busy that is. I have found a new obsession. Kumihimo. Kimihimo is a Japanese art that is used to make silk bands that they tie around their tunics. It is very similar to friendship bracelets if you have ever tried that. I made this one that has beads added in as an extra:

braceletWhen I saw the examples I have to say that I thought it looked as if it was going to be very complicated. Happily I was wrong. It honestly is not that complicated (I learnt in a couple of hours) and I have already plans for many more to be made. One of the reasons that I like it is because most of the jewellery that I have been making so far is not portable like knitting and crochet. This however is. Once you have the beads threaded on then you are able to get on with it, wherever you like. It is also fairly quick. I do have one dilemma with it: it is very similar to the beaded crochet ropes that I have made in the past. I love making these a lot but feel as if I am being somewhat unfaithful to the crochet.


A beaded crochet rope.

Kumihimo beaded bracelet.

Kumihimo beaded bracelet.

I think that you will agree that the first and last pictures are almost identical in structure. So where does  that leave me? Should I stay true to beaded crochet or allow myself to go with kumihimo?

To help me (or you) to decide I have done a comparison between the two:

Kumihimo                                                                                                                                                                    Beaded Crochet Ropes

You have to decide on the length of thread to cut before you start.                                            Is done on one length of thread so you work from the reel.

You can move beads around when you have started.                                                                     You have to get it right from the start. No re-beading is possible

Fairly portable.                                                                                                                                          Very portable

Less fine work involved – you move the threads with your hands                                              You have to pick up small loops with a fine crochet hook

I suspect this is quicker than beaded crochet ropes

So what do you think? Maybe I should just go with whatever takes my fancy at the time and I am making a big deal out of nothing?

As always, on a Sunday, I am about to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the other talented blogs. Do come and have a look too 🙂

I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my dilemma 🙂

55 thoughts on “Am I unfaithful?

  1. mariamadeit

    I like it too for it’s easy to do with kids ability! I have the bobbins to keep the threads with beads on, it does look similar to the crochet though, is the crochet quicker? I don’t sell kumihimo as the time makes them too expensive, but would crochet work?

  2. Ginny

    Oh I really don’t know, as both sound really tricky. But I guess it is good if you have a new technique, and I expect if you use both for a while you will naturally fall to the one that suit you best.

  3. Gertie

    Mmmm tough choice.

    Are you planning to do a lot of beading on the move? If the answer’s yes then maybe Kumihimo is best. That said, my friend makes beaded rope jewellery and she takes it everywhere with her xx

  4. Cat

    Always go with the flow. You never know if you’ll give up on one of them for a while and then decide to come back to it.
    My knitting spools for example are having an extended vacation 😉

  5. Wendy

    It sounds like you enjoy both – so do you need to pick one? Can you do both? (I think variety can be a good thing in crafting).

  6. Natalie

    I think it’s always a good thing to learn a new skill and it’s part of “growing” as a crafter to discover new techniques you love! The green of the first piece is beautiful x

  7. e1aine

    I say be unfaithful to both (I hope my husband doesn’t read this!). Variety is the spice of life and you are lucky that you CAN do both, so why not. If I had to choose I like the crochet best (but maybe because it is something I’ve never done), I think it is really effective.

    Best stay faithful with other stuff though, I wouldn’t want to corrupt you.

  8. Catherine

    They’re gorgeous and I’m with the variety team – the only faithful to worry about is being faithful to yourself, if it feels good – do it. Cx

  9. Diane Fryer

    ~I’ve been doing kumihimo on and off for a few yeears now, and by your comments about its portability, I presume you’re using te foam disks and not the traditional wooden marudai stands? LOL!

    The silk braiding was originally created to fasten the armour of samurai warriors, and the more intricare the design, te bestter quality of silk, and the longer lengths of kumihimo braiding was a status symbol.

    There are actually virtually endless designs of braids, with varying numbers of strands used, and you can even make square braids. Some of the more intricatee braids would require a marudai stand, but you can acquire square and oval foam disks as well as the more common square one.

    I’ve not yet actcually worked with beads, but have concentratted more on the pattern created by te braid, and using different thicknesses and textures of threads sich as embroidery threads and crochet cottons, and some combinations, and then hanging a lovely pendant made from shell or glass etc from the braid.

    In answer to your question about whether you are eing ‘unfaithful’ to knitting/crochet, I don’t think so at all! These rafts, once explored inmore depth, can all create very different and individual end results that the oters could not create! There are quite a few qood websites out there for kumihimo, there’s a yahoo group, and Jacqui Carey has written a number of books on the different braid patterns, including quite a bit for those of us non-traditionals who have stuck with the foam disks and not progressed to the marudai.

    My reasons for not having moved to using a marudai are purely because I’m not physically able to use one duue to illness and disability, but it can be a very addictive craft and most people leave the foam disks behind like childrens toys that have been outgrown! LOL!

    My suggestion is to try experimenting with pattern and texture rather that just beading, because, although beading kumihimo braids is one option, it is by far not its only one, and maybe that is what you’re getting stuck on, rather than appreciating the beautiful and elegant braiding itself.

    Besides, who’s to say you are only allowed to knit and crochet? I have worked on so many crafts throughout the years I have lost count! LOL! Buut I have enjoyed every single one of them! Some I try and move on from, others hang around and ~I keep going back to, and kumihimo is definitely one of them, but it definitel complements the jewellery making tyhat I also enjoy. Knitting and crochet will always be my mainstays though, to be honest!

    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      Thank you so much for this comment. I have already done a leather braid and have many plans for more thread only ones. I will get into patterns but need to get my head around it a bit first. Is there a link to your bracelets as I would love to see some?

      1. Diane Fryer

        I haven’t done any in a little while, and most of them I gave away as gifts. A couple of things I’d made for myself were borrowed and never returned, so I guess I should take rhat as a compliment! LOL!

        I’ve changed computers since I last photographed any of my craft creations and with me having been quite poorly, so have had a bit of a crafting hiatus, but I shall see if I can find some of the photos….if not, maybe it will give me some incentive to make some new items! LOL!

        By the way, I meant to say that when I first saw the bracelet you made with the clear/turquoise beads, I actually thought for a moment that the beads were water droplets! It’s looks almost exotically tropical, if that makes sense?

        And you are more than welcome for any encouragement or praise for work well crafted.

        Some time ago I decided to set up a blog and created the name and a brief bio, then my health took a bit of a nose-dive, and I never got any further with it. You were kind enough to leave me some very positive encouragement that has stayed with me, and despite the passage of time , and me being a completee technophobe, I have tried returning to the project , but my concentration periods are so short, it’s very slow.

        I just wanted you to know that you taking the time to comment and encourage me wasn’t wasted, even though very little has yet happened with my blog. Thank you. I am trying to work on it…Now where did I put those WordPress books??? LOL! 😉

        1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

          You must try to have another go – I would love to see some of your creations. I am sorry to hear about your illness. I really hope that you can get on track a bit very soon. I am programmed to share knowledge and help others. If you need any help I will be more than happy to help. I have a whole series on how to’s for WordPress that I am going to put into a menu for easy reference very soon. Blogging is amazing, the community is wonderful. Good luck – you know where I am if you have any questions. xx

  10. CatkinJane

    I’m no good at decisions, I spend most of what could be creative time trying to decide what to do!!
    So, if it were up to me, I’d duck out on the decision making and just make whatever I felt like on the day 🙂

    They both look great btw

  11. raphaele42

    I think it is great to be able to achieve the same design with two different techniques. This kind of connections is the sign of an adventurous crafter. And I think I agree with most commentsL their is no cheating in crafting, just use whatever technique you fancy most at one given moment.

  12. Lucy Blossom

    I would definitely say go with the flow – I work better when I make the thing that’s in my heart rather than things I feel I ought to do. And both styles are lovely.

  13. A Patchwork Life

    Well I think it’s brilliant you can do both! Think if it was me, once I’d got over the excitement of learning a new technique, I’d probably stick with the speediest option 🙂
    Your bracelets are gorgeous.

  14. Pingback: free kumihimo seed bead patterns, bracelets with magnetic clasps, braided teardrop necklace kit, needlepoint, kumihimo jewelry tutorials, ropes, earrings, kumihimo rope, cuff | Guide To Beadwork Blog

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