ABOUT ME: And now here...

The Kumihimo Companion

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About Me

I became a kumihimo enthusiast rather late in life. I'm a retired Systems Analyst (aka
computer nerd) by training and a horsewoman by desire. I love making things with my
hands.

In 2007, I was window shopping in Jackson, Wyoming, and saw a horse hair bracelet.
As a long-time horsewoman with experience braiding manes and tails for hunter/jumper
competitions, I took a close look at it. It looked simple to make, and I thought it might
be a fun thing to try.

After I got home, I started looking for horse hair bracelets on the web, and found one
that intrigued me in its design. Further research led me to Victorian hair work, and
from there to kumihimo.

I bought a few books and scoured the web for information. I made a marudai from a
wooden plate attached to a plant stand, tama from craft store wooden spools, and
started experimenting. After a bit, I could make a horse hair braid similar to the one
that had intrigued me in the beginning.

Braiding on the marudai was fun! I wanted to try other patterns, so I began using pearl
cotton thread -- much easier stuff to deal with than horse hair. I was hooked! Next came
a real marudai, proper tama, more books, and a 2009 workshop with Makiko Tada to
learn to braid on the karakumidai, and to experience braiding with traditional fiber on
the marudai.

Then came warping pegs and lots of 40W rayon machine embroidery thread. By then I
had Makiko Tada's "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids I: Marudai Braids," and thought
it would be nice to make a sample of every braid in it.

An early 2010 braid swap and my fascination with the Kamogawa braid led to more
books and a kakudai. The next thing you know, I had to have a takadai and an
ayatakedai, and a fall 2010 Makiko Tada workshop to get proper introduction to them.

While I was waiting for my kakudai to arrive, my attention shifted back to the Victorian
hair work braids. I had made one particular 24-strand braid with horse hair that I thought
would look really nice if it were done with traditional fiber. I tried it, and I was right!
My copy of the Mark Campbell hair work book went with me on vacation, and I started
translating all the braids to modern marudai diagrams. Of course, the only way to make
sure I had translated them correctly was to make a sample of each one. So another project
was born.

Fellow kumihimo enthusiasts have encouraged me to publish some of the things I've
been doing. In this day and age, publishing on the web seems to be the way to go... I
hope you find this site useful.

Anita Clark
Summer, 2011


September 4, 2011


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