Sunday, September 23, 2007

Marudai Mania

I am so excited (I guess it really does not take much!). I finally found a Marudai that I could afford ! I found it on Ebay. Made by a nice man from Canada whose wife is a fiber artist. It's beautifully made and is a wonderful value. If you have an interest in getting one I can see if he would like me to send you his email address. Last Fall I bought one of the Kumihimo Disk sets at Festival in Houston. It was a splurge for me as I got both the round (marudai) disk that makes round braids and the square(kakudai) disk that makes flat braids - along with a book by Helen Deighan. I was not sure how - or even if- I would really use it, but it looked interesting.

Over the last year I have used it more and more and have become fascinated with the process - and how using different colors,textures, & weights of yarn and ribbon work together. I decided that I really wanted to try "the real thing". Problem was that they are very pricey little items and I just could not afford $200. for the one I wanted.

Today I tried my marudai for the first time! Thus far I have found that, indeed, it is a bit easier & faster than using the soft foam disk. Catching the yarns, threads and ribbons in the little catches on the disk (required to maintain tension) tended to slow me down. The "real thing" is tensioned by a small bag (or in my case large lamp worked beads) in the middle for counter weight and the threads are wound around weighted bobbins - and you just move the threads into position & the weights in the bobbins maintains the tension for you.

I ordered one book on braiding by Jacqui Carey - but it has not arrived yet - so I am sort of operating "in the blind". Trying to figure it out as I go along. I know I have a lot to learn! Now I see that I will need more books. Another wonderful adventure in learning ! I love trying something new !

The disk is a great "take along" tool and well worth getting to try. Joggles sells a great little tool as well called the Diva cordmaker - it's another great option.
The photo above is the top of the marudai. The photo below is of a bobbin wound with a bumpy beautiful yarn.
Below is the beginning of my first "official" braid - I used very textured yarns in a variety of weights to see how they would work together with the bobbins (the answer is they work well !)

Below is the original Kumihimo disk I got in Houston - it's still a great, portable tool to have and I have never regretted purchasing it !~

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