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Twist, Turn and Tie
50 Japanese Braids
Beth Kemp

Search Press
15 February 2014/ ISBN 9781782210184
How-To Books/Yarncraft

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Kumihimo is a great way of making braids of all kinds, from bases for beautiful jewelery to decorating garments. Previously this was all done on an item called a marudai, but now it can be done in the hand using a simple disk.

One of these disks is stored in a handy pocket on the back cover, but you can buy plastic ones too. This book is a great introduction to the craft, and tells you what to buy, how to get started and useful things such as calculating how much thread to buy. Most of the book is taken up with patterns, and these are all made up into jewelery. You can first learn how to begin, and then off you go with fifty lovely pieces. Choose from necklaces of various lengths to bracelets, a bag pull and a bookmark. Each pattern features a page-sized photo of the finished item, while opposite there are instructions, a diagram of how the threads look on the disk when starting, materials and useful tips. These include Be A Better Braider and references to where you can find out how to finish off and the type of braid used. Most use a round disk like the one supplied, others use a square type. The author is Australian and uses materials found there; those living in other countries must source their own which will not be the same. This aside, I found this to be a good straightforward guide to the most modern way to use this ancient braiding technique with some beautiful pieces to make and wear.

If you cannot find a good range of watercolor materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2014