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Quiet days

Perle cotton flat braid

Perle cotton flat braid

It’s been very quiet around here since we euthanized Mac. Aneira finally knows what happened, primarily because the humane society called me the next afternoon to tell me they hadn’t euthanized him yet. They needed me to come down and fill out forms about rabies testing, and Aneira walked in during that conversation. So he was actually euthanized on the 14th, not the 13th, as we’d been told.

10 strand satin cord bracelet

10 strand satin cord bracelet

So, to spend time with Aneira that didn’t involve talking about Mac and making her cry, we pulled out the kumihimo supplies again, because it’s something she knows how to do and using the disks are pretty easy for a kid. It didn’t last long, as her attention span for things like this is very short, but I’ve kept going.

The first braid I did was an 8 strand flat braid, for which I used DMC perle cotton skeins and did on the marudai. I used the cotton the way silk is generally used, so each of the eight ropes contain 20 threads each. What I didn’t account for is the fact that perle cotton is considerably thicker than silk, so take-up was increased, which reduced the length of the braid significantly. Like, really significantly. As in, what started out to be a belt-length piece is now only a belt for an infant. It’s about 18″ long, and 1/4″ thick. So I now know to reduce the number of strands per rope by quite a bit. More than half, I’d say.

Four strand satin cord square braid

Four strand satin cord square braid

As I finished that braid, my order of satin cord, or rattail, came in. I’d found this store online, BB Crafts, that sells 100 yard spools of satin cord for $1.85 per spool. That’s a whole lot cheaper than I’ve found it anywhere else, so I bought eight spools in different colors, and did the next braid in satin cord.

For that one, I wanted a bracelet, and since the only thread I currently have for whipping the ends together is black, I went with black cord, and a ten strand flat braid pattern. That one has a couple of mistakes too. For one thing, it’s a bit larger than I had planned, and I haven’t even bought findings for it yet. For another, on one side the whipping is visible beneath the ribbon clamp. Oops. Better luck next time.

Four strand braid. You can see how thin it is.

Four strand braid. You can see how thin it is.

The third braid is a very simple one, and still on the marudai. Two strands of gold, two strands of ivory. I’m not sure I really like it much, as it’s very thin for a square braid, but I’ll keep going till it’s done and see how I feel about it then. It’s the first time I’m using the marudai for satin cord; I usually use the cord with the disks. It’s interesting to see how the marudai works with cord as opposed to thread, and how the cord itself works with the marudai as opposed to a kumihimo disk. Currently, the braid is much tighter on the marudai than it was on the disk. The tamas weigh more than the plastic bobbins I use with the disk, so the counterweight bag had to have more weight added to it than what I use for the disk. I actually prefer for this particular braid to be looser, so some experimentation with the counterweights will need to be done for the next time.

And while I haven’t been tatting over the last few days, I have been watching Karen Cabrera’s series of tatting tutorials on YouTube. I have a lot to learn!!! She has well over 130 video lessons on her channel, and I think I’ve only made it as far as 29 so far! I can’t wait to really get into the lessons further on!


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