Years ago, when I was living in Japan, there was a beautiful Kimono display in the department store that I walked past on my way to work each day, and I fell in love with the obijime, the decorative cords that tie around the obi (sashes) of the kimonos. So I soon found myself learning kumihimo, the traditional technique for braiding obijime. Traditionally these braids are made on a marudai, a round wooden stand with bobbins that hang around the edges, but there are modern foam disks and plastic bobbins available that make it easier for beginners to learn some of the most basic braiding patterns.
On Sunday, I went along to some workshops at the Australian Shakuhachi Festival to try to get my head and lungs back into playing Shakuhachi flute. It's been years since I attempted to practise Shakuhachi or kumihimo, so this project was my way of reconnecting with both: a kumihimo cord for my Shakuhachi case. I've used one of the simplest kumihimo braiding patterns with just 8 warp threads, so it was very quick and relaxing to work up a braid with this pattern.