Where creativity & imagination go hand-in-hand…AND Kumihimo too!

What a Knit and Kumihimo Too! is the place to come for ideas, inspiration, instruction, knitting patterns and Kumihimo kits & supplies. We have the best collection of Patchwork Knitting Patterns, Kumihimo Kits, a fun Kumihimo  Gallery and plenty of fun things to buy at our Knitting and Kumihimo Storefronts.

For many of us creating is our comfort– a time to imagine, a time of relaxation and a time to be with like-minded creative friends – the ones that understand why Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 11.25.48 AMyou need to buy one more ball of yarn when you already have plenty, the ones that empathize when you don’t know which yarn to take along on a trip, the ones that understand the universal simple words…”just let me finish this row” or “hold on, I’m counting”.

The definition of Knitting is the “act of forming a fabric by looping a continuous yarn”.  The definition of Kumihimo is “the gathering of threads”. And so it is with friendship – in our living, loving and laughing we gather and knit a fabric of friendship. I think Knitting and Kumihimo go hand-in-hand.

My mom is a passionate artist and knitter and the two of us share our enthusiasm for color and yarn and creating and knitting and Kumihimo. Many artists and teachers have come into my life and all have inspired me. It is my hope that I can share some things that will inspire you. I hope you will have fun and find some inspiration on my website, http://www.whataknit.com. Thanks for taking a look!

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 – Karen

May 8, 2010 at 2:08 am 3 comments

Braids, Braids & More Braids

FullSizeRenderBraiding gives me great pleasure. Regardless of the braid structure, I am always mesmerized and relaxed by the therapeutic flow of braiding and thrill of anticipating a new braid. I love playing with color and combining Petite Satin Ribbon with Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon has fantastic results.  Each braid is different and that is the fun. Try as I might to apply science and analytics to my color choices, the braids have a mind of their own. I have learned to make basic good color choices and let the braids reveal what looks best. The Kumihimo Three Braid Necklace is a great project for playing with color and combining fibers. This was the August Kit of the Month and the original color ways sold out almost immediately. I have been busy braiding and am happy to say I have created four new color ways for this kit. I love all of them and there is something different for everyone. Whether you like brights or earthy colors or pastels, I have something for everyone! Click here to check out all of the kits.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 2.33.21 PM

August 14, 2015 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

A Little More 4th of July Fun!

4th of July Bracelet with Hammered Accent4th of July Bracelet with Hammered Accent and Sliders

Isn’t this fun? A festive and fun Red, White and Blue Bracelet. You can use the Red, White and Blue cording, in the kit, and another time you could use your own assortment of colors for another look! You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 bobbins, tape measure, scissors, heavy duty thread &  needle, Glue (I like WeldBond), You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh)
Kit includes:

  • 12 yards of Petite Satin (3 Colors)
  • Hammered Accent Piece
  • 2 Sliders
  • 1 8mm All-in-One Magnetic End Cap
  • Instructions with Photos
  • Kit makes one bracelet

Cost:  $18.50 

4th of July Square Knot Bracelet KitSquare Knot 4th of July Bracelet

The Square Knot teamed with the Red & White Spiral and Blue with White Spots makes for a very festive bracelet. Super fast and super fun.  You can use the Red, White and Blue cording, in the kit, and later you could use your own assortment of colors for another look! The sky is the limit! You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 bobbins, tape measure, scissors, heavy duty thread &  needle, Glue (I like WeldBond), You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh)
Kit includes:

  • 12 yards of Petite Satin (3 Colors – red, white and blue)
  • 1 8mm All-in-One Magnetic End Cap
  • Instructions with Photos
  • Kit makes one bracelet

Cost:  $12.00

June 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Kumihimo Tip #34

This is just a quick little video snip to show you how I “un-do” the Straight Magnetic Glue-In End Caps. When I am using two Silver Straight Magnetic End Caphands, I grasp each end of the magnetic end cap and more or less twist in opposite directions. If I am opening the end cap one-handed, such as with a bracelet, I gently slide the tip of my fingernail into the slot and it pops open.

June 1, 2015 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Kumihimo Tip #33

Oh no, I lost my place? This could be one of the most valuable things that I ever share with you. Read carefully! 
It seems that when everyone learns to braid the Kongoh (often referred to as the Round Braid), they learn the “leave three at the top” rule so you know where to start when you go back to braiding. This, however, only works for pre-meditated stops and starts. If you accidentally drop your disk or get interrupted without “leaving three at the top”, don’t worry! Here’s another way to “find your way”.

Learn to read your  braid. This is something that you should get in the habit of doing and as you braid more this will become second nature. Learning to “read” your braid is invaluable.

What I will share was first explained to me by one of my dearest teachers, Rodrick Owen. He kept telling me to look at my “uppers” and “lowers” to direct my next move.

Karen Huntoon©2015
First of all, look at the photo of the disk. In the center of the disk, where the elements (strands) intersect, this is called the Point of Braid (POB). Each braid structure has it’s own unique point of braid. The Point of Braid in this photo represents the 8 strand Kongoh also known as the round braid. This is the braid almost everyone learns first.
Look closely and you will see the N (left) and S (right) elements are resting on top of the E and W pairs. Let’s say I just did a sequence of moves. For example, the element that now rests in the North (left) and the element in the South (right) positions were my last sequence of moves. They are on top of the black elements. This makes the silver elements the “uppers” because they are on top of the blacks. Since the uppers designate the last elements you moved (they are “on top”), the next move always has to be the “lowers”. So, the next time you drop your disk, don’t fret! Just pick up your disk, look at the POB, determine which elements are on top, turn your disk so the lowers are in the N & S positions, and you are ready to braid. You always move your lowers. “Lowers” are your friend.
Think of this as a simple 3 step process:
1. Look at POB (Point of Braid)
2. Determine which elements are “uppers” (your last move).
3. Orient disk so lowers (always your next move) are in N & S, and start braiding.
4. P.S. It doesn’t matter which element you move first.

May 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Kumihimo Tip #32

Maybe I am the only one who didn’t know about this trick, but I will share this with you anyway. There is more than one use for dental floss!

I have travelled domestically and internationally, plenty. I pretty much know what will and won’t make it through security. The Kumihimo foam disk and bobbins are a sure bet for a good airplane project. My 4″ blunt end scissors have never been a problem….until my flight home from Guatemala. As I was going through security, my carry-on bag got a thorough once over and my little blunt end scissors were confiscated. Not such a big deal other than the fact that I had a 6 hour layover in Dallas and I knew I would need my scissors to cut some more Kumihimo cord. My sweet mother, who didn’t have such a long layover, reached into her bag and sacrificed her dental floss. At first I thought, what is this for? Then she opened the container and showed me how the little metal cutter in the dental floss container worked to cut her knitting yarn. It also worked on my satin cord, c-lon and gimp. My mom saved the day and I was able to braid until I got home!


May 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Kumihimo Tip #31

Left Bottom Up, Right Top Down or is it  
Right Top Down and Left Bottom Up?
Do you turn clockwise or counter clockwise?
This is a technique question that comes up frequently. And when you are talking about the Kongoh (or round braid) everyone is right. You can start at the top or the bottom when you are initiating moving your elements (strands). It will not make any difference. The more you braid, the easier this is to understand. And if braid on a Marudai, where you are moving both elements at the same time, then it makes it clear that starting at the top or the bottom, on the disk, doesn’t make a difference. It also doesn’t matter, with this braid, if you are turning your disk clockwise or counter-clockwise! Now think about that!
*In some instances, like a charted beaded pattern with drops in particular places, it’s best to follow the pattern instructions. But once you get your beads dropping and aligning correctly you can braid as you like.

May 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Kumihimo Tip #29

“Starting in the Middle”  This is a fabulous technique to have in your Kumihimo “tool box”. When you want to use a focal bead, whether you are making a beaded necklace or a cord only necklace, sometimes the hole in the focal bead is too small to pass the finished braid. With this technique, you actually start with your focal bead in the middle and braid from the middle and work your way out to each end. You’ll be braiding half the necklace at a time!  As long as the unbraided cords will pass through the middle of your focal bead, you can use this technique.  This technique works for single focal beads as well as multiple focal beads. In the photo above, I threaded 8 strands of C-lon Bead Cord through my focal bead. Then I situated the focal bead in the middle of the 8 cords and tied a knot on one side of the focal bead so it would not slide off. I dropped the tails, the knot and the focal bead (in that order) through the center of the disk. Next I placed the cords in the appropriate slots on the disk, loaded my beads and braided. When I was done with the 1st half , I simply took everything off the disk, untied the knot near the focal bead and then put the completed half of the braid through the center of the disk. Repeat just like the first half of the braid…load beads, braid and you’ve done it!

May 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

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