So, I have too many hobbies. I admit it. My magpie mind is distracted by all the shiny things and I want to play all the games and be involved in all the stuff, but of course, the realities of life don’t always allow for such things, so I have to pick and choose what to work on, on a daily basis. Accordingly, there are times when I pour myself into a particular project and other hobbies just have to wait due to a deadline. Ergo, I don’t always have new models to show you, or natterings on a game I’ve recently played – sometimes you’re stuck with blog updates on some of the random other stuff I end up doing. Case in point, today’s black and yellow kumihimo cord.
So a big part of the SCA is learning how things were done in times gone by. Thanks to an odd series of events a couple of years ago I ended up taking a class in kumihimo, Japanese cord braiding, at Pennsic in 2015. I learned a little of the history, how these cords would be braided to represent clan/household colours and the like as decorative trim or for more functional purposes like strapping armor plates together.
My Baron asked me if I could make some cord. I asked how much he needed. He gave an approximate amount. My brain temporarily shut down at the prospect, then rallied, and I thought to myself, self, I said, how much of that black and yellow pearl cotton do you have at home? And I replied, well, self, I have about 50 metres of each. Oh really, self? I said to myself. How much of an 8 strand braid do you think that will yield? Well, self, I pondered, I have no idea, but it’ll be an interesting challenge.
So for the last week I have been taking advantage of every spare moment I had (and some I didn’t have) to do kumihimo. 100 metres of pearl cotton (that’s just shy of 110 yards) got wrapped around eight tama in 41 foot lengths, and dangled over my marudai (that’s the traditional kumihimo braiding frame. I lost track of actual time spent, but I can confirm it took the entirety of Defenders, the last few episodes of Blue Exorcist, most of Archer Season 8, one gathering of fellow needs for an arts & crafts night, and several hours watching Gdaygirl play Horizon: Zero Dawn… but I can confirm that 100 metres of pearl cotton yields a little over 29 feet of spiral braid.
And now, to help provide an example of scale, Bob the Sentinel.
Bob the Sentinel hasn’t been seen on the Lost Hemisphere for awhile due to his ongoing campaign to right social injustices such as WHY THE SMEG DON’T WOMEN’S PANTS HAVE USABLE POCKETS?!?, but apparently he wanted to help out with this one.
This is Bob, sitting in a tree in my backyard. Ignore the backyard, it’s unimpressive, but hey! Look at how far away Bob is! Ooh, that must be a pretty damn long cord! Gosh!
No, I have no explanation as to why he wanted to sit in the tree. Bob’s a bit of a weirdo sometimes.
This isn’t a painted army, but it’s a hobby achievement that, frankly, I’m still somewhat boggled that I’ve finished before the deadline. This is the single longest cotton cord I’ve ever made, and even though it’s going to be chopped up into lengths for its final purpose, I’m still pretty damn proud of it, and glad to be able to serve my barony with my labours. Also, I enjoyed Defenders. So there. Right Bob?
… Dammit, Bob…