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Book review: Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified

Yay!!  Finally, Rebecca Ann Combs has written a follow-up book to her 2014 Kumihimo Basics and Beyond!  In her first book, Rebecca thoroughly taught the tips and tricks to mastering Japanese braiding using the most basic style of round braid.  Her new book, Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified, picks up with five additional braids, and all the information you will need to turn your braids into terrific jewelry.

You probably already know that these braids are quite beautiful on their own, but Rebecca also covers how to add beads to them, both during the braiding and afterwards.  It's really quite remarkable what different looks you can achieve by varying the braid type and the fibers used.

The braiding in this book is done entirely on soft foam disks, so there is really minimal expense to getting started.  A couple of disks, some weights, the fibers you want to use, and some findings that you probably already have in stock if you make jewelry.  The braid styles that Rebecca teaches are eight-warp basket weave, half-round, square, and sixteen-warp hollow and trapezoid braids.

Besides all the great step-by-step information for each of the braids and the projects, Rebecca has included a special appendix section to show you how to set up and use a marudai, the traditional wooden braiding stand, in case you happen to have one or decide you want one instead of the disks.