More kumihimo

Since I was in no hurry to buy a kumihimo disk, my boyfriend got me one for my birthday last year. It’s a 6-inch diameter disk, which I felt was a bit large for my hands. A 4-inch disk would have been more comfortable to hold, so he got me one (actually it came in a pack of 3) for my birthday this year. I’ve noticed that the slots of foam disks will get stretched, so after using them with thicker cords, they no longer hold thinner ones as tightly.

Now that I finally had a “real” disk, I wanted to give more complicated patterns a try. I was confused about how to read a kumihimo pattern, because I was used to only using eight strings. Then I found this video by Marekitty Bracelets showing how to do the lattice flower pattern.

I made this braid in the lattice flower pattern with 1mm diameter Chinese knotting cord. I’m not happy with how elongated the design became. The braid is 6-7mm thick.


I tried it again with C-Lon (Tex 210), and like the result much better. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find cord ends that will fit it. The width of the braid is 4.5mm.


Later I bought a thick 4-inch diameter disk. The thicker disks can hold thinner cords, which will just slide through a regular disk. (Surprisingly, my cardboard disk actually has an even tighter grip than the thick foam one.) I intended to use it with micro C-Lon and 15/0 seed beads. At first I attempted to do the same flower lattice pattern, but it would not work! The beads kept popping out of place—there was too much going on—so I gave up. Then I came across this tutorial by CSLdesigns showing how to do a flower kumihimo pattern with beads. I ended up making a wrap bracelet with it, because I thought one strand alone looked too thin.


The beaded part of the braid is about 4mm wide.

I have since made another beaded flower braid with 11/0 seed beads and fine C-Lon. Again, I’m having some difficulty finding cord ends for it. I am also exploring more designs with kumihimo. There are quite a few elaborate ones out there. Since kumihimo is simple enough that nearly anyone can do it—and those that can’t or don’t want to can easily find someone who will—I would need to come up with something unique or more innovative if I ever were to sell it.

Lie vs Lay, Revisited

I think I might have confused some of you with my first lie vs lay post, because I see people who used them correctly before start to use them wrong. 😦 I’m going to try to clear things up in this post by using examples from common confusing situations.

To review, here are brief definitions of the verbs to lie and to lay. The verb to lie, when meaning to recline (as opposed to not telling the truth), is an intransitive verb, so it is used without an object. Whatever lies down does so by itself. Meanwhile, the verb to lay means to put or place something down, and requires a direct object because it is a transitive verb. The subject lays the object. For a more in-depth explanation, please see the original post.

Here is the table again, slightly modified for clarity.

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Past Participle Progressive Tenses
lie lie lay lain lying
lay lay laid laid laying

The infinitive
Incorrect: You need to lay on your back to do this exercise.
Remember, the verb lay means to place. In this case, you need to recline to do the exercise, and therefore use the verb lie.
Correct: You need to lie on your back to do that exercise.

The simple past tense
Some of you might have remembered me saying “don’t use lay when you mean to recline” and are avoiding it entirely. However, the simple past tense of the verb lie happens to be the word “lay,” which is probably where the confusion started.

Incorrect: I laid awake for two hours before giving up on my nap.
“Laid” is actually the simple past tense and the past participle of the verb lay. For this example, the correct verb is lie.
Correct: I lay awake for two hours before giving up on my nap.

Incorrect: Her hair laid in a pile on the floor.
If you think the verb lay means to recline, of course the simple past tense would be “laid.” However, the correct verb here is actually lie. “Her hair” is the subject of the verb. It is in a pile on the floor. It’s not placing anything in a pile on the floor. The simple past tense of lie is “lay.”
Correct: Her hair lay in a pile on the floor.

Laying or lying?
I know I kept emphasizing that the past tense of the verb to lie is lay, without specifying it was the simple past tense. This may have led people to think any reclining that happened in the past becomes something with “lay” in it, and I’d see errors like the one below.

Incorrect: She was laying on the grass.
The past progressive of the verb lie is lying.
Correct: She was lying on the grass.

The same goes for the present progressive.

Incorrect: I don’t have a ton of cash laying around.
Your nonexistent cash is not placing other objects around. The present progressive of the verb lie is lying.
Correct: I don’t have a ton of cash lying around.

Lay in bed or lie in bed?
Here are two sentences that use “lay in bed.” One is right, one is not.

Correct: I lay in bed for twenty minutes but didn’t fall asleep.
This is correct because we’re talking about reclining in the past. The simple past tense of the verb lie is lay.

Incorrect: If my head doesn’t stop hurting, I’ll just lay in bed.
You’re talking about reclining here, so this is the simple future tense of the verb lie. It should be “I’ll lie in bed.”

Lay down or lie down?
Incorrect: The ultrasound technician told me to lay down.
In this case, the correct verb is to lie. If you’re commanding someone to recline, use “lie down.”

However “lay down” is not always wrong. It’s right if you’re referring to placing an object down.
Correct: Lay down your burdens.
Here, your burdens are the object of the verb. You are placing them down, figuratively.

Lay flat
I hear this all over the crafting world. 😡

Incorrect: Let your swatch lay flat, and measure out four inches.
The knitted fabric is not actually placing anything down. Therefore, you want to let the swatch lie flat.
Contrast that with “lay your swatch flat,” which does make sense because you’re placing the swatch (the object of the verb) so that it’s flat.

Incorrect: Pull your threads tight so it lays flat.
The threads are not placing anything flat. Your work lies flat.

At this point, you might be thinking, but clothing tags say “lay flat to dry!” This is my interpretation. I don’t know for certain if it’s accurate. I think it means “lay [the garment] flat to dry.” Remember that the verb lay means to place, and must be used with an object. In this case, the object is the garment, and it has been omitted from the sentence. (I’ve seen some tags that say “dry flat.” Again, the object is omitted, but the wording is more concise and avoids perpetuating the “lay flat” confusion.)

*      *      *

I hope you found this post helpful. This is my current grammar pet peeve because I’m hearing it used incorrectly more and more. It’s also a pity that there are people who write with otherwise correct grammar but mix up these two. As always, feel free to ask for clarification if you need any.

Spring wire tree

I actually finished making this in March of last year, but didn’t get around to taking pictures of it until almost summer. By then it didn’t make sense to post about spring, which is why I waited to post it now.


The entire thing stands a little under 8 inches tall.

I followed the basic idea from this tutorial. (The page no longer exists, which is why I’m linking to the Wayback Machine archive.)

I used an entire 20 gram bag of 11/0 seed beads for this tree. Cheap seed beads work well for this kind of project, because it doesn’t matter if the sizes aren’t uniform. Since most of the beads were so narrow, I ended up using 6 beads instead of 5 beads for many of the blossoms, to make them look fuller.

After twisting the wires somewhat randomly, I decided to aim for a peach tree look, so that’s how I distributed the blossoms on the branches. The hardest part was deciding how to assemble the branches, for a natural-looking tree form. Simply twisting all the stems together would result in a funny looking bouquet. I held the branches next to each other to see which ones looked better together, before twisting them.


I secured the tree and rocks in the pot (it’s actually a 2.5″ diameter ramekin) with hot glue, as was shown in this tutorial.

I didn’t time how long this took me to make, but I’m sure I spent over 20 hours on twisting the wires alone.

A few days after completing it, I discovered a ladybug on my tree!


My second kumihimo bracelet

I decided to make a second kumihimo bracelet with blue and silver beads. Many years ago I would have preferred this color combination over the other one, but my tastes have evolved. I now think having them both be silver-lined makes the colors blend together in one shiny mess.


Then I found other kumihimo patterns and decided to try the wider spiral. I think it works better with these colors because they are farther apart so there is more contrast. This bracelet looks better from a distance.


This time I used a disk template from and glued it onto a cardboard circle. Having evenly spaced slots made it easier to work with.

I cut each string to 15″. I don’t remember if I put 36 beads on each strand. I ended up using all but the last ones. The beaded portion of the braid is 5 3/8″ long, but the entire braid is 6″ long including the end caps. (This information probably isn’t useful to you unless you also have 5.5″ wrists.)

I have a correction to state about the desired length of the bracelet. The length of the bracelet alone does not determine its size. The width also matters. To illustrate, if you had two identical lengths of string and strung large beads on one and small beads on the other, the one with the larger beads would result in a smaller bracelet than the one with the small beads. That’s because the “inner circumference” of the bracelet determines the size. Since the larger beads take up more space than the smaller ones, they reduce the inner circumference of the bracelet. Here’s a diagram that I painstakingly made, to show this. Pay attention to the purple dashed line.


From this, we know that having a 7 inch long braid does not guarantee it’ll fit a 7-inch wrist, because the width of one of these kumihimo braids with beads is 7.5 mm.

After my first experience with gluing the end caps on, I knew to cut off more of the cord so that it will all be hidden inside the end caps. I did a better job this time.


I had actually made this bracelet about a year ago, and had this draft saved for months before finally posting it now. I have since made more elaborate kumihimo, which I will show in posts to come.