The Alternate Universe of Linking on the Marudai (M)

Instructor: Michael Hattori

In this class we will explore a technique that will lead you into a new and exciting universe in marudai braiding:  Linking. This technique will allow you to create color schemes that would normally seem impossible, opening up a whole new realm of possibility in both color and pattern. The technique itself is actually quite simple, but requires a bit of mind-bending and basic understanding of braid structure.

The class will revolve around a familiar marudai braid: Mitakegumi. The variant technique we will learn is called “kirikae”, which literally means “cut and change,” which allows you to abruptly change the color pattern. But the magical part of this technique also allows you to keep the same colors on one face of the braid that would normally move the the opposite side. Or, part of those colors. Or, any color you choose! Endless possibilities!

This will not be a passive learning class! You will be required to plot graphs and analyze the Mitake braid structure on your own. I will, of course, show you the technique, but the point of this class is to figure it out by yourself as much as possible.

Kit: No kit, see materials list.

Materials: 32-tama warp, at least 48” long. Equivalent of 24 ends of silk per tama (approximately the thickness of worsted weight yarn). Color way will be provided. Material must be non-elastic fiber, such as cotton, rayon or silk. Blank paper, pencil, eraser. Blank marudai graphs will be provided.

Equipment: Standard marudai of Japanese design (e.g. it must have a well in the center), 32 tama, preferably 100g, plus appropriate counterweight.

Pre-requisite: Experience braiding Mitakegumi, preferably with 24 – 32 tama is an absolute!! If you haven’t braided Mitakegumi, you must do it before the class or you will be lost. No exceptions.