Kongo-gumi in Rainbow
hand-painted silk that I made, um, let's see...

I know I made this braid before we moved in early 2003, ’cuz I moved the marudai with the pale violet braid on it. But when I first encountered this a couple of weeks ago, I didn't even remember making it. So I suppose it must have been made early in the 2000s, but I don't really know.

braid made roughly between 2000-2002. FFF? black gudebrod silk and (again, I'm guessing) caron watercolors handpainted silk, 6 ends per strand. The diamond portion including the 2 8 str portions roughly an inch long is 35-36”; the spiral about 30”. 3mm thick. Kongo pattern. 16 strands, and no doubt my 100g small tama.

The braid structure is one I recall making only once before , and the pattern, according to Catherine Martin, is not even strictly speaking kumi. It makes, according to her (I'm paraphrasing, since I haven't see that book since the move) a hard, silk-devouring braid. I think it's beautiful. This particular sample was almost certainly made with black gudebrod stringing silk and hand-painted rainbow silk of some sort or another. The first part, with the diamonds, is the pattern I've done before, and probably, given the way the ends were done, was designed to serve as a badge cord for the wizard. The second, spiralling pattern, made with extra length (I hate warping marudais, can you tell) was just for fun...

I still need to make tassels and otherwise finish this braid off, but I think it's quite pretty.

I ended up preferring this spiral, as I thought it showed the shifts in color of the hand-painted silk more readily. The white fiber in the upper left corner is no doubt one of several hairs that got trapped in the braid. Centuries from now, some historian will be able to extract my DNA from the hair I've woven into my braids, and embroidered into my wall hangings...