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Kake-Mamori – A Japanese pouch

Kake-mamori - a Japanese pouch

Kake-mamori – a Japanese pouch

Recently I had the pleasure of making a gift for the Northshield A&S Gift Exchange.  The lady assigned to me has a Japanese persona… something I know absolutely nothing about!  After some research and choosing and discarding several different possible projects, I finally realized something about all the pictures of Japanese women that I had been looking at.  None of them – whether SCAdian or scans of medieval artwork – had a pouch or basket of any sort! I posed the question “What would a proper Japanese woman use to carry her stuff?” to the folks on the SCA Japanese Persona Facebook page.  NAME suggested a kake-mamori and offered this link: I followed the directions given on WHO’s webpage pretty close; however, I did make a few changes.  As the person this gift was intended for had stated that she likes “bright colors”, but I also have no idea what her garb looks like, I wanted to make something that would go with her garb whatever color she wears AND I wanted something with bright colors.  I chose two fabrics:  one very bright pink and the other a more neutral cream color, but with bright colorful flowers.  So that the Kake-mamori could be reversible, I did not sew the chanel that was recommended on the web site.  I can see how that may help to keep the fabric tucked where desired, but I did not find it to be too much of a problem, especially once the ends were tied. The ties themselves became a project unto themselves.  I do not know what kind of cord would have been most authentic, but I chose to use Kumihimo.  Unfortunately, I had never made a Kumihimo cord before!  I  bought a disc from Wal-Mart for $3 and had some fun making the cord!  My son even got into the fun of it.  He is 4 years old and quickly caught on to the pattern of “trading strings” necessary to make the cord. Once it was all put together, I realized that the kake-mamori makes a nice little pouch.  It would easily hold a cell phone, your money, keys or whatever today’s Medieval Japanese woman just needs to keep close.  This was a fun project.  I learned more about medieval Japanese clothing than I ever would have looked for otherwise; I learned a new craft; and I simply had fun making this.  Thank you, Northshield A&S Exchange for this opportunity!

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2 Strand Lucet Cord

2 Strand Lucet

I was “fidgety” today and decided to play with a 2 stranded lucet cord.  After many attempts and having to pull out the cord several times, I finally got it figured out!  Okay, I figured out *one* way to do a two stranded cord.

I decided to make a square cord (as opposed to flat or diamond) as this is the cord I am most familiar with.  I started my cord by holding both strands together and making the first four knots without separating the strands.  After I had my “anchor knot”, I dropped one strand and made two more knots using just the dark green thread.  I then dropped that strand and made two knots using just the cream colored thread.  I continued in this manner for about a foot, then decided to see if altering the pattern would make a difference.  I made only one knot with each strand before dropping it and picking up the other color.  I could find no difference between the two halves of cord – the visual pattern did not change at all.  When I tried to make a complete layer before switching strands (4 knots), all I got was a tangled mess!  Maybe with practice?  Next I’ll try a chevron pattern with a flat lucet braid!

I tried to get a decent close-up for you!

I tried to get a decent close-up for you!