The Making Of Rapunzel

It all started when I wondered what it would take to knot a bag the way I do friendship bracelets. The project became called ‘Rapunzel’ due to all the lengths of string. It began on September 2nd and finished October 25th. Turns out it took me seven weeks and 200 skeins of floss.

1) September 2nd. It began with a kumihimo braid to create the loops for the drawstring. used As mentioned on Instagram (@akaawol), if you knot the first and last two strings that cross, it won’t come unravelled when transferring between parts of the project. Each kumihimo loop was braided with 16 strings of 8 different colours, each loop about 4 cm long, although it really depends on the size of the bag and the loops you prefer. There is no limit to what colour/pattern/number combinations you can use for this project at all.

2) The bag starts with the same premise as making a single friendship bracelet. Here, I chose to do a pattern that begins like a diamond. But before moving on to the next stage, you have to bring a second loop in and tie the corresponding strings to the ones on each side.

3) Here you can see what would be two bracelets joined together as mentioned in the previous photo. This particular pattern calls for the two bracelets being different colours and the one joining in the middle being yet a different set of colours, which demands a whole lotta forethought before even tying the first knot.

4) And then there were three…

5) And then four…

6) At six loops, I was finally able to see the first of the four rows, where the pattern was finally up to the ‘mirroring’ piece.

7) And as I kept going, every loop added allowed me to bring the pattern down a little further.

8) Here I was up to the 24 loops I was going for, so I was checking my measurements to see if it’s the right circumference I was going for. Obviously, this would be where I could keep adding to the width if I so wished. Or not.

9) It looks like I was goofing around with my work, but really, I was checking to see if it was going to be big enough. Really. It was all in the name of art and science.

10) I used multiple clips to hold everything in place as I brought the two ends together. And then with just two little knots, it was no longer a flat piece, but the beginnings of a cylinder! Take note that at this point, there is no longer any way to change your mind on your bag’s width!

11) You can see how I kept the top and the bottom of the bag separated by using a clipboard. It made keeping track of the strings a whole lot easier.

12) September 19th. The first row complete all around, you can see how it’s already forming the basis of the bag and how it’s much more sturdy overall. Oh, and this is where its name ‘Rapunzel’ came into play. No prizes for guessing why!

13) Here’s a photo of me systematically starting what would become the second row of the pattern. Basically, a repeat of the first, as you can probably tell.

14) Just another photo showing the progress on that second row. Keep plugging at it!

15) September 25th and two complete rows done! This is basically what I decided would be the halfway point of my bag. Again, you can decide how deep – or shallow – you want to go with yours.

16) I decided to create a ‘diamond’ row in the middle and ‘flip’ the pattern for symmetry. Just thought it would be a cool look, as well as something that truly gives a visual on where the halfway point of the bag is.

17) October 7th. Third row complete and Rapunzel is standing tall.

18) The beginning of the fourth and last row! The excitement is starting to get really overwhelming and I can’t stop myself from pushing on!

19) Progress to that crazy almost-non-stop fourth row. Really getting a good visual on how the pattern is turning out and gotta say it was really pleasing to the eye!

20) I can finally see the two ends of the fourth row coming together. It was so exciting and it was a mad push for the last few knots! Eeeeeeeeee!!!

21) October 24th. Ta-da! And the fourth row was completed. And it was good.

22) Creating triangles with the diamond shapes to form the bottom. Here are two of the triangles completed.

23) And then there were three. And with that came an epiphany that instead of making a rectangular base out of four triangles, I could make a hexagonal base out of six! Oooh!

24) The beginnings of the kumihimo drawstring. As we began with 4-metre-long strings, the excess was wrapped in bobbins to keep them from getting entangled. A total of 24 doubled-up strings comprising 12 colours.

25) A close-up of the pretty rainbow-coloured jellyfish?

26) And the drawstring begins to emerge. Candy-coloured confetti!

27) All the excess string from Rapunzel begins to get trimmed off. Quite the collection, eh?

28) October 26th. The chunky kumihimo drawstring complete and strung through the slender loops on the top of the bag. And yes! Finally Rapunzel is complete.

29) Oh, and here’s what the finished bottom of the bag looks like. All the strings on each edge of the six triangles tied together with its corresponding partner, with the central ones all tied together for strength.

30) And here’s what Rapunzel looks like all strung together and ready to go.

31) Rapunzel’s first outing received rave reviews! To everyone who’s followed her progress whether through Facebook or Instagram, thank you for your words of encouragement, and I do hope this inspires you to create your own personal take on Rapunzel. Do let me know how it goes and feel free to ask if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help!

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