Welcome to What a Braid (aka What a Knit)!
My name is Karen Huntoon and I am the founder of What a Knit/What a Braid.
Almost a decade ago, my mom intervened in my hectic and busy work-filled life and said these words that changed my world "you need some creativity in your life". I shrugged. She told me she had learned a fun technique called Kumihimo and she thought I would enjoy it. I was too busy to listen. She mentioned it a few more times over the years and when she threatened to teach her grand-daughter, instead of me, my ears perked up and I got in on the lesson. So, I have my mom to thank for changing my life. I will never forget my 15 minute Kumihimo lesson taught by my mom. I, like many of you, was instantly hooked on Kumihimo. My husband thought I was obsessed. And I admit, I was. Hook, line and sinker. I read and practiced and read and practiced. I haven’t stopped braiding since. I love, love, love it.
My start is simple. In June of 2010 I started teaching Kumihimo classes, set up a website and my business has grown and grown and grown. This is my full time pursuit. I am the sole proprietor and I am the designer, teacher, pattern writer, newsletter writer, marketer, order packer and accountant. I have taken classes from many of the "greats" including Rodrick Owen, Jacqui Carey and Makiko Tada. Kumihimo has opened many doors and provided many unique experiences. I have met wonderful, wonderful people and I am so grateful.
I live in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in Truckee, California with my husband Robbie and my four-legged love, Kaia (a Golden Retriever). When I am not braiding, I enjoy cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, mountain bike riding, road bike riding and travelling in our motorhome we call Winnie (it's a Winnebago).
I braid with fiber and beads and I use the Hamanaka Foam Disk and Plate, the Marudai and most recently the Takadai. My brain never gets tired of thinking about how Kumihimo works, what I can do with it next and how I can share it with others. Happy Braiding!