These Kumihimo discs from Braiders Hand. The discs are made of very dense foam, with all the slits pre-cut. They are a really good inexpensive alternative to the more traditional Marudai. I thought and thought about it - do I need another craft? No. Do I want another craft? YES!!! When I saw The Keyboard Biologist with her kit, I knew it was a sign and that I really should buy one (or two). I bought the Disc and the Flat braid kit. Janis at BraiderHand was very helpful. The discs included English instructions, EZ-bobs bobbins, and a bit of floss to get you started.
They arrived today and I tested them out. After making the first braid, I had to run down to Michaels for more embroidery floss. I didn't want to use up my DMC floss just yet. 105 different colours and 40% off! Love that Michael's coupon.
For practice, I made a bunch of little samples - won't bother with pictures for now. The flat braid was interesting...I accidently did a wrong cross halfway through and the pattern changed. I like the new pattern better but have no idea how I achieved it.
I can see this will be very useful for making cords for my knitted bags. With the embroidery floss, I can make thinner cords for fancy shoelaces. Now, I need to find out where to get the clear plastic tubes for the ends of the shoelace.
Edited to add:
A quick search on the internet informs me that the plastic tube thing is called an AGLET and there are websites devoted solely (haha) to shoelaces.