We decided to start Craft Design Online when one of our children was given a "friendship wheel" kit for a Christmas present. We wanted to be able to make more designs than the ones printed on the wheels with the kit. We experimented and discovered you could make patterns with more threads using the same wheels, and eventually discovered that it was a form of Japanese braiding called Kumihimo.

We realised that this sort of thing could be useful for other creative projects where it is difficult to directly change an idea for a pattern into an arrangement to get started on making it. As we think of new craft techniques (and learn how to do them), we will increase the range of tools available to free your creativity.

We have a number of kumihimo design tools. Marudai Painter has many types of braid pattern that can be colored. Kumihimo designer is for making round braids with 8-32 threads, which are often used for friendship bracelets. Braid 3D allows you to create and color new braid structures on a simulated marudai, and see the result in 3D.

There are other craft design tools here too. Pattern Grid gives you an editable grid, with photo conversion tools which can be used to make cross stitch, embroidery and similar patterns. And there's a penrose tool for making Penrose tile layouts.

Do you have a craft that is tricky to design for? Send us your ideas and maybe we'll do a tool for them.

Happy making