This video teaches fingerloop braiding with 7 loops, showing the divided, square, and flat variations of a 7-loop braid, plus how to unbraid back a few cycles to fix a mistake. Learn 5-loop square and flat braids first. Once you’ve braided a few of those you’ll be ready to try this 7-loop version. In this video there is less slo-mo for practicing along with, as I was trying to squeeze all the variations into one video.
Drag bubble under video to any listed timepoint. If you go to the Youtube site to watch it (click below the video), and then click “show more” under the video, you’ll see the same timepoints—but there the timepoints are actual links. If you click on one, the video will start right at that timepoint. Use your ‘back’ button to come back to this post.
On one hand all 4 fingers hold a loop, and on the other hand index, middle, and ring fingers hold a loop. With 7 loops, the bare little finger is the “operator,” instead of the ring finger. The little finger will go through three loops on the other hand to take the index-loop, instead of through two loops as in the 5-loop braid. The sequence is exactly the same—take the loop, shift, tighten, repeat on the other side…
Start watching the video at 8:30 (8min,30sec) to see ‘square’ braiding moves with no pausing and explaining. The video starts with me talking and explaining a lot, then demoing ‘divided’ braiding moves, before moving on to the square braid.
[I show how to unbraid toward the end of this video. If you want to skip to that part, move the little bubble under the video up to 23:50.]
1:23 Start of braiding a divided braid
1:59 Loop shifts
2:58 Next loop transfer.
5:30 Explaining a DIVIDED braid.
5:58 The top of the braid — a divided section.
6:40 Intro to SQUARE braid.
7:12 Starting the square braid section.
8:30 Continuous, slow braiding moves, then faster.
10:15 Showing the braid, skip to 12:03 for FLAT braiding
11:27 Explaining the FLAT braid
12:03 left side WITH a turn, right side with NO turn.
13:06 Braiding. (Mantra: “Left OVER, right THROUGH”)
14:21 Describing a common mistake.
15:30 How to check for the mistake
15:56 Showing the flat section
18:05–19:05 Faster braiding.
19:55 Showing more of the flat braid.
20:13 Fixing a dropped loop
22:15 Another mistake (taking the right loop turned)
23:11 Showing the mistake in the braid
25:40 Reaching the mistake.
26:40 Starting braiding ‘forward’ again
27:25 Showing the braid at this point, mistake gone.
Don’t be discouraged if the loop-shifting suddenly seems harder with 7 loops than it did with 5. The ring and little fingers have to learn how to detach from each others’ movements during the loop shifting move—it can sometimes take a couple of braids before they figure this out. It really will happen! And very quickly… One to three practice braids at the most should do it.
Try not to help with the other hand, that will just prolong the learning curve. Don’t worry if you keep dropping loops at first—that’s just because you are focusing on the new motions, and can’t pay as much attention to the rest of the fingers. Just pick the loops back up and keep going, it’ll get much easier after the first braid.
Once you get past that little hurdle you will love 7-loop braids. Just those two extra loops make a much “richer” braid, more solid-looking, with a lot more color possibilities and longer, more eye-catching patterns. And it’s really fun to use all 4 of your fingers! In no time at all you will be braiding 7-loop braids just as easily as you were braiding 5-loop ones. (After making a few 7-loop braids, move right on up to 9-loop braids.)
See the Start Here tutorial for info on how to set up the loop bundle, and more about the 4 different shape variations:
Divided, Square, Flat, and “3/4 Flat”. It’s usually easier to get a truly flat, wide braid with 7 loops than it is with 5 loops. If you consistently get the 3/4-flat version instead, you are tightening much too hard. Keep tightening widely, but do it lightly. Don’t pull hard. I go on and on about this in the 5-loop tutorial, but that’s what it boils down to!
[The color-pattern of that orange/white/black braid in the photo above is one of my favorite flat-braid color-patterns...I'm planning on making a tutorial for it soon. It has 6 bicolor loops, and one all-black loop.
The square braid right next to it is another pattern I love---'Chevrons over bicolor stripes'---there's a video tutorial for it here.]
In my header pic, the hank of braid on the far right side is a 7-loop square braid, made out of embroidery floss. I used very pale colors in this braid, so the pattern doesn’t show very well. Here’s a close-up of it:
My post on color-pattern planning has a few more photos of 7-loop square and flat braids.
OOPS! I just noticed a mistake in my video, a verbal one—at the point where I am showing the four sides of the square braid, I say that the top and bottom surfaces show chevrons and the 2 side surfaces show “zigs”—it’s really the other way around… It’s the SIDE surfaces that show chevron shapes. The surface that faces you as you braid—and the opposite one that faces the floor—show the “zigs”.