This is the photo-tutorial on 3-loop braids that I made last year  for the Braids and Bands yahoo group. You can scroll through the tutorial in the small thumbnail window (enlarge the text first–see magnifying glass icon), or click below the window to read it full-screen. It can also be downloaded as a pdf file from Scribd. (video supplements can be found further down, below the photo-tutorial and yarn info) Continue reading
So far, most of my loop braiding tutorials teach braids, or methods, that aren’t taught anywhere else. These include very basic beginning level tutorials, and range up to some that might seem ridiculously difficult before you’ve “worked up” to them. (Check out my tutorials page.) But there are lots of other great loop braids that you can find instructions for online.
Gudrun Polak is an awe-inspiring and very inventive weaver, of both loom and card-weavings. Her weaving website is called The Loomy Bin. It’s a great resource— it has animated pattern-planning weaving programs as well as pattern libraries (for both card- and loom weaving). She’s also the mainstay of the braiding study group in the weaving guild I belong to—the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild.
Here’s a loop-braided necklace that Gudrun made recently, using 5 bicolor loops in various patterns:
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted. I’ve been really busy the last three months, and somehow this blog got left behind. Meanwhile I’ve accumulated two readers’ gallery posts-worth of beautiful braid pictures and now, finally, a whole luxurious free Sunday to start posting them. Thank you to everyone who contributed pictures—both for your generosity and your patience!
Ricky was one of the first readers who tried out any of my tutorials, before I even had videos for them. He made some great original interpretations of the braid patterns in my bicolor loop magic tutorial, and came up with other patterns as well. I love his happy colors, and also the way he photographed his braids—with that lush greenery setting them off:
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. Continue reading
[new- I just added text instructions for a more complex kute-uchi braid—called Genji Uchi—at the bottom of this post.]
Here’s a rather slap-dash post to announce two things—1 is that I recently made a couple of video tutorials on kute-uchi braiding (a Japanese hand-held loop braiding technique). I really wanted to finish up a Readers’ Gallery post and get that posted first, but it just ain’t done yet! Whereas these videos got dashed out in a hurry in answer to a video request, and they ARE done.
The other thing is my (tentative) new blog format—more about that below. Any feedback on this change is welcome—I am not wedded to this format, but certain things about it do seem better than the old one…
Here are the 2 new videos, each demoing one basic Kute-uchi move:
(these were video requests from Petr in the Czech Repuplic! He is very interested in both Kute-uchi and Kumihimo braiding—has now acquired plans for a marudai and is building it himself.)
The “Inside-Through” move, making a 5-loop braid
A-fell loop braiding [index finger is the active braider] and V-fell loop braiding [ring or little finger is the active braider] move the transferring loop between the same fingers and through the same loops, but in the reverse direction. In the following video I demo using both methods to braid and unbraid a 3-loop square braid. This is a great way to undo back to a mistake. At the end of the video, I demo a slower way to unbraid that’s especially useful for braids of eight loops or more, since A-fell braiding can’t be done with more than seven loops.
[The video below shows braiding and unbraiding a 3-loop braid. I demo unbraiding a 7-loop braid in a more recent video-tutorial on 7-loop square braids. It's toward the end of that video, at 23:50. Unbraiding a 5-loop braid is almost the same process.]
[note: links to video tutorials for the 2-loop braid, and 4 to 10-loop spiral braids can be found at the bottom of my tutorials page.]
For the month of October 2011 I’ll be running a fingerloop braiding tutorial on the Braid Society‘s online yahoo discussion group braids_and_bands (anybody can join this list, you don’t have to be in the Braid Society).
They’ve hosted some really impressive tutorials in the past, from simple to complex—including Sue Foulkes’ incredible backstrap weaving tutorial on Saami bands —that was my first real weaving experience. I couldn’t believe I was actually following a weaving draft!
My tutorial will be toward the other end of the spectrum—extremely simple, up to just slightly challenging.
I’ll be starting with a loop braid of 2 loops (yes, you really can make a braid with only 2 loops!), and a spiral braid that’s quite different from the braids I’ve covered so far on this blog.
It can be made with as few loops as 4, or as many as 10, and has several interesting color patterns besides the spiral.
Fingerloop braiding with 5 loops is easy to learn and can make a wide variety of braids. Above are just a few variations of square and flat five-loop braids. The loop braiding method I teach can easily be extended up to 7 and 9-loop square and flat braids, which are bigger and have even more color-pattern possibilities (see my other tutorials)
NEW: For an even easier intro to loop braiding, see my more recent tutorial on 3-loop braids, —Strong, pretty cords and flat braids, that are super-fast to make…Eight- and nine-year-olds can learn these with adult help.
The diagram below outlines the basic 5-loop method, click on it once, and then once again to enlarge it to full size:
The video below shows the loop set-up, demos the braiding moves for a square braid very slowly, gives tips for trouble-shooting and for efficient ways to hold the loops.
BTW—Don’t braid over the top of a table! It’s good for photographing the loops, but not for braiding. Off the edge is much better. Also, don’t worry if the loops seem kind of tangled or twisted at the very top of the loop bundle when you first start the braid. Just pull the first few braiding moves tight. Any initial “messy bits” will get covered up by the braid.
Part 2 (below) has more slow braiding practice and tips. If it’s too slow and ‘talky’ for you, skip ahead in the video—slide the little bubble below the screen forward—or skip down and check out my written tips and photos below the videos. Past the middle of the video I braid faster. Near the end of this second video, I start to show how to divide the braid Continue reading
Departed loops, two-color loops, bicolor loops—in fingerloop braiding, all these just mean loops made out of two colors, tied or linked together. Bicolor loops produce very different braid patterns than the patterns you can get from single-color loops.
With bicolor loops you can also make really dramatic pattern-changes in your braid. And not just in these mega-loop braids that I’ve been posting about lately. Here’s another one, though: (click twice on any photo to see the braid structure)
I promise I won’t post any more Spanish bicolor samplers!
Before I leave them though, I’m posting this booster/ plug and a tutorial for bicolor loops. Bicolor loops add so many patterning possibilities to any kind of loop braid, which is why they have been used worldwide in connection with both fingerloop and hand-held loop braiding. In the old English braiding manuscripts they were called departed bowes, or boes—a bow being a loop.