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
I won’t have enough time to make “real” tutorials til after I get back from Braids 2012, but I just added text instructions for the Genji-Uchi braid to last year’s Kute-Uchi tutorial. The two videos already in that post relate directly to this braid! Here’s a photo of some Genji-uchi braids. They can be made with as few as 8 loops, and learned with only 4…the instructions for them are now in the Kute-Uchi post:
Item #2: Cindy Myers’ “Silkewerk” site’s fingerloop braids
I just (re-) found Cindy Myers’ Silkewerk site, which has a wonderful section on Medieval fingerloop braids. She carefully compares the braid instructions of 3 different manuscripts,* with links to many photographs of her beautiful braid reproductions, along with very clearly-presented text instructions. Continue reading
Here’s a video to go with my tutorial—a few posts ago—for Douglas Grant’s Round Spanish Braid of 7 loops. The video also demos a new color pattern for the braid. It’s shown above in mercerized cotton sport-weight yarn (elann.com’s Lara). That’s about equivalent to using doubled strands of embroidery floss.
For this color-pattern, the seven loops are all bicolor—five loops blue+white, two loops blue+black. Be sure to arrange them on the fingers as I show in the video. (My original post has instructions for several other color patterns, plus the necessary loop-order to follow for setting up your own color patterns.)
0:00 Intro (slow start—skip ahead if you don’t want to wait through it. Slide the bubble under the video to any of the time points shown below.)
2:57 Color pattern set-up for this pattern
3:33 Braiding moves, very slowly
7:50 Slightly faster
12:08 One unbraiding move
12:59 A look at braid’s pattern
16:30 Last look at pattern, also at the divided section forming a loop at the top of the braid.
On all these youtube videos, you can change the quality of the video by clicking on the circular icon that looks like a gear (just under the video, towards the right—it displays after you start the video). Pick a lower quality if you have a slow server, or if the video isn’t playing smoothly. I suppose a higher quality will sharpen the image. On the far right is an icon to click for full-screen mode.
If you click on the “youtube” button on the same taskbar, you’ll be taken to a youtube page to watch the video. There, if you click “more” to expand my description under the video, you’ll see a timeline that is actually clickable—meaning, you can click on any of the timepoints in the left column, and the video will start playing right at that point! (I love this! Only learned about it recently and have been trying to add it into all my videos.)
Here’s a friendship bracelet video tutorial that also shows how to make my favorite type of color pattern for a square braid: chevrons across bicolor stripes.
The bracelet tutorial teaches an easy way to make a lo-tech adjustable closure if your bracelet has a loop at one end. This can be used for any bracelet with a loop at one end. (The photo of the teapot does not show this method!—see braids below.)
I also show a way to start the braid with no loose ends at the top of the braid, and with a loop that can be used as a closure. The videos demo the braids with 7 loops, but this can be applied to 5-loop or 9-loop fingerloop braids, too.* Continue reading
I just made a video showing how to arrange the loops on your fingers to follow one of the charts you might come up with in using Gary Mitchell’s interactive pattern-generator for the 7-loop “Spanish” finger loop braid. Kumihimo pattern-planners are fairly well known, but I think Gary may be the first braider to come up with a pattern generator for loop braiding. (I described how the planner worked in my previous post, this video just shows how to interpret its charts.)
The photo above shows some braids I’ve made using Gary’s pattern planner. (Click two times on the photo to see more detail.) The # on each tag is that braid’s planner ID#. If you enter a number in the planner, you’ll get a chart for that braid. Continue reading
I think all my links to Gary’s pattern planner are now updated to go to his new URL. If you’ve bookmarked his old site, you’ll need to switch over to this one.
A reader of this blog has come up with the first interactive braid-pattern generator for a fingerloop braid that I’ve ever heard of! A few months ago Gary Mitchell contacted me to tell me that he was working on a pattern planner for the 7-loop Spanish braid.
This was a huge surprise! I didn’t think many braiders had even tried the tutorial I had posted for this braid. I learned this 17th C. loop braid from a recent monograph by Joy Boutrup,*1 and last year I posted a video-tutorial on it. It is a really fun braid, flatter and more intricate than the 7-loop square braid, but requiring no more loops (or fingers) to braid it. Continue reading
A couple of months ago, when I had to make some sample braids for an article, I decided to try a waxed cotton cord I had seen online.
I wanted to use something stiffer than embroidery floss, something that would really show the structure of the braids. Continue reading
Over 6 months ago Douglas Grant sent me instructions for a braid he had come up with. I meant to try it right away, but somehow it’s taken me this long to get around to it. I’m glad I finally did!
The braid is an unusual variation of a 7-loop spanish braid, with extra twists that cause the braid’s shape to end up firmly rounded rather than rectangular in cross-section. In some color patterns, the braid looks more square than round.
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: