Two double braids from the 17th C with a wonderful “unorthodox” loop exchange method that goes back to the 12th Century, if not further. This exchange move is so easy to do with REALLY cool results! It produces unusual loop braids that may be unique to Europe. Videos for my solo braider method, illustration for the traditional team braiding method.
4-loop to 10-loop Spiral braids – whether spiral-patterned or not – as well as the smallest possible loop braid: the Two-loop Braid. I made these video tutorials years ago to accompany a series of text-and-photo tutorials for another website. Those photo-tutorials are now available here too, you can download them as PDF files straight from this post…
A track-plan diagram is both a cross-section view of a braid’s shape, and also a road map of how the strands interlace. Aside from looking cool, they can be useful even if you don’t totally “get” them. Even a little familiarity with them can help you better understand what you’re braiding.
Two alternative fingerloop braiding methods for making the 2,500-year-old, 15-loop fingerloop braid known as “HallTex 301.” This braid artifact is one of the amazing textile finds from the famous Hallstatt Salt Mines in the Austrian Alps! 2 videos, one demoing a “Palms-up” method and the other a “Palms-down” method.
A tutorial for a non-traditional 12-loop braid with an unusual number of loop-transfers: Five! You might call it a Double-and-a-bit-more Braid. The video tutorial is for my solo-braider method. Also text instructions for an easier “odd” braid – the 7-loop Square-and-a-half braid of 3 loop transfers – for the left braider of a team making the larger 12-loop braid. (The smaller braid has some fun asymmetrical color-patterns of its own!)
An all-history post: Which braids belong to which era? Which ones are ‘made up’? Can a braid be ‘period’ if it’s not in the old manuscripts? Information on the known loop braiding manuscripts, differences and similarities between braids of different eras, recent historical and archeological findings, what’s happening with LMBRIC, more. Also info on traditional fibers – types of silk, linen, wool, etc.
There are 3 ‘rules’ for braiding flat braid zig-zag patterns, and they apply to all (unfolding) flat braids, including 5 and 7-loop flat braids. Using them you can plan wide zig-zags, skinny zig-zags, double zig-zags, bordered zig-zags, and more. Set-ups given for several 7 and 8-loop flat ‘square’ and double braid zig-zag patterns…
I’ve always been fascinated by braiding machines, so I couldn’t resist the new hand-crank toy by Spin Master / Cool Maker that makes a real Kumihimo braid called Kongoh-gumi! It’s not much like the antique hand-crank braiding machine that I was lucky enough to see and crank at Braids 2012…
Gary Mitchell’s new pick-up planner for Doug’s Braid allows you to design and braid new and surprising patterns for it – patterns that might require different moves in successive rows of braiding.
The Manual of Braiding by Noémi Speiser is back in print with a new publisher! I have to jump out of my blogging hiatus to share this! I’m crossing my fingers that Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding will be reprinted soon as well.
I’m in the middle of making an extra-long braid, so I thought I would post an in-progress photo showing my loop-shortening strategy: “Caterpillar” tie-ups.
1. Loop set-ups for several great color-patterns for 5 to 7-loop flat braids! (no ‘pick-up’ required)
2. How to switch between different bicolor patterns in a flat braid (using pick-up)
3. Some “real” pick-up patterns for flat braids
Mixing it up with several easy bicolor patterns within one 6-loop square braid. Charts, tips, tricks, and cautionary notes (how much is too much?) – plus video
Pick-up patterns are ones that may require different braiding moves from one row of braiding to the next. The 17th C. loop braided ‘letter braids‘ were made this way. But pick-up patterning can be done in any two-layer braid – even a square braid!
Update: Super-fun workshop! The returnees dove in and conquered the Katherine Wheele braid, and the newcomers learned more than I had expected to teach! (Sorry no class photos – this substitute photo is from Braids 2012 in Manchester, England)
Finished! Here are 26 (I think!) triangle braid color-pattern set-ups. Super-easy 5-loop color-patterns up to medium-hard 9-loop ones, and even a few beyond that…
Update: Now with videos!!!! This Kute-Uchi site now has videos and tips on how to organize and handle hand-held loops in making traditional Japanese braids, including how to deal with large numbers of loops!
Fumiyo Kitahara’s Kumihimo with Loops (in Japanese and English).
I’ll be teaching a 2-day “Loop Braiding Potpourri” workshop at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale (California) the last weekend of this month – October 29 and 30…
I’ve been trying to reproduce a Japanese national treasure braid known as the Itsukushima braid. It’s described in Masako Kinoshita’s big book on Kute-Uchi: 日本組紐古技法の研究 (Study of Archaic Braiding Techniques in Japan). This is a work-in-progress…
Ten flat braid color patterns for 6-loop braids! Six-loop braids can have some great color-patterns that are only possible with an even number of loops. + Tips for braiding neater-looking flat braid patterns…
“How I spent my summer vacation” and some braiding ideas from camp!