8-loop Double Braid color patterns

In answer to a request, here are the color and loop set-ups for 13 of the 8-loop double braids in the photo below, plus two flat double braid set-ups from a photo sent in by reader Dan Gaiser. Altogether eleven flat, one solid rectangle, one hollow rectangle, and two side-slit rectangle double braids. This post only teaches the color set-ups—the braiding methods are taught in the respective tutorials for solid rectangle, flat, and hollow double braids.

The “Side-slit double braid” is yet another variation of double braid. I explain how to make them below—this is not covered yet in any of my tutorials. This braid is rectangular in cross-section so looks very similar to solid-rectangle double braids, but it has slitted sides (the two layers of the braid are connected/ solid in the center of the braid, but unconnected at the very outer edges), and offers some very fun color-pattern possibilities that can’t be made with ‘normal’ rectangle double braids. Side-slit braids seem to have been fairly common as medieval and later-period purse-strings, judging by various references to extant museum specimens I’ve read about in articles by Noemi Speiser and Joy Boutrup.

[click photo to see braids more clearly]
version2, 8-LoopDoubleBraids

The braiding method for these braids is taught in my three double braid tutorials (see links above). Here I’m just showing the starting positions of loop-colors on the fingers for particular color-patterns for those braids.

A, B, C, and D = index, middle, ring, little fingers.

RECTANGLE double braid patterns (solid, side-slit, and hollow rectangle shapes):

Braids #4 and #5 from the left are side-slit rectangle braids.
Braid #4 can also be made as a solid rectangle braid with no difference to the pattern. But braid #5 has bicolor loops and so will come out a bit differently (but nice-looking!) if braided as a solid rectangle braid.

#4…Alternating blue and white chevrons. 4 blue loops, 4 white
Start with A, B White; C , D Blue (on both hands)
The braid can be made as a solid rectangle or a side-slit rectangle (explained below) with no change to the pattern.

#5… Brown/Blue chevrons alternating with white.
4 white loops, 4 bicolor loops of brown/blue
A, B White; C, D bicolor (Brown/Blue) on both hands
Left C and D have brown facing up; Right C and D have blue facing up.

The braid’s color-pattern will look different than shown in photo if braided as a solid rectangle braid. For exact pattern, follow instructions below:

Side-slit rectangle double braid instructions:
Inner two transfers are turned (1st and 3rd transfer); outer two transfers are NOT turned (2nd and 4th). Exactly the opposite of the hollow double braid.

version2, 8-LoopDoubleBraids

Solid rectangle double braid:

#10… Orange, pink, and off-white. This color variation of the Crowns and Edge patterns has two slightly different colors for the non-white shanks. Unfortunately, the orange and dark pink came out looking almost the same in this photo–in real life they contrast more. Two different blues (+ white) also make a nice combination. Alternating the Edge and Crowns patterns in one braid is explained in my first double braid tutorial.

I made this braid and the side-slit rectangle braids with doubled embroidery floss, so the braids would be about as wide as the flat braids. Normally I wouldn’t do that, to me they’re a little on the clunky side. But that’s just a matter of personal preference, and also depends on your end use for the braid.

8 bicolor loops: 4 loops white + orange; 4 loops white + dark pink.

3-color EDGE:
A, B white up/ orange down; C, D pink up/ white down (both hands)
And further down in braid, the reverse:
A, B orange up/ white down; C, D white up/ pink down

3-color CROWNS:
White down on all fingers, and
A, B orange up; C, D pink up, both hands.

Hollow rectangle double braid:
#18… Last braid on right. Black with orange and gold eagle (or lobster/ crawdad) shapes:
Left hand: A Orange, B Gold, C Orange, D Black
Right hand: All Black (A,B,C,D)

Braids #6, 12, 13, 16, 17 are double braids that are neither flat nor rectangular. I don’t yet have tutorials for them here.
My article in Threads That Move [see right sidebar] explains their braiding methods, as well as several other double braid shapes. If you have that article, and would like to have the color-pattern setup for any of the braids in photos, or have any other questions, email me through the contact form in my top menu.

Only the 4th loop transfer is turned (right outer transfer), as shown in my videos. Turning only the 2nd transfer (left outer transfer) would also make a flat double braid, but would require different color set-ups for many of these patterns.

#1… Red borders, purple and white center
L hand: A,B,C,D red loops
R hand: A,B,C,D purple/white bicolor loops, all with the same color up.
Color-linking at final loop-exchange (exchange loops twice—demonstrated in 2nd video of my flat double braid tutorial)

#2… Red and White in alternating and zigzagging rows
A Red, B and C White, D Red (both hands)

Like #2 above, but with wider zig-zags rows (not pictured):

A and B White, C and D Red (both hands)

[For both these zig-zag patterns you may need to be extra careful with the tightening and do a little supplementary “tweaking” of the tightening to get the pattern to come out evenly across the braid. Any of the patterns can have a tendency to slip into a slight diagonal, it just shows more with these zig-zag rows. If the rows slide into a diagonal, the zigs and zags will flatten out.]

#3… Black and white borders, yellow center
L hand: A,D white; B,C black
R hand: All yellow
Color-linking at final loop-exchange (exchange loops twice, see #1)
Only the R outer transfer is turned (for a yellow center)
Or turn only the L outer transfer (for yellow edges and black/white center)

#7… White border, black and white center
L hand: all white
R hand: A,D white; B,C black
Color-linking at final loop-exchange (exchange loops twice, see #1)

#8… White border, light blue and black center
L hand: all white
R hand: A,B,C light blue; D black
Color-linking at final loop-exchange (exchange loops twice, see #1)

version2, 8-LoopDoubleBraids

#9… Purple and white
A,B Purple; C,D White (both hands)

#11… Black with gold + orange eagle shapes
L hand: A Orange, B Gold, C Orange, D Black
R hand: All Black (A,B,C,D)
(same set-up as last braid on right, but here done as a flat braid)

#14… Exact same pattern and set-up as 11. The eagle pattern doesn’t show clearly with these more muted colors (mottled gray for black, and white for orange).

#15… White, purple, gold
All loops bicolor: 4 loops white/ purple; 4 loops white/ gold
L hand: A, B, C, D purple up/ white down
R hand: A gold down, B, C, D gold up

The set-up above results in a large zigzag stripe of purple and gold that is of 3 golds, followed by 4 purples, then 1 gold.
For a zigzag stripe of 2 golds, 4 purples, 2 golds (not illustrated):

L hand: A, B, C, D purple up/ white down
R hand: A, B, C, D gold up/ white down

For a zigzag stripe of 4 purples followed by 4 golds (not illustrated):

L hand: A, B, C, D purple up/ white down
R hand: A,B gold up/ white down; C,D white up/ gold down

(for 4 golds followed by 4 purples, switch “gold” for “purple” in the set-up above)


Here is Dan Gaiser’s photo of an 8-loop flat double braid, showing two different patterns, that he kindly allowed me to share:

I started out with solid color loops, alternating blue, white, blue, white on one hand and all light blue-grey on the other. Somewhere along the way the order got switched and the whites were together. The accident made a nice braid.

Accidents make the best patterns! In these colors the pattern with all the whites together works better, really stands out.

But if you look closely at the middle-top section, I think that’s a great pattern,too, where the blue is outlined with white, and followed by a long section of blue-grey. It looks great here, and would pop out even more with colors that had more contrast.

The original color order in the braid was:
white, blue, blue, white,
followed by the 4 blue-grey loops.

This order can look quite different when loops are mounted on the fingers! That’s because of the loop-order for double braids:

The first color in the sequence–here, white–is always the Left B loop, the 2nd color is on A, third on C and 4th on D.
Followed by the other hand’s loops in that same order.

Dan’s first pattern:
Left A blue, B white, C blue, D white
Right A, B, C, D blue-grey

Dan’s second pattern:
Left A and B blue, C and D white
Right A, B, C, D: blue-grey

Thanks for sharing the photo, Dan!

Note: I am fairly sure the set-ups above are correct! If you find that any are wrong, please leave me a note in the comment field below.

© 2013–2015 Ingrid Crickmore

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7 thoughts on “8-loop Double Braid color patterns

  1. Beautiful! I really do appreciate having the color patterns. I have no idea how long it would take me to experiment and find the fun patterns shown. Thanks again 🙂

  2. I can’t wait for the garden’s harvest to be on the shelf so I can once again turn my hands to other pursuits. What an eye full of color patterns here. Thanks so much for sharing your patient work so that we all can learn all these finger dances with color!

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