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9-loop tips and encouragement:

You don’t need a curved thumb for braiding. Straight-thumbed braiders have learned this method with great success. After a little practice, the light tension of the loop keeps it in place on the thumb. (I can’t keep my thumb straight when I hold it upward – it feels very unnatural that way, and eventually starts to tremble.)

When you are first using thumbs for braiding, be patient when loops fall off – that’s normal. Just pick them up and keep going. Loops may even start falling off the fingers more than the thumbs! That’s because you’re concentrating so hard on the thumbs that you can’t pay as much attention to the fingers.

Bear with it, it’ll get easier fast. Keep practicing the movements; don’t try to make a perfect braid – that will come later!

Pay attention to my notes on “Hand Positions” following photo #3.

Remember that the thumb always points somewhat upward and stays straight. Resist the temptation to tuck/bend it down in order to hold onto the loop, this is not a good habit – it will cause problems later.

Keep loops on the passive hand gently taut, not sagging, so the “fetcher” finger of the active hand can slide through them easily and fetch the thumb-loop without dislodging any loops.

Loops on the active “loop-fetching” hand do not need to be especially taut, though – you can relax those fingers. But try to keep them bent/curled so their loops won’t slide off. (See photo #12.)

👍🏽 Thumbs up! 🙂

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