~Unorthodox Braids (UO braids) of 9 loops~
Besides square and flat braids, many so-called unorthodox braids are possible with 9 loops. Unorthodox braids combine regular through-loop moves with over- or under-whole-loop moves. They tend to have interesting shapes. A world-wide, very common unorthodox braid is the 5-loop D-shaped or triangular braid (called the “broad lace of 5 boes” in the 15th C manuscripts). Below are instructions for two different unorthodox 9-loop braids. Others are possible too, and there are even more possible variations with 11-loop braids. (Loop shifts and tightening moves are the same as for a square braid):
Set loops on fingers just as for a 9-loop square braid.
The directions below describe whether the “fetching finger” moves through or over each of the 4 loops on the other hand before taking the thumb loop.
A variation for both unorthodox braids is to not turn any of the loops. This doesn’t result in a divided braid, as it would with a square braid. It results in a slight change to the braid’s shape, and a dramatic change to the color-patterns if the braid is made with any bicolor loops.
Unorthodox braid #1: (D-shaped)
Through 2 loops (d,c), over 2 loops (b,a), take thumb-loop (turned from above). Keep repeating this move, L and R sides.
Unorthodox braid #2: (Triangular/ peaked)
Over 2 loops(d,c), through 2 loops(b,a), take thumb-loop (turned from above). Keep repeating this move, L and R sides.
Click to go to the video tutorial for the 9-loop Triangle braid method, within my new Triangle Braid tutorial. A different post on Triangle braid color-patterns has directions for several great 9-loop color-patterns.
Turning loops “from above” compared to “from below”:
Unlike square braids, unorthodox braids may be noticeably different in shape depending on which direction you turn the transferred loop: from above or from below (number 2 above especially). So far, I have only demo’ed the “from above” turn for square and unorthodox braids, because it is somewhat easier with V-fell braiding, but “from below” works fine, too. This means taking the lower shank of the transferring loop from below the loop to turn it (not taking it from within the loop – that would result in no turn to the loop). This turns the loop in the opposite rotational direction from a turn “from above”.
I tend to prefer the look of the resulting braid when the transferring loop is turned from above, as I teach it here. But try both ways yourself to compare them!
Last updated Nov/29/2019
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