About me

I’m Ingrid Crickmore, a.k.a. loopbraider. I live on the west coast of the U.S. with my husband.  My non-textile interests are desert camping, hiking, and botanizing; old-time music (old American fiddle tunes and songs), art, and linguistics. I am a preschool teacher.

My mother was my art and textile inspiration beginning when I was a young child. She had never gone to college in her native country, but when I was 10 or so she went to art college and majored in textile arts, which had a huge impact on me! She had always made things and shown me how to make things, but after she started college, I got to pore through art history books, tag along and draw in life drawing classes, watch her weaving and dyeing, and go to galleries and craft fairs. Since then I’ve always been interested in textile and fiber crafts and history.

In 2006 I got sidetracked into loop braiding from knitting and naalbinding, when someone in a knitting group showed me how to make a 5-loop braid. I got hooked pretty quickly, partly because it was so fun to do and partly because there was so little information available about it that I had to figure out some things on my own. That turned into an intriguing voyage of discovery into the inherent possibilities of a seemingly rather limited craft.

I started this blog to share some of the things I had learned. One was what I was lucky enough to learn with my first braid – the V-fell (or “Method 2”) style of basic finger-held loop braiding, used historically by at least half the world. When I started this blog in 2010, there was little to no information about this method, either in print or online, even though it’s the best one to learn if you want to make braids of more than 7 loops.

Everybody who gets into loop braiding seems to quickly get to the point of wanting to make bigger braids, and the V-fell method (plus some  tricks for making traditional two-worker loop braids as a solo braider!) will let you do that.

I’m also very interested in other loop braiding methods, and in the world-wide history of loop braiding. The classic European loop braiding tradition (where the basic A-fell method was used) left behind an impressive body of notated braids in a few 15th and 17th Century manuscripts, which have been analyzed in depth by Noemi Speiser and others over the last half-century or less. The hand-held loop braiding traditions of old Japan and pre-Incan Peru are also very exciting to me, and I’ve been trying to learn about both of them.*

Andean-type loop braid,* wool, 2″x7″

I just started adding videos to many of the tutorials in my posts.  Loop braiding is easiest to learn from live demos–I’m hoping video tutorials will approach that.

I also post occasionally about my current braiding projects and ideas.

I’d love to hear from you! (leave a note under “comments”, or send me an email.)

Thanks for visiting Loop Braiding!

Demo-ing a 5-loop square braid, photo by Penny Peters


*I made this Andean-type flat braid using hand-held loop braiding. I’ve been learning about ancient Andean loop braiding from Rodrick Owen, whenever he comes to the west coast of the U.S. to teach. He teaches both kumihimo and Andean braiding. (U.K. and U.S.A.)   Click here for his upcoming workshops.

© 2010–2017 Ingrid Crickmore

See full copyright restrictions and permissions at the bottom of the sidebar (if you are on a small screen, the ‘sidebar’ may appear at the bottom of your screen). Content of this website may not be posted or “reposted” online, sold, or used in fee-based workshops without my permission. It may be shared off-line with certain restrictions – see full copyright info.

Info pages:
Page 1: About Loop Braiding
Page 2: A-fell, V-fell, Slentre, and hand-held loop braiding
Page 3: Too-Many-Loop Braids
Page 4: Unorthodox Braids
Page 5: Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding
Page 6: Alphabet braids of the 17th Century
Page 7: About Me (this page)
Page 8: Terminology
Page 9: L-M BRIC and the Illustrated Instruction Series – an unofficial index to Masako Kinoshita’s loop braiding site.

Index to tutorials

Index to posts

15 thoughts on “About me

  1. Three-strand hair braiding is the extent of my knowledge, but I’m intrigued by your beautiful work and all the different techniques you mention above. I’m off to browse some more …

  2. Hello Ingrid! I have found this site extremely useful with advancing my loop braiding. I have been doing it since elementary school, which is where I first learned it. I took a break for a few years; now, I’m getting back into it with an ambitious project. I do have a question, though. I want to make the outer layer of an Obi using various flat braiding techniques, but I’m not sure what type of thread/string to use. I need something that’s a decent thickness and price, but strong and with a bit of a silky texture. Would you know anything fitting that description?

    • Hi Mistykaren, I’m so glad you’ve found this site useful! Your project sounds really interesting, I’d love to see pics of it either when it’s done or in-progress. Do you mean the braid for tying the obi–obijime I think it’s called? I am no expert on them. I know it’s very traditional with Japanese braids to use either silk or (now) synthetic silk, which must be less expensive than silk. Braidershand sells both, and I’m sure other kumihimo suppliers do too. If you want something easier to braid with, a highly mercerized cotton does have a nice sheen and would be a little more braider-friendly.

      The thickness really depends on the type of braid you’ll be making–how many loops you’ll be using and how wide you want the braid to be. I use dmc embroidery floss a lot, myself, has a nice sheen. If I need it thicker I double it. It’s very strong but with a lot of wear will end up getting dull and wearing out. I also braid with silk buttonhole-twist type thread, but it’s much finer, probably not what you want. Good luck! I would love to hear about what you end up using and how it worked for you!

      • No, I’m going to make the obijime separately – I want to create the actual outer part of the obi out of fine braiding. There is more to it of course. However, I’m not going to go into too much detail here, for it’s a bit difficult to explain. I will definitely look into your suggestions; I thank you very much~ I’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s done, but it’s going to be a long project, so don’t hold your breath.

        • Hmm, maybe you would be interested in a heavier yarn than I had thought. You might want to check out elann.com‘s yarn they call “Lara“. It’s ultra-mercerized smooth cotton yarn with no or little twist to it. very reasonably priced. it’s about as thick as doubled embroidery floss…they call it sport weight. They sometimes have other cotton yarns that are good for braiding too, their Lustrado is finer gauge, with a twist to it.

  3. I’ve never heard of this technique before. I sure like the picture with the flowers. Hope you’re doing well.

    • Hi Erich! I’m fine, it is really great to hear from you. I’ve been pretty obsessed with this technique for the last 5 or 6 years now.
      Let’s talk one of these days! I hope things are going well…

  4. Hi, Ingrid!! I’ve been lurking around this site for a long time, but have never gotten the courage to post about how much I love it. I’m not sure if this is the right place to post a comment such as this, but I’ll try it anyway. I’ve been doing kumihimo for a while, and have the book by Rodrick Owen (?) that describes many braids done in that fashion. However, I am fascinated with the Tibetan and Peruvian sling braids, but can’t manage to find any resources on them. From what I’ve read, they are worked somewhat like loop braids, right? Any info you can shoot me would be much appreciated.

    thanks,
    -M

    • [Edited to add new info:
      I now have a few links to sling braid tutorials in my sidebar, look for the section entitled “Links to Other Braiding Sites”. Rodrick Owen’s new book on sling braids is due to be published sometime in 2015, it has detailed instructions for making many different sling braids using a braiding stand or slotted card, but the instructions can also be followed the traditional way, using hands alone.]

      Hi Mac–Thanks! I love to talk braids, I’m so glad you left a note. Sling braids are free-end braids, traditionally worked upward, through the left fist, with the braided part hanging down from the fist. Some of them are made with hidden colors carried inside the braid that don’t show until you decide to bring them out from the ‘core’. Both Rodrick Owen and Makiko Tada have books on how to make them on a braiding stand (or on a card with slits).

      The classic book on sling braids made the traditional way is a great one, with tons of patterns: Sling Braiding of the Andes, by Adele Cahlander (1980). It has a lot of pictures and info–on the slings themselves as well as the braiding methods. It might be hard to learn from initially, easiest to start with the tutorials in my sidebar links.

      Rodrick Owen also teaches sling braids in his workshops, as a fist, card, or braiding stand technique. He and BraidersHand have come up with a braiding stand specifically designed for making sling braids.

      Thanks for reading my blog!

      –Ingrid

  5. I like your site.

    My work in textile so called braided Assomption sash or “ceinture fléchée” Is a very large and very long flat angle ribbed braid worked with dfingers only (no tolls). I learn from Noémi Speiser.

    Teaching this unique braided technique from North East of America and Québec, I teach loop-manipulated-braid to help them understanf the difference betwwen braidind and weaving.

    I have conversation with Masako Kinoshita. Even if Assomption sash is describe finger weaving, the resalt is the same of my work that is braiding technique.

    • Hi Michelle! I’ve seen many pictures of your beautiful work, both on your website and albums, also photographs from the Braid Society Exhibition (2010?). Really impressive and gorgeous textiles! It’s wonderful that you are teaching and keeping the tradition alive, too many textile traditions are disappearing …(Also I “see” you on the Braid Society yahoo list sometimes!)
      Thanks so much for visiting here and for your message!

  6. Hi Dominic,
    Thanks for the feedback! I’m interested in knotting, too, but so far I haven’t done much other than the chinese button knot and some nautical-type knotted finishes for ends of braids. Do you ever use your own braids for knotting? I would love to see some photos (and to post them if you were willing!)
    Sorry, I’ve been REALLY dragging my feet with the video tutorials. I’m working on a basic tutorial now, if the video portion of it doesn’t work out I’ll just put it together with lots of photos and post that for the time being–then hire a teenager I know to teach me how to make better videos.
    Btw, I went to your website, and got lost there for quite a while! Your designs and materials are gorgeous, ditto for the photography/ layout…
    –Ingrid

  7. dear ingrid
    what inspiring work!
    if you look at my website there is no weaving there but the last few months i’ve focused on knotting (especially whats called fancy work) and the f-loop braiding.
    bit stuck at the moment with the basic braids, but just tried a 7 loop after looking at your stuff – it had never occurred to me as a possibility! am not very able to understand descriptions of moves so am hoping you have a series of photos or a video, but can’t see it around?
    the colour combination on the ‘oranges and lemons’ is stunning. not feeling up for the letter braiding yet but it will come…… thanks so much for your very well laid out blog. followed the ‘rodrick owen’ link – obviously outstanding work, but the images are awful – totally blurry, what a shame.

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