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 about 10 or 11 she started at an art college, eventually earning a BFA in textile arts. That had a big impact on me. She had always made things and shown my sister and me how to make things, but after she started college, I got to pore through art history books, tag along and draw in her 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 possibilities of a seemingly rather limited craft. (too many details about that voyage here!)
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.
The V-fell method (along with some of my own tips and tricks) will let you make braids of many more than 7 loops.
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, Joy Boutrup, 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.*
I started this blog to share some of what I’ve learned. Loop braiding is easier to learn in person than from written instructions, so I hope video tutorials will approach that. I make my videos from the braider’s point of view, with the camera mounted on a table between me and my hands. It’s a little awkward to braid around the camera! But I think it gives the clearest view of the braiding moves.
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!
Update, Nov 2022 – I wrote the above “About Me” back in 2010, and a lot has changed in my life since then, including a recent hiatus from braiding. But I am coming back to it now, and hope to be posting again soon. I appreciate all the questions and comments blog visitors send me, both in the comment fields of each post and in private emails (click on Contact under the About tab in the upper menu).
*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.
© 2010–2022 Ingrid Crickmore
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