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Divided Braid loop start #2, using Double-length loops:
This variation of the previous method is good for bicolor loops as well as single-color loops. When you set up your loops, cut out doubly-long bicolor loops, and only make half as many loops as your braid requires. Link the left hand’s loops (as a bunch) around the right hand’s loops. Each of the two bunches of loops will be in a U-shape, linked onto the other U-shaped bunch of loops.

Every loop does not have to be double-length. You can add single loops to the set-up. If a single loop is of one color (not bicolor) it will leave no ends at the top — be sure to position the loop so the knot is at the bottom, where you will insert your finger. Thread each single loop onto one of the U-shaped bunches of loops. If the single odd loop is bicolor, there is a way to make a single bicolor loop that only has a knot at the bottom of the loop, see my tip #2 back on the main post Starts With No Ends. Otherwise, if your bicolor loop will have a knot at both ends, be sure to leave long ‘tails’ to the upper knot. That way you can later undo the knot and sew those two long tails into the braid to hide them.

Then generally follow the same instructions as for the Divided loop start #1.

However, with these doubled loops, you need to be very careful in mounting them onto the prong or header cord or shower-curtain ring:

The cord or bar must be inserted UNDER all the upper shanks, and OVER/ABOVE all the lower shanks of each loop. The bar does not simply go between the “U” of each of the two bunches of loops, it must go through each individual loop such that the upper shanks are ‘upper’ both over the bar and on the finger, with no twist to the loop in between the bar and the finger. This is less obvious than it sounds! Compared to Loop Start #1, you will have to do some work to “open up” each loop and put it onto the bar or cord, with the upper shank over and the lower shank under the bar.

On each finger check that no loop is twisted. The upper shank of each loop must pass directly over the top of the bar or cord, and the corresponding lower shank must lead directly to the underside of the bar or cord, with no twists, and without passing through another loop that is twisted. Basically, no “lower shank” of any loop should pass over an “upper shank” of any other loop, and vice versa: no upper shank should pass under any lower shank.

Check between the upper and lower levels of the whole length of the loop bundle, from your fingertips to the bar, to make sure that no lower shank passes over any of the upper shanks, and there are no twists or figure-8’s between the two levels. You must be able to see and pass a finger through a clear open space between the upper and lower shanks of all the loops, from up where they are mounted around the header bar, cord, or ring all the way down to the fingers.

I think it’s easiest first to load the loops directly onto the solid horizontal bar of a C-clamp (C-clamp mounted upside-down on edge of table). After the loops are all loaded correctly onto that bar, then carefully slide a thick header cord through them, or insert a shower-curtain ring through the loops (before lifting them off the C-clamp bar).

For any divided-braid loop start, the header cord or bar can be quite thick, as long as it is no thicker than the size of your planned loop at the top of the braid.

The header cord should never be tied or tightened tightly onto the loops. The loops must be able to slide freely on the header cord or bar. If the loops are constricted by a header cord, you will not be able to tighten the braid well enough at the top, resulting in a loose, gappy, unbraided section at the very top of the braid.

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Last updated Aug/31/2022

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