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How to make a “Handshake” center-start:

I don’t have a photo of a finished braid with a handshake center-start.
In the photo below I used a handshake center-start just for the loop at the top of the braid, basically the same idea, except I only braided a short way before joining the two halves into one braid below the loop-start. If you click on the photo below to enlarge it you’ll see the “handshake” join area at the top of the loop more clearly.

fingerloop braiding, 16 loops, 'handshake' looped start

‘Handshake’ loop-start, 16-loop Sudarium braid. 8 pink / purple loops were linked around 8 silver / gold loops at the start of the braid. Click twice to see the ‘handshake’ join of the two color-groups at the start of the braid.

Prepare one set of loops for half the length of the braid, each loop tied separately. (In the colors that you’ve chosen for one half of the length of your braid.) Each loop should be no longer than your regular maximum length. Then one-at-at-a-time, thread and tie each strand for the other half of the braid through that first set of loops, so the second set of loops is linked onto the first bunch of loops (see photos).

[The photos below are from an old tutorial of mine on the Braids_and_Bands yahoo list. These loops wouldn’t make a particularly long braid, but they illustrate the basic idea.]

Suspend the purple loops from a firm point (I use a C-clamp) and braid the green loops first. Then take the purple loops off the C-clamp, and tie the finished green section onto it, before braiding the rest of the braid (the purple loops).
Tighten well the first few braiding moves to make a smooth join.

If you tighten well at both starts from the center, there will be a tight “handshake” join at the centerpoint of the braid.

Make sure you braid with the knots at the ends of the braid, not in the center.

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Last updated Oct/9/2018

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