Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fun with String--Part 4

After re-reading Teffania's and Katrin's comments on one of my earlier string posts, I went back to experimenting with 3-loop braiding. Unfortunately, I'm still confused about how to rotate loops, because this time I got a beautiful *pair* of three-strand braids--the consequence of not rotating the loop when taking it. A photograph of my test-effort appears on the left.

Still, I'm getting closer. Katrin was right--the process is quick when you get the hang of it. Now if I get the rotating loop thing down, I'll be in business!


  1. I'm glad you did it! To get the hang of rotating, take up your test piece again and braid on with your separate 3-strand braids. Now watch your index finger taking a loop from the other hand. There are several possibilities to hook the finger into the loop to take it, but most people hook the finger around one shank of the loop (and usually always around the same shank in the same way). Once you see which shank you hook, just take the other one - that should turn your loop.
    And then you can experiment with turning on one hand only, or turning on both hands. Have fun!

  2. The first time I ever tried finger-loop braiding I had it going smoothly for a long length, then for a short length did something different, then returned to what I'd done in the first place; all without noticing as I worked that the change had slipped in, nor out again, until I looked closer at the result--which was a single braid, which opened into two of them, then closed back into one again. I called over the person who had shown me the technique, and she commented that I'd discovered on my own an advanced variation that she hadn't been taught till she was well established in the art.

    It occurred to me that it would be an easy way of creating button holes (since my section of two was just about long enough to slip a button into) to be attached to a fabric too delicate to want to put the button holes into the fabric.

  3. It certainly makes sense that I could figure out the "right" way to get a 6-strand braid by going back, figuring out what I did, and changing it. Thanks, Katrin!

    And I agree that using a braid with "holes" built-in would be a simple way to get button loops, though I don't recall any surviving archaeological examples confirming that it was ever done. It would be worth experimenting with, however.