Friday, June 24, 2011

Trying a New Craft - Braiding

At the Faire there was an SCA lady demonstrating fingerloop braiding. It looked magical.

There were also several booths selling kits for kumihimo, which also looked interesting.  I thought I'd look it up at the library first instead of plunking $17 for a kit, and found this really great book, which explained what I wanted to hear:  

And had diagrams!
From ye olde internet, I found
Which has plenty of information to get started. 
I only cut out a cardboard loom from an empty kleenex box and look what I made! 

It is just fascinating how it works, and there comes the braid out the other side.
The downside:  it would take For.  Ev.  Er.  to make any length of braid this way. 
This is all the further I got even after doing it (it is a very relaxing activity for the hands) a whole afternoon while we had some friends over.  Oops, the picture doesn't show, but it's a sample about 6" long. 
A real polished wooden stand, with the braid weighted down beneath, and a practiced worker, could probably do it a lot faster. 

Back to "fingerloop braiding" which the 14th c lady had been demonstrating.  She provided this link,
I cut some lengths of thread and got started.  It takes just a few minutes to get the hang of it and then it requires no further attention and goes like lightning. 

I braided all the way down to the ends of the loops while still standing there being amazed at how cool this was.  I didn't even have time to get bored.  WOW!  Look how pretty it comes out!!  And these were just the colors of cotton thread that I happened to have in the top drawer.  

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