Learning new things.
Finger loop braids. I was watching Wolf Hall (again) and was intriguing when I saw a scene of Elizabeth Cromwell using her hands to weave a braid. Some net surfing later and I was ready to give it a go.
What is Finger loop weaving/braiding?
Fingerloop braiding is a way of making cords from threads. It is a type of braiding known as loop manipulation. The braid is made from loops of yarn, attached at a fixed point. The loops are placed over the fingers and interlaced using different patterns of movement. The different movement pattern result in different patterns being woven into the cord. The number of loops used varies. Larger, thicker braids can be worked by two or more people working together.
Originating during the Middle Ages, in Europe. From the 15th century finger loop braid techniques began to appear in books. Transcripts of these can be found online. https://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/fingerloop.html
Lilly and I had some fun learning together to make finger loop braids. I used a clipboard with a weight on it to anchor the tied end of the loops also called ‘Bowes’. We tried two loop braids to start with, then three, five and six. Samples are in the main photo above.
I also finished the ends of a scarf I had woven with finger loop braids. A rather fun alternative to twisting the fringe.
What Yarns to use?
Any yarn will work. I used left over acrylic yarns from the many blankets I’ve been crocheting. Cottons would give a nice firm cord and combining weights of the yarn would give interesting textures.
My samples were reasonably short, as I was learning I didn’t want to be spending a lot of time completing each. To start keep your loops short, they really can’t be any longer than you can comfortable pull them to the side to tighten them, so you are limited to about a meter, unless you tie easily undone knots in the loops and extend out as you go.
What to make with finger loop Braids?
- The six ‘bowes’ braids would make great bag handles and straps.
- Bracelets – especially the fancier braids, with silks
- Tie cords for curtains
- Drawstrings for clothing
- Decorative trims
- Book Marks
- Hair ties
- Key and scissor fobs