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April 9th, 2016 at 08:40 am

Tutorial Inspiration – Part II – Braid Beginnings

As I mentioned, sometimes the inspiration for “getting it done” is seeing a few to many repetitions of an InterMyth (and the side effects of parents raised during the Great Depression so there is an element of furgality) So it was with Fill The Gap. it is a great braid for accessories, but is not Japanese in origins so not Kumihimo.
There are other sources for its instruction and some might even be better than mine – but my goal is to help you learn the basics and then you choose how to go on after that.

The first step is “elapsed” time. The only way to even remotely avoid infringement is the need to start with a blank pieces of paper, or in my case, choosing not to look at /review the work of others for at least 6monts to a year for the particular braid.

Next I wind up some tama and spend a few hours getting back the rhythm of the braid on Marudai. After that comes what Henry refers to as the slot machine braiding ( comes from the slang for slot machines – the one armed bandit – based on the year I broke my arm and it took a few resets to get the bones back where they belonged)

As with many things Japanese, braiding movements are very much about balance, so “two handed” – which means if working on disc, when only one tama / bobbin is moved at at time – there will be TWO half steps.

Thanks to permission from the BeadSmith to use their images – I make up a number of sheets with two “discs” side by side and room for notes – these are more or less 1/2 sheets of letter size.

I have mentioned before that because I come from MaruDai to Disc – and thus have seen how much more easily the transition can occur if one is always in the habit of not turning the disc – I don’t… ever

It is my understanding that Makiko-sensei and others do to make it simpler – but my feeling is turning the disc just creates an obstacle to overcome later. Like many things, if you never start, the habit is easier to break

Anyway, back to my process. working one hand at time, making notes (adding arrowed lines – noting numbers, etc) I work thru the braid to find the the full repeat (all the steps/half-steps) needed for one cycle of movements to build the structure.

Repeat a few times (okay maybe a dozen) (STILL ON MARUDAI) to confirm – at least enough times to “see” that the braid does “match” the expected pattern and shape.

If all the sketches are clear and “okay” then time to put them to the test on Disc. This is also when I do enough repeats to find how many repeats are needed to return the bobbins to the original starting position. Just because one uses the same slots over and over does not mean the same tama “finish” in the same place.

This is a detail you need to know for purposes of surface design yarn color or with beads.

In not all that long time, this would be the point that the written instructions should be produced – in my case – I talk the sequences out loud which does annoy some people – recording as I go – using notation/comments likely more familiar to those who have weaving and/or crochet or knitting experience –
To start Round 1, with Left hand lift bobbin A from slot 32 and place in lot 18, with right hand lift bobbin B slot 1 to slot 15″ – repeating until bobbin A and all the others have returned to their original starting position. Then I play back and make the braid according to the verbal instructions , on the disc.

Again to use a term most weavers will recognize, –
Tromp As Writ –

If these were to be formally published, once the quick and dirty diagrams and verbiage has been refined a bit – this is point where I would be having a group with varied experience trying these instructions.

More refinements and editing, some q&d images would go off to a graphics person with more skills and tools than I possess. to prepare better diagrams and edit as needed for formal publication.

However, my current “project” is not intended for publication and certainly not something that I expect to be paid for. It is always welcome when others in the Beaded Braid community pitch in –
trying instructions and asking questions, or as Cheryl was so generous to do recently – making photos so you could see that all important point of braiding.

This is just the first part of the process — the braid structure –
after than comes mapping – sometimes easy and sometimes tedious.

I hope that by sharing a small part of the process it will help you to understand some of my eccentricities related to Intellectual property and of course, what “belongs” in a publication for it to be called a tutorial – and oh yes, fair warning, few things make my teeth hurt more than the phrase “standard braid” there is no such thing.

And, I am looking forward to “getting these done” because one of my rules is that I cannot use my books (marudai or disc) while this is ongoing.

Thanks for listening,
I hope you will share what you do with these instructions
so now it is time for you to go

Enjoy The Making


P.S. currently there are instructions for my variation on
Kusari_Tsunagi – an 8 element round braid that has “straight” lines (does not spiral) among others in our Face Book files for Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More
Fill The Gap – a 7 element round braid has two parts, the “History” and SetUp & Stepouts are available on my e-commerce site – ItsAllJustString.com
and eventually all will find their way to the underdevelopment site’s AllJustString.com


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