Thursday, January 22, 2009

Single Cord Braids

Yesterday was my first day at Yes Prep and I know had a lot of fun. I think the kids did too. I have 19 sixth and seventh graders and they were incredibly well-behaved and embraced what I was tyring to do. The interesting part was how young they still are... in language (three syallable words had to be defined), knowledge of the rest of the world (maps had to be drawn to show where Toronto is located) and what's funny to them. I took some art books with me to show typical 'art' and they did not surprise me when the nudes became the favorite pictures to giggle over. Our project was to twist embroidery floss into bracelets. All but one made an acceptable product though some of the color combinations were truly awful. There was one over acheiver who twisted three separate cords and produced a necklace with another cord to hang a pendant. Amazing!

Next week we are going to braid cord. I thought we would do multipe string braids.... from simple hair brading to a 16 cord Japanese style braid. This might be too much for 19 kids and one teacher to get through in one class. Today I had a brain flash. What if we used simpler materials?

First we could finger knit on two fingers... a llittle loose but when tightened up it made a nice loose round braid. This technique can tie off circulation to your fingers so I may skip this one.
Then I remembered that I had a Lucette I had purchaed many years agos from Lacis. It does not appear to still be in their catalog, which is a shame as the tool is definitely a work of art. They do have the book I have lost which I just may have to get to explore more ways to use it. I pulled it out this morning and produce this bit of square cord in just a few mintutes.

Then I remembered something I have had for a zillion years but never knew how to use it. It seemed like a perfect little round braid tool. I was right and make this dainty little piece of cord.
That brings me to a futuristic spool kitter I found the other day at the local big JoAnn's. It uses fingering or DK weight yarn. All you do is crank the thing and out comes beautiful cord. Its not as easy as that but as long as you pay attention you can get acceptable results. Here is some green cords I ended up with the other night. JoAnn's online has a similar thingy called a Cool Corder for sale. Also, Lacis has one (looks bigger for bigger yarn) for a much bigger price.
These cords can be used in a variety of ways.... as a substitute for knitted I-cord, as the basis for mecklaces and jewellry, you can braid them together to make belts and purse handles, sew them together into flowers for pins, and use them for lanyards for key chains. I am sure there are other uses but that's what I can come up with right now.
So there are four technques for braiding a single cord into something else. I think that might keep them busy next week. I can only hope!


Linda B. said...

I am in awe of you, Alice ... you rock!

Anonymous said...

How did you make the first picture?

Alice said...

The first one is a two finger knitting technique that I found instructions for in a You Tube Video. When I searched for finger knitting this was the first technique that came up. BTW I usually use four fngers for finger knitting... same technique just a bigger result.