I recently finished up the sixth in a series of braids that will be used as cords for award medallions. Basically, they are necklaces from which you can hang a pendant. They all have ring-and-toggle closures made from aluminum jump rings.
Most notably, the leftmost braid in the image is of a pattern that I have never braided before. One of the 8-tama braids in Jacqui Carey’s book Creative Kumihimo that is not expanded into a 16-tama braid later is 8J, the Yatsu Sen pattern that is also used for the Yatsu Rai braid.
This made me wonder what the double-8J braid would be like. So, borrowing the mechanic used to expand 8F (Edo Yatsu) into 16T (Keiruko no Himo) to wit –
This creates a lovely braid with smooth 4-ridge rounded faces, and flat edges. I still have to sit down and work out the colorway grid for this braid, but I think my first try is quite attractive.
There’s a few different ways I think I can work a double-8J braid, so I will have to keep working on these double-8J patterns until I feel like I have them all figured out.
This braid is braid 16AD, the final braiding pattern, in Jacqui Carey’s book “Creative Kumihimo”. Essentially, it is a 12-strand braid that is overlapped with a 4-strand braid. I used it to create this braid which uses Baronial colors at the corners to protect a tight inner core of Kingdom colors.
The completed braid is about 30 inches long, with a ring-and-toggle closure so that it can be used as a medallion cord. Each strand of the 16 contains 6 ends of lace-weight silk yarn.
It’s been a while since I did a cored braid, and I have my home made core stand, so here we go.
So there are actually 16-tama in this edo yatsu braid, which is actually an 8-tama braid. The “core stand” holds 8 of the tama over the center while the other 8 braid around them. Now I can work the core strands one by one into the braid, every few inches, until the color of the braid completely changes. Then it changes back.
As threatened, here’s the third 16-tama flat braid, using the hira nami braiding pattern.
It looks chaotic, sure, but it’s completely deterministic like all braids, and it uses a very simple color setup of “GKGK GKGK GKGK GKGK”. It’s just not all that attactive unless you’re super into weird braids.
This braid uses the same 16-tama hira nami braid that I used for the last braid in the “side to side” series, but the colors were set up in a “quartered” pattern instead.
That is, if most times you see this braid set up in a “top and bottom” pattern of “KKKK KKKK GGGG GGGG” , and the “side to side” pattern is “KKKK GGGG GGGG KKKK” , then this pattern is “KKKK GGGG KKKK GGGG” . Next, I am doing the same braid in “KGKG KGKG KGKG KGKG” which comes out much more chaotic-looking than you would think.
I had some silk measured out for some medallion cords in Barony colors, so I decided to try out some variations on braids where the colors pass from side to side.
The top four are 8-tama braids, and the one at the bottom is a 16-tama braid. When I make these pre-measured braid set-ups, each color has 32 ends of silk, so it’s easy to make either 16-tama braids or 8-tama braids.
Set up the marudai with another 16-tama braid in red and white. This one looks similar to the last one, and it’s braided similarly in alternating colors, but it’s based on a round braid instead of a square braid.
So yeah, 6 plies of lace-weight silk yarn per tama, using braiding pattern 16T from Jacqui Carey’s Creative Kumihimo.
I’ve made a resolution to start doing more 16-tama braids. I have been braiding for more than 10 years, and even though 8-tama braids are still fun to do, I should show some discipline and exert some real effort. This one is a good start because this pattern (Creative Kumihimo 16D) only has four steps, and you only move eight of the tama during each iteration. This gives the braid a nice twill structure and (if you set up the colors just right) this nice alternating zig-zag ring appearance. It may look round, but the shape of the braid is actually more octagonal.
Anyway, this braid is in Æthelmearc colors and has medallion-cord fittings. It will go to the Kingdom at some point.