For my third takadai braid, I decided to both continue my progression through Rodrick Owen’s book, but go a little less dainty with the braid. Changing two variables at once is always risky, and this did lead to some regret.
It is about five feet long. The tension is inconsistent so the width varies, but it’s about 1.125″ wide and 0.375″ thick. Heavy.
The structure is called a “rep braid”. Each time you open a shed, 3 bobbins pass through it. This creates the big knobbly stitches and thickness.
I used 16 ends of reeled-silk thread per tama, and this braid is done with 43 tama. I used the new 100-gram tama that Sweetie gave me as a present.
I think that I was not beating hard enough at the beginning, and I was beating too hard at the end. I guess this will get more consistent with practice. If I did this with half as many ends per tama, it probably would be easier.
Our SCA Kingdom, the Sylvan Kingdom of Aethelmearc, had its Spring Coronation last weekend, so I made some braided medallion cords for the Baronial gift basket to the Crown.
I was a little short of time, having entered the six 16-tama braids I made in the fall into a largess derby in January, so I did mostly 8-tama braids. One of the braids is the 16-tama double-rai braid, four are yatsu se, and one is shige uchi. I should do a batch of the 9-tama shige uchi braid next time.
Sweetie needs some braids to make tokens for her elevation later this month, so I spent a few weeks doing nothing (braiding-wise) besides edo yatsu in silk.
These are all 8-strand “round” braids about an eighth of an inch in diameter. The violet braids use lace-weight silk yarn, but the lilac braids use reeled-silk. This fine filament silk is a bear to work with, especially in bulk lengths like this. Each braid is about four yards long, starting from about five yards of material.
All seven of these braids were made on the marudai using cotton crochet thread. I used four plies of thread per strand, four strands of blue and four strands of white. The braids are a variety pack of 7 different braid shapes. All have ring and toggle closures and come with an extra jump ring so that they can be used as medallion cords. They are all approximately 30 inches long.
I completed these braids back in November or December, but I was holding off posting about them because I was going to put them in the Coronation gift basket in April. Then, I found out there was a largesse display at Baronial 12th Night.
They are all color variations on the same braid, with 8 red and 8 white strands per braid. The effects of the different starting positions produce end results that are similar to those produced for other 16-strand braids that are doubles of 8-strand braids.
A second braid made on the takadai. This one is a 33-tama 2/2 twill braid made with four plies of reeled silk yarn per strand. 16 strands are rose pink, and 17 strands are scarlet. I started with twice the length of material as last time, and wound up with about 6 feet of braid.
Because I used reeled silk instead of plied silk yarn, the braid came out much smoother, flatter, and even than the first braid. The takdai does a lot of the work, of course, keeping the tension even and such, but I am really happy with this braid.
All seven of these braids were made on the marudai using cotton crochet thread. I used four plies of thread per strand, four strands of green and four strands of black. The braids are a variety pack of 7 different braid shapes. All have ring and toggle closures and come with an extra jump ring so that they can be used as medallion cords. They are all approximately 30 inches long.
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.
In yesterday’s post, I was mentioning 16-strand medallion-cord braids, and that reminded me to post about something nice that happened to me recently. The American Kumihimo Society (of which I am a member) is trying to get their new web site rolling, and introduced a new feature where they post pictures of members’ braids that were inspired by classes they took through the AKS. One of the reasons I started doing more 16-strand braids instead of so many 8-stradnd braids was because when Sharon and I went to the AKS Gathering in 2017, we took a class in 16-strand braids from Rosalie Neilson. So, I submitted a picture of my most recent set of Aethelmearc braids and the picture was accepted for publication!
I’ve been doing a bunch of 16-strand braiding these days. All of my donated medallion cords for a few years have been 16-strand braids because I started getting a little bored of 8-strand all the time. It always bothered me that while most of the 16-strand braids in Jacqui Carey‘s Creative Kumihimo are expansions of some of the 8-strand braids in the same book, there was no doubling of the “8J” Yatsu Sen / Yatsu Rai pattern. “No problem,” thought I, “we can figure this out.” Hence:
I haven’t seen this in any books or anything, so as far as I know I made it up. It wasn’t that hard to figure out, though, so I would not be surprised if somebody else provides this pattern somewhere.
I started making these printable “index card patterns” more than ten years ago. They are a pretty good reference, but only if you already know how to braid on the marudai. This is the first new one I’ve made in a while. I think the last one I made was this “Double Maru Yotsu” card in 2012. Feel free to copy these or print them out for your personal use, just don’t use them for any commercial purpose without asking my permission.
Have fun! I’m working my first try at this braid right now, and it’s pretty challenging.