Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft Book Challenge Week 46 (belated): Braiding Floss

Last week, between the turkey, relatives, and Christmas shopping, I started my Week 46 Craft Book project.  My mother had the genius idea to use her new knitting cord machine with her old embroidery floss. So we pulled out my floss (I gave up cross stitch years ago) and got to cranking.

floss pile

While my mom was helping my sister–in–law rearrange her wall decor, I tied together all my loose floss (that scraggly pile on the right) into equal strands of six strings each and cranked it through my corder.

tied up cord

Ooh, the result was a fabulous riot of color. My sister–in–law suggested the cord would make a great scarf.

red floss

So I pulled out all my red floss, tied it together using a weaver’s knot, and cranked it through my ancient cording machine. (There are several brands available. Mine is by Bond America. My mom’s is the newer version by Caron. They’re essentially the same hand–cranked, four–needle knitting machine.)

I tied together 24 m worth of random red/pink floss remnants, which is approximately the length of three full skeins of embroidery floss.

red cord

I cranked it all through and then had the idea to braid it into a seven–strand flat braid. Where did I get the instructions? From a rug weaving book from Rafter–four Designs. I could have made a 12–strand flat braid using the instructions in this little pamphlet if I had had enough red floss.

Multi-Strand Braids

Seven long cords later…

seven cords

I tied the red/pink cords together at the top using the loose strands, alternating the colors red/pink/red/pink/red/pink/red.

begin braiding

Starting from the right outermost strand, the weaving sequence for a seven–strand braid is over 2, under 1. Then, from the left outermost strand, over 2, under 1. Move from the right side to the left side outermost strands with the over 2, under 1 sequence.

braid order

At the end of the weaving, I sewed across the end to secure the cords and braided both ends of the loose strands with a standard three–strand braid. The final braided strand is 53 in. long and 1.25 in. wide.

finished braid

The braid can be a scarf, a belt, a purse strap, etc… I’m really surprised at how well the peachy pinks blended into the deep reds.

braided scarf

I’m still playing with how to wear my new scarf. And I’m plotting what other strands I can run through my corder. I’ve discovered that ¼–in. silk ribbon can feed through without catching, so that stash is in line to next become miles of knitted cord.


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