Pages

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Plaiting and Braiding


Have you ever tried to teach a small child how to plait? Actually what I meant to say, have you ever tried to teach a group of small children how to plait? It can be really frustrating, and it can make you feel really miserable when it goes wrong.



One technique I have used is to get the children to practice with a really thick bit of cord. Even better is to have your cord in three different colours.



Another good idea is to tape the plaiting to the table so they can hold it with a bit of tension.



But overall I tended to avoid plaiting with my craft club, as it was just too difficult for most of them.


But I have discovered this really great way to make a braided cord, that I think most children could manage. I'm not sure if this is well known, but I had not heard of it before. If anything the result is nicer than a simple plait. But it is so easy, that so long as we have prepared lengths of wool in advance, my daughter can sit in the back of the car on journeys and braid without any help. It is really fun to make friendship bracelets this way.



So here it is. You need to cut a bit of card in this octagon shape. Cut the 8 slits around, and a hole in the middle.


If you want it to last for several cords, you can reinforce it with tape, but you don't need to do this. Tie seven pieces of wool together, and with the knot in the central hole, put one piece of wool in each of the slots. One slot won't have wool in it. Hold your octagon so this slot is at the bottom. Then simply move the wool from the third slot to the right to the empty slot at the bottom. Keeping the same side of the card facing you, rotate your octagon so the slot that now has no wool is at the bottom, and then move the wool from 3 to the right to this slot. Repeat this for a longish time, letting your braided wool grow backwards out of the central hole.

If you get a bit tired or need to do something else, you can take a break from braiding with this technique, and it won't unravel. Simple. Happy braiding!



15 comments:

  1. That sounds such a cool technique I may give this a bash myself!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now why didn't I think to do this before our 4H fair? Argh! I will remember this technique for the next time the kids need to make something.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's really clever, I must bookmark this one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a terrific tutorial!! I agree...I may try this, myself, too! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That braid taped to the table brought back memories of my own childhood. I could never get the tension even and the braid straight unless it was taped. Cute little distressed face :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. ooh braided cord looks really pretty, sounds like fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely technique! I'll try it with my son, I'm sure he'll be interested. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow that does sound easier. It looks awesome and fun.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A little lad taught us this method when we had our Knit and Stitch group at the Farmers Market! So effective, and fun.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting...I'll have remember this one...

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such a great way to get children messing about with yarn & having fun. They do it at my local spinners, weavers & dyers guild meetings & the kiddies love it :) x

    ReplyDelete
  12. A great idea! Teaching any type of craft to children can be daunting and any tips that can be passed along are always helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For YEARS I have tried to teach myself a four-strand round braid. I think I can adapt this technique, use some of this mountain of yard I have hanging around and actually do it this time! Thanks, girl - you come through again!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

    ReplyDelete