Teaching Kids to Fingerloop Braid

So, yesterday was the barony’s Middle Eastern event. I taught a class for pages (kids 9-12) on fingerloop braiding.

I had four students, which seems sparse, but is actually an optimal turnout for that kind of class. Because age ranges seem to be a very loose guideline. I had a six-year-old who needed tons of help and one-on-one attention, an 8-year-old who did very well but *wanted* constant one-on-one attention, and a 9-year-old and a teenager who both caught on really quickly and could work pretty independently once they got the gist.

I taught the 8-bowe spiral braid from fingerloop.org (http://fingerloop.org/patterns.html#n08). This has so far been my favorite braid to teach because there’s no reversing or walking loops down.

The hubby mentioned, however, that he saw someone at the event doing 4-bowe fingerloop braiding, and a little searching turned up this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKS7xCRTjWs

This is *awesome.*  Super easy, especially when teaching kids.  Little hands and lower manual dexterity, and all, so a pattern that only uses your two strongest fingers is a definite good thing.  Plus, a nice soft yarn should be easier on the little fingers than crochet cotton.

Never would’ve occurred to me to use yarn, or to do only 4 bowes. For the round braid on the video, I think walking the loops down is an unnecessary step. I just start with the bowes on my first and middle fingers and go to town.

I used super fine wool yarn and tossed off a quick 1-foot test cord in no time flat. The other awesome bit is that this cord came out about the same width as 8-bowe cords I’ve done with crochet cotton. Too fat for lacing, but nice for button loops or medallion cords.

I currently have no idea on the documentability of 4-bowe fingerloop braids, except for the fact that the person who was doing it at the event has waaay more than half a clue, and my money says would not be bothering otherwise. I’m also guessing that it’s simple enough that period written instructions may be hard to find.

So, I’m gonna dig into that a bit more and next year plan to teach a 4-bowe braid with very fine yarn.

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