Tuesday, September 26, 2006

enjoying the process

I think it is fun to incorporate something old when making something new.
I've decided to make the straps for my bag using a technique from the 14th century called fingerlooping.
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The fingerlooping braid on the right was my first attempt.  I made it using 7 bowes..3 on one hand and 4 on the other.  It is a simple braid to make, however, I was having trouble getting it as large and as long as I wanted for the straps on my bag. 
I couldn't sleep well last night, I blame that fingernail of a moon that is currently in the sky.  At some point, when I was tossing and turning, I started to think about how I could make the straps longer.  I had the idea of making a chain link, and then fingerlooping each link separately.  Today, I tried out the idea.  It worked out well.  I can hardly see the link in the finished braid.  Once I block it, I expect it will disappear.
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This picture shows how I was able to make the braid twice its original length by using the link idea.  I believe you could continue to add links to make the braid as long as you want.  I did have to tie the lengths in certain spots to keep the links in place until I wanted to braid them.  I did this in the same fashion you would use to tie a skein.  To make the braid wider, I simply used a navajo ply on a two ply, and made the same braid.
As for the first braid that is to small??  I decided to use it as a design element (ahem)..that is what I like about making up my own designs, I get to do whatever I decide!
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Oh, that maple leaf that I had needlefelted in the corner of the bag, the experiment didn't turn out as I expected.  It lost some of the detail in the fulling process.  I guess I could have gone back into it and redefined the leaf, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought it looked to trite.
I like to set my projects up where I can see them as I work on them.  I move them around the house, sometimes in the living room, sometimes the dining room, or the kitchen.  I like to change the light on them, seeing how the project looks in the daylight, as well as indoor lighting.  It helps me to make decisions about what I want to do.  I have changed several things on this bag already, but I am enjoying the creativity of the process.

1 comment:

Spinner Gal said...

Very interesting technique! I dont think I have heard of fingerlooping. I'll have to look into that!

Sorry to hear your leaf didnt come out like you wanted it to.

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