Wednesday, 29 July 2015

12 Strand Rounded Flat Horse Hair Braid

12 Strand Rounded Flat Braid

In my last blog post we looked at an 8 strand braid. I had an idea to adapt this pattern to see how this would affect the design. The result was a more chunky design that can easily be adapted to create various colour patterns.

12 strand rounded flat kumihimo braid
The result is a 12 strand rounded flat bracelet. This design has a sterling silver hoof print attached to enhance the bracelet.

This braid pattern will be posted later this week. Flat braids are quicker to make than the spiral designs. The work is not rotated and it is easier to maintain tension in the horse hair. I really like this particular pattern. 

It is worth stepping outside of your comfort zone once in a while to try different patterns. You never know what you might come up with!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

8 Strand Rounded Flat Braid

There has been quite a lot of discussion on the Facebook page related to this blog about patterns and how to achieve different effects, especially when making an 8 strand braid.

Having built up quite a library of braiding books, when I come across a pattern which looks as though it might work using horse hair, I try it out.

The photo below shows a rounded flat braid. It is made  on a round disc and the disc is not rotated, resulting in the finished effect.

Above the braid is straightened out. To the right you can see a gentle spiral effect

Pattern Details

The first diagram shows the start position of the horse hair

Now, starting right to left, move the bottom strand at position 1 to 15 and then move 15 to position 1. Moving north to south and south to north.

Do this with each set of vertical strands until all have changed places.

Lastly, the horizontal strands are moved east to west then west to east. 9 to 24 then 24 to 9

You are now ready to work the moves once  more until you reach the length you want.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Braiding Shorter Lengths of Horsehair: braided bead necklace (part 2)

Find other pattern posts here

How to Make an Attractive Horsehair Necklace

Blog followers will recall that in 2014, some tail cuttings were found from my old Irish horse that had been stored in a bag for more than twenty years. The tail hair was dry and brittle and needed a lot of care before it could be used for braiding. The hair was also quite short. So many of us find we have short locks of hair as keepsakes from our horses. Apparently too short to turn into anything to wear. But maybe there was a way.....

Here I hope to show you one possibility.

The first part of this particular project can be found here Braiding Shorter Lengths of Horsehair part 1. Part 1 looked at how to make a smaller kumihimo disc so that more of the horsehair is used and not wasted.

NOW, you can see what can be done with shorter braids.

Look out for part 3 of this project coming soon, where braids will be incorporated into a pendant. 

Horsehair Braids, Beads and Wire Work

This necklace design is one I have had in mind for some time, but I wanted to gain more experience of beading, wire work and braiding before trying it out.

First, the braids were prepared. Four in total. Two braids of 3 cm and two of 7 cm. The braids were a 16 warp spiral kumihimo design (5 strands of horsehair per warp).

The ends of the braid were tied off as usual but rather than fix with an end cap or crimp end, wire was used to add interest and give the necklace a more conventional, flowing look. 0.6 mm silver plated wire was used. It was  soft enough to mould but firm enough to hold the piece together. Blog post horsehair bracelet starter tools showed the basic equipment needed to make bracelets and necklaces. No extra tools have been used for this necklace and so if you have the basic tools, you will easily be able to create braids incorporating beads and wire.

The beads came from a bead fair but you can find beautiful beads in the internet, in all sizes and colours.

The length of the necklace is approximately 60 cm. When you design your own piece, have in mind how long you want it to be. You can sketch out your design first and get an idea of how the braids and beads will fit together. Once the braids are complete I set them on my work tray and decide on the final order and size of the beads.

The wired braids are then connected to the wired bead segments. Should you ever want to change the colour arrangement you can simply undo one end of a bead segment and fit your new beads. If you find you cannot undo the wire segment it can be cut and rewired with minimal fuss and won't affect your braid segments.

The necklace is finished off with a short length of chain. You will find chain in your local hobby store or, online. This necklace has no clasp. If you make a shorter necklace you will of course need to attach a clasp to the chain.

I hope you have been inspired to try to make a horsehair necklace of your own. For more ideas you can join in discussion and share via the blog's Facebook Group