Iâ€™m always drawn to craft books with techniques I’ve never seen before. So when I saw this one, I got all excited. Make my own braided trims? Ooooh, yes! What will I do with them? I donâ€™t know, but thatâ€™s not the point right now.
200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave is one of those beautiful UK craft books. (We’re all so excited about Japanese craft books but I think there’s great treasures to be had from the UK.) Itâ€™s available now for pre-order in the US, from Amazon.
Jacqui Carey is internationally known as a braid-artist, and her work in this book can only be described as tasty. She has taken a handful of surprisingly simple braiding techniques, and used them to create recipes for 200 different kinds of braided trims. Some are delicate and precise, some are fuzzy and loose, some incorporate beads, some incorporate silk, or wool, or cotton.
The first half of the book covers step-by-step photo instructions for the basic braiding techniques. Some of them will remind you of the pigtails and friendship bracelets you made as a kid. Some involve simple twisting or weaving. Some are reminiscent of knitting and macrame. Only a couple of them involve any special tools.
Then, in the second half of the book, you see how these basics are mixed and matched to create an amazing variety of different trims. Such simple techniques yielding such sumptuous results.
All this is terribly exciting, and Iâ€™m dreaming about ways to use the miles of trims Iâ€™m planning on making: my crocheted hats can use some trim, as can the felted-sweater bag Iâ€™m working on. Then thereâ€™s my sofa cushions. And, some of these trims, with a couple of end caps and a clasp, would make a fantastic choker or bracelet.