Christine here. What I’m working on now is a stepped spiral with 12 braids at once. I started it at the recent guild meeting, and it is coming along nicely…. although I’m running out of the orchid pink in the center and may have to scale back the design a bit.
The center is continuous and tapered, then one butted row is attached. (I tried to continue the center braid as one of the spokes, but it threw off the symmetry of the design, so I had to butt the last row of the center.) In keeping with my new fascination with using light shading to dark colors, the idea is to have the spokes radiating outward in step-wise fashion, transitioning to darker colors as they spiral. You can see my darker pinks that I plan to use off to the left in the photo below. The eggplant will continue throughout to define each radiating spoke, but I’m running out of that color also, so I might have to cross my fingers and dye some fabric to match.
I sketched this design after seeing the Man in the Maze image (see below) which apparently is a popular Native American motif in the Southwest. I was trying to figure out how to make the Man in the Maze in braids, and came up with the above design instead. I love spirals, and I love corners, so this design was a logical outgrowth.
Then I googled various permutations of step-wise spiral, jagged spiral, etc (to see if this exact design was found anywhere else… and I came across the Nazi Secret Service Symbol, the “Black Sun.” This image below is from a sales website: http://germanring.lv/en/political-and-civil-/578-ww-ii-german-black-sun-ring.html. The Nazi symbol apparently also sometimes had a swastika symbol in the center. I found one website that described the black sun symbol as a combination of a sun image with its rays, and lightning in the jagged portion. So the symbol is supposed to have the power of both the sun and lightning.
Aren’t these dear? If you google “Zierscheiben” (the German word for these iron brooches) you’ll come up with some lovely ancient designs for women’s jewelry.
So, with some relief, I am continuing with my stepped spiral braids, which clearly are related to ancient women’s jewelry and not to the Nazi Secret Service! And, I guess nothing that we come up with is completely new — although I think whatever copyright existed in the 400’s has probably expired by now.