Continuous Square

Christine here.  I’ve been working on pulling together my class prep worksheets for the Valley Forge Spring Braid In at the end of May.  One of the classes that I’m teaching is the Continuous Square.

To keep the class focused, I’ve suggested that students plan on braiding a simple square trivet, like this 8.5″ one below:

Continuous Braided Square Trivet

Continuous Braided Square Trivet

This trivet is made of 6 rows (the first row being nothing more than a LRL) out of medium weight wool:  heavier than Dorr, lighter than coat weight.  It took me an evening to braid and lace, so it’s do-able over a 2-day class.  It covers the skills of braiding triple corners, counting loops between corners, alternating corners in stacked rows, color changes, blunt ending, and hanging loop.

Usually I like to lace a butted row over a blunt ending, but I wanted to keep the class limited to just what they can hope to accomplish in 2 hours X 2 days, and butting adds a whole other element of complexity (the butting class is later in the weekend).

If students want to make something bigger, they can skip the hanging loop and blunt ending, and keep going!  I’ll have some chair-pad-sized options for the class.

Continuous Braided Square, with butted picot border

Continuous Braided Square, with butted picot border

The chair pad above I borrowed back from my mother; it features a continuous black diamond border that then is finished with a picot edge that completes the final row of the diamond shape (the black crossover loop of the picots makes the final point of the diamond).

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Continuous Braided Square in center, with multistrand and picot borders.

The above chair pad was made to show how to make multistrand borders with corners for a class a couple years ago.

 Pulling together my notes for this class is reminding me of how much I like playing with corners in braiding.  Here are some older pieces that I still enjoy:

Continuous Braided Rectangle with "Castle Top" border

Continuous Braided Rectangle with “Castle Top” border

I think the border above is one of my all time favorite borders for braided squares or rectangles; it reminds me of the crenellations or battlements at the tops of castles where medieval knights shot arrows down on marauding hordes.

And finally, the dizzy piece that I keep thinking I’m going to alter in some way… put some geometric geranium flowers around it, or just on 2 opposite sides… Haven’t quite figured out what to do with it yet:

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Dizzy Geometric, continuously braided cornered square

This piece above was a lot of fun to make; it requires a real comfort with stacking and alternating triple corners, though, so I don’t think it’s a piece for everyone to try to make (I know, some of you are thinking, “Who would ever want to?”  But it’s the sort of thing that I enjoy!)

I’m hoping some of my students will come to love playing with corners as much as I do. –Christine