(I'm not sure where to put this entry, so just move it if I overlooked the proper forum!)
I've been working on braids from a 15th century manuscript, currently stored in The British Library. The British Library Manuscript Harley 2320 part 4 is a small parchment book with instructions to about 40 different braids. Some can be made by one person and others require a partner. All braids here are made with a smooth very cheap yarn as I wanted to try all the braids out before going out to buy silk - which they originally is made from. Here in Denmark this kind of braiding is called slendring.
This part 1 is braids and laces for one person. First is a collected overview of the different kinds. Further down is comment for each of the braids:
These first two are braided in the same way. It is supposed to be in one colour but I tried out making it with two colours as well. This braid is particularly nice for lacing in dresses and such because is half circle shaped: Flat on one side and round on the other.
This too is the same braid, a very common one here in Denmark. It's made a bit differently than the normal method of slendring, but the result is the same.
Here is a mixture of four different braids. The first is a version of the braid above. The second is a little slimmer than the others and looks a lot like a braid made with what is called slyngstokke in Danish, I don't know the English term I'm afraid (pic here: http://www.uldogvaev.dk/Graphics/Products/109.jpg
). The third is a mixture of two braids. The first is the one on the picture above and the second is the braid parted in two, making two little braids.
Now I go on to the more extravagant braids.
The first two are the same broad lace but one made with single colour and the other bi colour. The third, which is on both the left and right picture, is a hollow thick lace. On the far right is a version of the middle braid on above picture, the colour is split all the way down.
Here is a broader version of a braid, and the same braid parted in two - making it look like buttonhole lace. In the middle is two different kind of laces in the same string. The upper is flat with split colour and the lower in principle the same braid just made round. On the right is one of the cutest braids in my opinion.
Here are three different kinds of broad laces with different patterns. The first two, on the same string, is two versions of the same braid. The second string is yet a broader one.
And now the thick round braids. The first one is very sweet and very elastic. The second and the third are versions of this. The second seems very bulky. The fourth braid is actually two smaller braids twisted into each other. There is a small room between the two and they then meet.
And the more lacelike braids. The first has a strong braid on one side and a looser shell like on the other. The second lace is a variation of the first. The third is very elastic. All the white strings lie inside covered by the blue. When this is made you need a swivel because the braid twists a lot. It is quite difficult to make as the tightness is very easily messed up.And to the grand finally!
My very own (accidental) version of one of the broad laces. This shows how easy it is to change the pattern. I only picked up a loop up differently than the instructions said and I ended up with this neat pattern: