In the Studio

Braid-A-Long 2012 Day 3 – Attaching A New Color

HI Braiders!!!

Did you finish your practice starter braids yet?  Are you ready to braid in some new colors?

I sure hope so!

Already we’ve had some questions about how to change colors so the timing is really perfect to show you how.DSCF0832

The first thing I want you to remember is that the WRONG side of the t-shirt (the side that is next to your skin, the underside if you will) is the RIGHT side (what is exposed) when the yarn is curled, like in the picture above.  So when I say Right Sides Together I actually mean the underside of a t-shirt or the wrong side of a t-shirt knit.  Does that makes sense everyone?  I hope so.

So what we are going to do is sew these two yarns together on a bias, or 45 degree angle.  Start by positioning the yarn coming off of the rug horizontally to yourself (it is the blue yarn below).  Then take your new color (in this photo it is the yellow yarn) and with Right Sides Together line up the new yarn perpendicular to the other yarn…DSCF0835

Then line up your yarns so you’ll be sewing from the upper left corner down to the lower right corner (the 45 degree angle)…DSCF0836

Like so…DSCF0838

Trim about 1/4” away from the sewing line…DSCF0840

Pull the two yarns to curl the edges and you are ready to continue braiding!DSCF0841 So for our starter braid here is what I want you to do.  With TWO of the yarns go ahead and attach two LONG strands of yarn, it could be a whole yarn ball you’ve made from one of the t-shirts if you want.  With the third strand I want you to attach a SHORT ER strand of yarn, no more than 6 feet in length.

The reason why I want you to have one of these strands shorter than the other two will become clear as you begin braiding with these full lengths of yarn.  If you have already tried this you would have discovered by now that the yarns get tangled up in a mess rather quickly!  The secret is to have one of the yarns much shorter than the other two.  By having one of the lengths shorter will ensure that your yarns won’t become tangled!DSCF0844 How so?

As you braid, let’s say you are able to braid 6 or 7 full over/under repeats before you notice a counter braid occurring at your feet.  With every motion you are doing with your hands, the yarns are doing a counter motion all on their own (see the example of that counter braid in the photo above).

To resolve this, every so often pull through this counter braid the shorter yarn.DSCF0846 In the photo above I am pulling the blue yarn through that counter braid.

When you do this your counter braid will immediate de-tangle itself and you can continue to braid! DSCF0847 DSCF0849

One last thing I want to mention before I leave you and let you go on and braid your hearts out is the use of a clip.  You can see that clip I’m using in the photos above and also here…DSCF0827

I like to use this clip as an aid in holding the braid together but to also anchor the braid to my sewing machine (or the couch as I’ve been known to do on occasion!).  You can use what works for you but see if you can’t find something to help you with this.  The braiding will go much faster if you can anchor your braid to something…DSCF0843 In the photo above I have the braid anchored to the extension table of my machine.  I can braid and braid and braid, roll my chair back, braid some more until I’m practically out of my sewing room!  Then I’ll readjust and continue on.

So I’m going to let you all work on your project here for a few days and I’ll post the finish this Friday!  Just keep braiding, sew together in the round with your zig-zag, attach more yarn, braid and continue on!

Good luck and have fun!

Link to the Sewingforlife! Projects Group


8 thoughts on “Braid-A-Long 2012 Day 3 – Attaching A New Color”

    1. Betsy,
      What are you having trouble with again? Is it the t-shirt laying flat or the braid laying flat?



  1. I am having a problem with my thread breaking. I am using a size 80 needle and regular thread. Any advice. I have also tried a jersey needle but have the same problem.


    1. Hi Cathy,
      What is the thread you are using? Brand, weight, etc?

      If it is not the thread then it is something with your tension or your needle or possibly a different thread in your bobbin.

      You might want to use a larger needle, a size 14 or 16. Sometimes that is all the machine wants!

      Let me know…


    1. I have been working on a rug by hand using a whip stitch. It doesn’t look as neat at the machine stitching but it seems to hold alright.


  2. I may be a few years behind but I’m working on my rug right now and it has started to ripple around the outer edge…you know…like a floppy sun hat you’d wear to the beach. Any tips on making it stop or how to fix it once the rug is all together? Thanks so much!


    1. Hi Erin,
      I think the rippling may be from too much braid. It is so important to keep everything flat and let the braid relax as it coils around the circle. I think I would use a seam ripper and rip it out, lay it flat and re-do it.



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