Naomi's Braid or Purse Strap

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This braid or strap is a colorful and easy way to add interest to a common-looking and otherwise drab little tote or bag. If you have made a large bag and it looks a bit dull, even with bright colors and seems to be missing "something", why not add one of these fun and attractive straps? You will find a few nice ones in this blog.

To learn how to make the crocheted ropes, please search for the tutorial about them by using the Search box at the right hand side of this blog post.

Make 4 crocheted I-cord ropes of different colors contrasting or harmonizing with the color or colors of your bag or tote.
The ropes will be more attractive if they are not made all the same color, it will also be easier for you to keep track of where
the ropes go, when you're a newbie at this.
Leaving at the edges to the braid a bit of free rope so that you can easily sew the finished braid to the purse rings once you are done, proceed as follows:

1- Pass rope 4 under rope 3 and then bring to the front over the same rope, and towards the back over itself, forming a loop. Tighten. Repeat again.
Repeat the same procedure with rope 1 and rope 2, twice.

2- Cross the two middle ropes over each other, left rope over right rope. Place the ends behind the two side ropes.
3- Cross the side ropes in the middle, the left rope over the right rope.
4 and 5- repeat steps 2 and 3 twice.
6- Repeat step 1.

Continue repeating these steps for the length of your strap. Sew ends to a purse ring and you're done!











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Cynthia's Purse Strap or Handle

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An interesting and pretty purse handle or strap can add interest to even a common-looking tote or bag. This one's pretty easy and you can use it to liven up any bag!

Color is key in a rope strap. You can make the strap in contrasting colors or in different hues of the same color of your bag.
Make 4 crocheted cords (please, use the search box in this blog to find the tutorial on how to make ropes) in 4 different colors, this way you will be able to follow the tutorial , the more easily.

Pin the ropes to a pillow or a piece of cardboard with some fabric on top to avoid soiling.
To make the braid proceed as follows:

1- Place rope #4 over the two central ropes and under rope #1.
2- Bring rope #1 under the two central ropes and out over rope #4. Carefully, tighten up a bit to
pull up the beginning of the knot.
3- Bring new rope #1 under the two central ropes and over rope #1, bring rope #1 over the two central ropes and under rope #4. Tighten up a bit. You just formed a square knot.
4- Bright rope #1 over rope #2, rope #4 over rope #3, bring the two new central ropes over one another, the left one over the right one. Bright the two ropes at the edges over the two central ones, and cross them one over the other as before. Bring the ropes that are now at the two edges to the center over the other two and cross them as before.
5- Repeat a square knot.

Alternate rows 1 to 5 until you have the length of strap you need. When you finish, sew ends to purse rings. Fasten off.

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Pretty Frog Closure

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Originally, I made this frog to close up a capelet, but it is such a pretty way to close things and it was so liked that I took a second look at it. That made me realize that it makes a terrific closure for a purse, a bag or a tote, so here it is!

Frog Closure-
Let’s make a bit of rope for the frog. With Pumpkin, ch 2.
Row 1- 1 sc in second ch from hook. Turn. (No ch 1.)
Row 2- Insert hook in little loop that formed on the side of the sc and pull up yarn, you and complete sc. Turn. Continue repeating row 2 for the length of the rope you want to make.
In this case, the rope should measure 14” long. Fasten off, leaving long tail to sew with.

Thread blunt needle with leftover tail and, taking one of the ends of it, begin to turn the rope around itself, as if you were going to form the shell of a snail. As you turn, secure each turn onto itself by making small stitches on the loops on the sides. Turn a bit, and inserting the needle into the loops that will meet at the top, where the rope turns and at the bottom, where you just turned, stitch the curl in place. When you have turned the rope three times, secure and fasten off. Weave in tail.

Repeat on the other end, leaving the center unworked for now. When you are ready to sew your frog on, Join some yarn to the back of the frog in a discreet spot, thread blunt needle with the yarn you just joined and sew the center of the frog together, using the loops on the outside edges of both sides of the large loop, until you have a hole that will comfortably fit the button you have chosen. Pin the frog in place and sew it to the purse or bag. Fasten off, weave in tail.

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Frog Closure

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Originally, I made this closure for one of my neckwarmers, but it works so well for a purse or bag that I decided to share it here.

Materials-
Worsted weight yarn scraps to match or contrast the bag or tote you are making.
Crochet hook size H
Scissors
Sewing thread
Sewing needle
Button of your choice




Frog-style closure: With Lipstick yarn and G hook, make a crab stitch braid that is 10 inches long. Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew with.
You can make your closure in several ways, but let's try a simple one. Bend the crab stitch cord you just made in half, take the left leg of that bent cord and cross it over the right side leg, forming a loop, without undoing that loop, insert that same leg of cord into the center of the loop and pull gently, until you have a nice knot that looks almost like a Josephine knot, and two pieces of crab cord at both ends. You are going to bend those two pieces of cord and sew them with the tail you left, one upwards and one downwards, to form your frog. Then you will sew this to the neck warmer at a height that is comfortable to close it around the neck, using the small loops of the crab cord to anchor your stitches. Fasten off. Sew button opposite loop of the frog closure on the other side of the neck warmer. Fasten off.
Note: Since this is a closure and it will pulled ever time the neckwarmer is used, sew your stitches firmly, not tight, but firm so that the pretty frog will not come apart.
You're done!
This pattern has been corrected. Thank you again, Margaret!
Fire-ice-aiken, the pattern is simpler now!



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Betty Jo's Braid

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For this purse strap you will need 4 ropes. Each of a different color (please refer to previous tutorials to learn how to make the crocheted ropes. Use the Search box to find them.)
For this example I used Red Heart colors Shocking pink, Pretty 'n Pink, Spring Green and Kelly Green, but you can use anything you like or what will match with your bag.

Once you have your ropes, you make the strap as follows:

1- Twist your first two colors and pin them down at the top and at the bottom of the working surface, so that the twist will not unravel and remain firm.
2- Insert the other two cords through the center of the first twist, bring the ends around the edges and push them down the center of the next twist, keep repeating until you get the length you want.
3- Secure both ends with a safety pin before you take your braid off of your working surface and finish your strap by sewing the ends to your purse ring securely.

This makes a pretty easy 4-color braid that even a braiding beginner can make in a jiffy!

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Betsy's Woven Purse Handle

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This is one of the easiest weavings to make for a pretty purse or bag handle.
Make 3 crocheted ropes in 3 different colors which either contrast or harmonize with your bag, tote or purse.
Make them a little bit longer than you think your need them, to allow for the twisting and weaving, but leave one end
attached to the ball or skein, just in case you need to add more length to complete your project.
Attach the finished end of each rope to a pillow or something that will allow you to do the weaving without the ropes moving all over the place. The rope that will weave through the twisted ones, if still attached to a ball or skein, must lie on the
opposite direction than the others, otherwise, the ball or skein will not permit you to pass the rope through the twists.
To make the woven braid, proceed as follows:

1- Attach first two braids. Then twist them over each other, pin down to keep them in place.
2- Take weaver rope and then pass it over and under in between the middle of the twists.

Once you have the desired length, sew to a purse ring and you have a pretty embellished strap for your next purse, tote, or bag!

















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Marly's Braid or Purse Strap

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This pretty braid can be used either to embellish a purse or a tote bag or for the strap of the bag. To make this easy but pretty braid, make 4 ropes in different colors, I used Red Heart yarns because they are easily found by all, the colors I chose, if you happend to like the color combo, were:
Bright Yellow, Delft Blue, Turqua (to get a nice aqua shade)and Spring Green, for the MacIntosh apple tone (please refer to previous tutorials to learn how to make the ropes.)
To make the braid proceed as follows:Pin the ropes to a pillow or to a piece of cardboard (with a piece of fabric underneat to keep the braid clean) to make it easier for you to make the braid.

1- Cross rope 3 over rope 2.
2- Without bringing the to the top, but moving them underneath the previously made cross, bring rope 4 and rope 1 to the center and cross rope 1 over
rope 4.
3- Cross tope 4 over rope 3 (bue over aqua) and rope 1 over rope 2 (green over yellow).
4- Cross rope 3 over rope 2 (aqua over yellow).
5- Bring Blue and green ropes to the center, underneath the other 2 ropes. Cross blue over green rope.
6- Bring the other two ropes underneath the previous rope and cross the yellow over the aqua.
7- Cross the aqwua over the green and the yellow over the blue.
8- Bring the yellow and the aqua underneath the other two ropes and cross them.
9- Bring the blue and the green under the yellow and the aqua and cross them.
Continue these steps for as long as you want to, thios will make a lovely braid for the front of a bag or a very striking handle for a bag!

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Debra's Braid

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This is a fun braid, it is a combination of 3-strand and 4-strand that occurred to me as I was working with ropes. I named it after a friend of our family. This braid makes a pretty embellishment for a bag that needs a little "something."
To make this braid, you will need 4 crocheted ropes (please look at previous tutorials to learn how to make them!) preferably of 4 different
colors so that you will be able more easily to track where each one goes (and the braids look prettier that way.)
To make braid proceed as follows:
1- Working only with the first 3 ropes, cross rope 3 over rope 2.
2- Bring rope 1 over rope 2.
3- Bring rope 3 over rope 2.
4- Bring rope 1 over rope 2.
5- Bring rope 4 underneath rope 3 and over rope 2, bring rope 1 over it.
6- Bring new rope 4 under rope 3, over rope 2 and under new rope 1.
7 to 10- Ignoring new rope 1, and working only with 3 ropes, rep rows 1- 4.

Rep all these rows over and over to get your rope.















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Gladys' Braid

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This is a simple 3-strand braid which is left open for effect. It is a bit asymmetrical and angular, which makes it interesting and less common than the usual 3-strand braid, it is also very easy to make.


Glady's braid will be most effective in 3 colors, especially if the they contrast against the background of the bag.
Make a ball of yarn for each color of rope you will be making, then make your ropes.

To make it proceed as follows:

Make your crocheted ropes as we have made them in previous tutorials. (Please take a look at our previuos tutorials and beautiful braids.)
Make twice as much as the size of the bag or tote you want to embellish. Leave one end of the rope attached to the ball of yarn, justin case you run
out of rope before you have finished the amount of braiding you need or on the other hand, if you have a bit more rope than you need, to be able to unravel and adjust
it.

Pin one end of ropes to edge of bag or purse, leaving an excess that will be folded over the edge of the bag and which will disappear under the lining.
To braid, work in the following manner:

1- Bring rope #1 over rope #2, then pass rope #3 over rope #2.
2- Bring new rope #1 over new rope #2, and new rope #3 over rope #2. (Leave the braiding quite "open" so that the fabric of the bag will show through.)
Continue to repeat these two rows, continuously until you have the length of braid you want.
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Half Hitch Bag Strap

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There are many ways to make attractive straps for bags and purses. Sometimes, a common-looking bag can be "spruced up" by a surprising strap that doesn't follow the expected road. You could use this hitch stitch even to decorate a bag, but it is used most often for bag straps.
It is very easy to make, and if you make it in two colors, it's very attractive and calls attention to the bag.



To make it, you will need:

Two crocheted ropes, the color of your choice, (please search for the braiding tutorials to find how to crochet the cords or ropes) approximately twice the size of the length of the strap, leave one end of the crocheted rope attached to the ball of yarn, just in case you need to make it longer after all,
and work with the opposite side that you've already finished. This will save you problems, if for some reason, you wind up with more cord or less cord than you need for your strap.

Half hitches are a macrame stitch. It is one of the basic stitches and one of the most used to make bag straps. The strap we will be making is an alternating half hitch chain, made with two ropes or cords. To make it, proceed as follows:

1- Pin the working end of your ropes to a piece of cardboard or to a pillow securely.
Then hold the inactive cord straight down, keeping it somewhat taut. Bring the opposite, or working rope across and place it in front of the inactive rope, then
bend it around the inactive cord, and then out of the bend above the working rope, moving it towards you. Then lift the working rope's end and tighten a bit.

2- Now, making the second half hitch running on the opposite side. To make that one you will put the working rope behind the inactive rope, bring it around from back to front, forming a loop and insert the end of the working rope towards the back of the working cord. Pull to tighten into place.

To make the strap you will alternate these two half hitches back and forth for as loong as you need to.












Don't forget always to alternate the strand until you get the length of strap you want. Now, sew the ends of the strap firmly around a purse ring, or if you prefer, for added strenth, join a bit of yarn to one edge of the strap and crochet 1 or 2 rows of sc, across, thus joining the cords to one another, and then, bend the end of the halft hitch strap around the purse ring and sew it across this little strip of sc stitches.







That will make it stronger for daily wear. Do the same thing with the opposite end of the strap.



You're done!


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Knotting A Strap--Festoon

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In Spanish, the call this knot the festoon, hence the name of this strap.
This is a technique borrowed from macrame that will yield you an easy, sturdy yet pretty strap or you can simply use it to decorate the front of a bag as we have done before with our braided ropes.
The benefit of using ropes is that you can sew them together at the ends, bend them around a purse ring, sew them to secure tem to the ring, and you're done, whereas, with the original macrame technique you're dealing with strands of yarn and it is a bit more involved to secure the ends to make them workable.
If you're going to use it to festoon around a bag or as a nice decoration going down the front of a bag, calculate a bit of an excess to go over the edge of the bag and be secure on the inside inside the lining, and secure well at the bottom of the bag with tiny well-placed stitches. If you are using the festoon for a purse or tote strap, you can even join a bit of yarn at the ends and picking up the loop at the end of each rope, crochet an sc in each and do a second row of sc to secure them together, so that it will be easier for you to sew the edges to a purse ring.

This is how to make this strap:

Measure your bag, and calculate double the amount of strap or festoon embellishment that you will need. As always, I advice that you leave the bottom portion of
the rope, still attached to the yarn, with a safety pin holding the last loop, just in case you need to make a bit more to complete your project, or to unravel some
to fit it in.

Pin 3 ropes in colors of your choice either to your bag or, if you're using them for a strap, to a pillow or a piece of cardboard.

1- Place the rope on the left on top of the rope on the middle, then behind it, then bring down, forming a loop around the middle rope. Tighten a bit. (First part of the festoon knot made.)
2- Place the rope on the left below the on the middle, then, bring the working end around, forming another loop going in the opposite direction to the one made before. Tighten a bit. (Second part of the festoon knot completed.)
4- Now repeat the first 2 steps with the rope on the right. (Fastoon formed)
Continue this way for as long as you want to to complete your festoon. You can make it tight so that the middle rope cannot be seen, but I think that letting it be seen in between knots adds to the pretty effect. Look at the photos for guidance.

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The Wonderful Love of God

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Adriana's Braid

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If you make bags often or totes, you cannot have enough of these braids. You could be making the same simple bag, and making it look different each time by using one of these braids. This one is beautiful as is, but you can embellish it further as I will explain later. Let's get going!

Make 6 ropes as explained before (please refer to other tutorials for manner of making the ropes)
of 6 different colors of your choice (it will help you keep better track of where each rope goes
and honestly speaking, the braids are prettier that way!) Choose colors that match or contrast
your bag or tote in a complimentary way. It the bag is in a neutral tone (beige, light gray, ets.)
the sky is the limit, because those colors go with any other color or hue you can imagine!

To start the braid: Measure your bag to place ropes at an equal distance on both sides.

Pin 3 ropes on one side at the top of the bag, leaving a bit of extra rope that will be secured to the inside of the
bag and will go under the lining of the bag.

Pin 3 topes on the opposite end at the top of the bag, leaving at least 3 inches in between the two groups of ropes.

Braiding:

1- Bring the left hand rope over the middle rope to the center.
2- Now, place the right hand rope over the new middle strand to the center.
3- Now bring the middle rope forward from behind and pass it over the strand that is now on the left side, and bring it to the center.
Repeat these 3 steps once more. Now pin the ropes in place, and repeat this process with the other 3 ropes on opposite side of bag.
Pin both braids so that the top braiding will not become runraveled.

No bring the rope that is on the left of the second braid and join it to the first group of rope pairs and do the same with the last rope on the
right side.

Now, bring the new second braind from behind, and pass it over the rope that left to join the other group of pairs. Now braid again with the 3 new pairs on each side as before.

Pin securely and sew your braid to the bag. Fasten off, Cover inside ends with lining.

Note-
When you sew your braid in place, make sure to move upward the rope that lies behind in the center and secure it in place so that it can be seen.
You can also sew a beautiful crocheted flower in the center or a pretty, large button of your choice.

Done!

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Amberly's Braid

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At first glance, this braid looks like a common 3-strand braid, but it is made with 4 ropes, so it can have 4 colors. You can make it monotone when you learn it well, but it will never have the impact that the multi-colored one has, because if makes you wonder, how come it has 4 colors if it is a 3-strand braid?
It is also pretty easy to make.

You will need 4 crocheted ropes for this pretty braid (please, refer to previous tutorials for information on how to make them) in the colors of your choice.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you make each rope a different color, because that way you will be able to follow the instructions better. Once you are used to making
these braids, you will be able to make them with ropes that have the same color without getting lost.

Pin the 4 ropes at the top of your bag, leaving a bit of excess that will go under the lining of the bag. (Refer to previous instructions.)

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Heidi's Braid

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This is another variation of the useful 4-strand braid.
It is strinking as a monotone braid but even more so if you make it in several colors as shown here.
Make your cords as explained before (please refer to previous tutorials)
Begin preparing your ropes as follows:

Pin your cords to the top of your bag or tote, leaving a little bit of excess to comfortably secure them on the
inside of the bag, and cover that with the lining. (If you are getting pretty good at this, you can also make the
braid and attach it to the bag before you put the bag togather, also allowing a bit of an excess at the bottom, which you will
sew alson on the inside and hide behind the lining.)

Now let's braid!

Consider your 4 strands of rope as two pairs. 1- Take the left rope of each pair and pass it over the rope on its right.
2- Now work with the two ropes in the middle. Pass the rope that is on the right and pass it over the rope on the left of it.
3- Now twist the two ropes that are on the left over each other 3 times, pin them in place. Do the same with the two on the right. Pin them in place.
4- Take out the pins, then take the left rope of each pair and cross it over the rope on its right. Working now with the ropes in the middle, pass the rope that is on the right and pass it over the rope on the left of it.
Repeat this process as many times as you need to get the length of braid you want to have.
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Kelly's Braid

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This is a pretty braid that looks as if it had been made with 3 strands of rope, but in reality it is made with 5. The difference betwen making this braid and making a common 3 rope braid is the change in colors, which is really evident and beautiful all through the length of the braid. You can use this braid to embellish a bag but also you can use it to make the bag's handle. if you want it to embellish the front of your bag, measure the length and make extra cord (please see our previous tutorials to see how we do it) pin the ropes to the top of your bag, leaving an excess that will go over the edge of the bag and we sewn to the inside of it and under the lining of the bag. If you want to use it for the handle of your bag, simply sew the ropes formly to a ring and begin braiding, once you have the length of handle you want, sew the other end of the braid to another ring. Fasten off. Attach rings to bag.
This braid is worth making if you want wonderful colors! You don't get all these colors with 3-strand braids.

Here is how to make Kelly's braid:


After choosing what you will do with the braid, either sew the ropes to a ring or pin them to the top of your bag as explained before.


1. Take the first rope that lies to the right and bring it to the middle, then take the first rope that lies to the left and bring it to the middle and cross it on top of that one.


2. Take the rope that is now the first one on the right and bring it to the middle and then take the rope that has now become the first one on the left and cross it over that one.


Continue this process until you get the length of braid you want!


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Anna-Marie's Braid

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My sister's name is Anna-Marie, so I decided to name this braid after her in honor of the fact that she's a terrific Sis. This is a very easy braid that you can use to decorate a tote or a large bag.
For the making of the cords, please refer to previous tutorials of this series.

Materials:
4 cords, twice the size of the bag or tote you will be decorating
Pins
Sewing thread in matching colors to attach cords to the bag
Sewing needle

Note- Until you learn how to make all these braids easily, use cords of different colors when you make them, so that it will be easier for you to follow the position of each cord and to get satisfactory results. (And to tell you the truth, braids look better when they're multicolored!)

To Make Anna-Marie's braid proceed as follows:

Make your cords, do not fasten off, just in case you need to either lengthen them or shorten them. Leave one end attached to yarn ball or skein and work with the opposite end.
1-To do the actual braiding, pin the 4 cords to the top of your bag, leaving a little excess that will go under the bag's lining and will be sewn to the inside of the bag under the lining.
2- Twist cords 1 and 2 together 3 times, pin down again. Twist cords 3 and 4 three times and pin pin place.
3- Pass cord 4 over cord 2, cord 2 over cord 4, and cord 4 under cord 1.
4- Place cord 3 over cord 1, then twist the two cords that wind up at both ends, the two on the left, twist them over each other, and the two that ended up on the right, over each other, pin in place. Rep steps 3 and 4 as many times as needed to complete your braid. Pin in place at each change.
Thread sewing needle with matching color and secure the braid to the bag.
Done!



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Lilly's Braid

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This is a pretty easy and great looking rope braid that will greatly enhance any simple bag or tote or bag that you want to embellish. It is a 6-strand braid which, to start with, I recommend that you make with ropes of different colors so that you can easily follow what you do until you get it down pat and can make it with ropes of the same color against, say, a contrasting ground or a lighter or darker ground.

To start, make your ropes as explained in previous tutorials.
Make 6 ropes of co different colors twice as long as the size of your tote or bag. If possible, leave them unfinished at the bottom part of them, just in case you need to enlarge them or to shorten them when you are done braiding.
This is NOT an exact science! Pin your ropes at the top of the bag as usual, leaving a little excess which you will bed over the edge inwardly
and will be sewing to the inside of the bag, to be covered by the lining.
Think of your ropes as pairs. You have 3 pairs.
To make the braid proceed as follows:

1. Take the left rope of each pair and place it over the rope on its right side.

2. Skip the two outer ropes and working only with the ropes in the middle, take the right rope of each of the middle pairs and pass it over the left rope of each pair. (Look at the photos)






















3. From here on you just repeat the first two steps over and over until you have the right length of rope for your project. Pin the edges down and sew all around with matching yarn.


You can make the braid tighter or you can open it up a bit more so that the background of the tote or bag can be seen behind it.





































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Pepper's Braid

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This is a pretty easy braid which will enhance any bag you want to embellish!
Note 1-
Unitl you learn how to make this braid well, i suggest that you learn to make it using 4 cords of different colors (it would look lovely against the black, dark brown, grey, white or beige crocheted fabric of a purse or bag.)
Or if you want to, use darker or lighter shades of the same color as the bag you will sew it to or contrasting variegated yarns that match or vice versa.
This will help you to keep track of where the cords are going until you learn this braid by heart, and no one will notice why you do it.
Materials:
4 Basic cords twice the size of the space they will be covering on the bag

Note 2- If you want to match the size of the cords exactly, do not fasten them off, but simply make bobbins before you start your cords with enough yarn to make more than twice the cord you believe you need, in case you need to add to your cord.
Nice little economic bobbins can be made from the little square closures of sandwich bread. Place the unfinished portion of the braid to the bottom of your work. If you can complete the braiding to your satisfaction with the amount of cord you already had, wonderful!
Simply fasten off, leaving a long tail to sew with, and sew the braid in place once you have finished it. But if you are short, simply attach pins to secure the braiding you have done above, and crochet yourself some more cord to finish your embellishment. Then, fasten off and sew in place.
Note 3- To keep your cords in place, pin them as you go so that they will not move from where you want them. If you want your braid to be as open as the one in the photos, keep the cords position "open" so that the crocheted fabric of your bag can be seen through the twists and turns of the braid.



Make Pepper's Braid as follows:




1- Place your 4 cords at the top of the bag you want to embellish, leaving 2 sc in between each cord. Pin them securely into place so that you can work freely.



2- Bring cord #1 over cord #2.




3- Bring cord #3 over cord #4.




4- Place cord 31 over cord #4 (which is now in the center)



5- Bring cord #3 over cord #1




6- Place cord #2 over cord #4



To continue, repeat from step 2 to step 6 as many times as necessary, pinning in place so that the cords will stay in desired shape for a beautiful open braid.



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