You can make larger braids from 12 to 28 strands of thread using the same technique as the 8 strand spiral braid. These are woven from brights so you can easily see the structure and pattern, but they could also be worked in muted tones or even solid colored for specific applications. If you’ve ever tried to find a trim to match a fabric at a craft store you know how nice it is to be able to make your own!
This technique uses the braiding disk from the 8 strand spiral braid (click here for the download, printing, and cutting info.)
This braid can be made in any size as long as the number of strands is a multiple of 4. I say in the title “up to 28″ because that is the most the braiding disk I posted can accommodate. To make a larger braid you’ll need a disk with more notches cut in it.
It should also be noted that, when small, the braid is very sturdy. When made with lots of strands the center is hollow, so at very large sizes it might be a little smooshy.
Most interestingly, I found that, no matter how many strands I worked with, 12 inches of length per strand made about 7 inches of braid. Don’t forget to count a few extra inches in for the size of the disk (you can’t braid strands that are too short to tuck into the notches on the disk.)
I cut my strands double length, then tied them all together with a crochet thread scrap at the center.
To make perfect spiral stripes you need a to divide your 4 strands into two pairs, and set each pair opposite it’s match on the disk.
This image has a box drawn around each pair of pairs. This is 16 strands, but the same thing applies to any number of strands in this braid.
From the vertical pair (your best bet is to start with the strands that are lowest in the stack of threads in the middle) swap the top right to the bottom right, and the bottom left to the top left as shown.
Turn the disk counter clockwise so the next set of threads is vertical.
It should look like this.
Once again, top right to bottom right, bottom left to top left.
And turn the card.
Continue in that way until you run out of thread!
This picture shows the layout for a 28 strand braid. The dark purple will be worked next. When the top right and bottom left threads are moved they will open up spaces for threads from the next set, and so on. This disk can only accommodate 28 threads in this type of braid – if you want a thicker braid you’ll need to make a disk with more notches.
From left to right – 8 strands, 12 strands, 16 strands, 20 strands, 24 strands and 28 strands.