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Ply splitting

Julie Hedges has created a beginners guide to ply splitting, to download click here 

 It includes: Basic Ply-Splitting for 4 ply cords; Ply-split Darning (PSD); Single Course Oblique Twining (SCOT); Plain Oblique Twining (POT) and a Ply-Split Braiding Bibliography and list of Resources.

 As an alternative, the original Begin Braiding contained the instructions for a ply split bookmark shown below.

  A ply split bookmark by Rachel Hardy

Cut the following lengths of your chosen yarn:

One 3m length of blue, one 3m length of brown,
two 1.5 m lengths of blue, two 1.5m lengths of brown.

Make four cords, 1 blue, 1 brown, 2 mixed, by doubling them up, fixing one end to a post or doorknob, twisting the two strands together anti-clockwise (you can use a pencil or rod or even an electric screwdriver with a hook)  until they start to coil up if tension is released. Attach a heavy item like a pair of scissors to the cord (with a S hook) and double it back on itself. Let the scissors hang down and hold both ends while the cord starts to form. When the cord stops twisting give it a few more turns by hand and then fasten the ends by Sellotaping round them at both ends, remove scissors,


 I laid out the cords in a dark and light pattern as in the picture, but you can make your own design, of course.. Then take a single strand of either of the yarns, (I chose the colour of the outer cords) and thread a darning needle with it. Pass the needle through the cords, making sure to pass in between the two plies that have been formed, lining the cords up as you go.

Go back and forth like this for about 5 cm and then I added some interest by switching the position of two of the cords. Again, any design is possible - here you will be darning through the cords that stay in place for a number of rows until the crossed cords can lie in between again comfortably. Continue as before the twist pattern until a reasonable length bookmark has been created.

I then knotted each cord at 5 cm from the bottom row of darning and cut off the excess cords. The two ends of the darning yarn, I darned back into a cord of the same colour to finish it off.



Begin Braiding is based on original material prepared by Felicity Tregear.

To download a printable version of this page, click here


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