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How to finger weave as a loom

Finger weaving, also known as braiding or multistrand plaiting, is an off loom technique in which the fingers interlace yarns at 45-degree angles to form a fabric. Any cord is suitable: knitting worsted, rug yarn, twine, jute, or fine yarns doubled or tripled.

A simple pattern is one-direction weave, also called Peruvian flat braid. To make an attractive belt with this technique, you will need 45 yards of knitting-and-crochet cotton or knitting worsted for a band about 1 inch wide (if you use thicker yarn, the belt will be wider). Cut 18 strands, each 2’/2 yards long; this is 11/2 times the finished length of approximately 60 inches. About 6 inches from one end, tie groups of three yarns in overhand knots; secure these six knots side by side under a clipboard hinge.

Holding the yarns firmly in your left hand, use your right hand to plait the far right strand from right to left. Take the strand over the first yarn to the left, under the next, and so forth, then finally over the last yarn on the left, where it becomes one of the strands to be interlaced. Continue weaving, always with the outermost right yarn. (If you’re left-handed, you may prefer to work from left to right.)

A weaving strand that passes over a yarn on one row must go under the same yarn on the next row. As you proceed, pull the woven strands firmly together and separate the strands near the bottom to prevent tangling. When you put the work aside, set a paper clip or clamp just below the last row of weaving to prevent loosening. About 6 inches from the end, tie every three strands in an overhand knot.