Really, it is BRAID not BRAIN – DOH! Corrected, but not sure the email link will work as a result if the slug is edited. Sorry.
If you read here at all you are aware that it only takes a stray comment to set me off on a quest. At crop a few weeks back, Julia’s mate Ally showed a photo of a knitted cable bracelet, and said she wanted one. She doesn’t knit, so I said, Oh, I’m sure if you Google crochet braid bracelet you will probably find one for crochet that you could do instead. Yeah. Right. Famous last words. I DID Google it and I DID find a fair few versions, but I didn’t like them. You might, but to me they all support the comment knitters make, that crochet is gross – and by that I don’t mean gross as in disgusting but gross as opposed to fine. They all seem to use a combo of front post and back post triple crochets (UK double treble I think) that just don’t appeal TO ME.
I had an idea that I thought would work but it took me a while to sort a pattern. Do please remember I am not a professional crochet gal, nor am I experienced at writing patterns. I hope I have made it clear, and the instructions suit ME but might not be exactly like a professional pattern.
The method is crocheting three long fingers, off a base block, then plaiting those fingers then joining them to carry on with an ending block. It looks like this:
What I like about it is that the parts are clearly defined and maybe a bit finer than the FP/BP combos, which are pretty thick and a totally different look.
I used a US D/3 (UK 3.25 mm) hook and Baby weight yarn. It was a scrap and the ball band is long missing, but that is my best guess. The pattern is written in US crochet terms so for UK folk:
SS (Slip Stitch) and Chain are the same in both, so far as I can tell.
|UK stitch termsdouble crochet (dc)||USA stitch termssingle crochet (sc)|
|half treble (htr)||half double crochet (hdc)|
|treble (tr)||double crochet (dc)|
SC in 2nd chain from hook and across (9 SC)
Chain 1 (turning chain)
repeat this row till the piece measures about 1/2 the width of your wrist, ending with a WRONG SIDE row
The Braid – this is composed of three “fingers” – the italic stitches are worked on the base, the chain up and DC back works the fingers.
SS in the 1st stitch
Chain 20 – 30
This might be a bit of trial and error to begin with and will depend of the weight yarn you are using, how tight you want it in the end, as well as how big your wrist is. As a general guide, the chain should be long enough that when you wrap the piece around your wrist, the end of the chain will meet, or very nearly meet, the beginning chain of the SC block. (astute UK viewers ignore the hook – that was a photo from a previous sample )
DC in the 2nd chain from the hook back down the chain. BE CAREFUL not to let the chain twist.
HDC in the next stitch of the base
SS in the next stitch
That was worked over the first 3 stitches of the base
Repeat for each of the two 3-stitch groups left
Break off the yarn with a LONG tail and pull the tail thru the loop on the hook to finish off.
Braid the three fingers, just like you would plait hair! Don’t pull the plait tight, and keep the two ridges on either side of the DC flat and upwards.
You MAY prefer to make the back of the piece the front, if you prefer the smoother look of it.
Thread the ends of the fingers onto a knitting pin to keep them from moving around. You can see that above.
Chain 2 with a new strand then SC in the 2nd chain from the hook. Working with the WRONG SIDE facing, 2 SC in the end of the first finger. You are working in the SIDE of the DC at the tip
Chain 1, 2 sc in the next finger, Chain 1, 2 SC in the final finger, Chain 1 (turning chain). You should again have 9 stitches across the base and your turning chain on the hook.
You can now remove the pin! Sorry, I think I missed taking a photo of this step but you can see the result in the final piece. This joins the separate fingers into the plait/braid and “locks” them in place.
SC across in each SC and Chain 1 space (9 SC)
Chain 1 (turning chain) then SC across (9 SC)
repeat this until the end block meets the initial block when wrapped around your wrist, then do two more rows.
Sew a button( or buttons) on the initial block
SS in first 3 SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final 3 SC for one large button
SS in first SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS 5th SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final SC if using two small buttons
Test the fit before breaking off the yarn. If it is too tight, just pull back the final row with the loop/loops for the button/buttons and carry on with another few rows of SC. When you are happy with the fit…
Break off yarn and pull it thru the loop on hook to finish
As this is going to be worn and probably washed weave in the ends (all but the long tail one) but double back on yourself a couple of times to make sure the ends are secure and won’t work loose.
This is optional – if you want to make sure your braid doesn’t twist around in the wearing, weave in that long tail loosely but take it all along the back of the braid, catching the loose fingers and securing them in place.
Again, double back on yourself a few times to really secure it.
My first attempt was with a slightly thicker wool (DK I think) and looks like this:
And I did a CHUNKY version just to see how it looked. Might be TOO chunky, not sure. Def. too chunky for a hot summer day LOL!.
Maybe you can see it better here:
So there you go. It is def. DIFFERENT to the cable bracelets Ally showed me, but I think it has a charm of its own. And def. works better for crochet, even it is it a fairly bizarre construction. If you make one I would sure love to know if the pattern made sense to you and to see your bracelet. I wonder if Ally would deem it good or a disappointing crochet version of a knitted project.
BTW I think this would make a cute headband as well, just by making the beginning and ending blocks longer and at least doubling the chains that make the fingers, then adding a chunk of elastic between the two ends.