Welcome to the fingerloop braiding class! This is a self-study course, originally created for a teaching event for the Society for Creative Anachronism. At that time I could not teach live, so I created a course one can follow without a teacher. However, if you get stuck, you can contact me at mari dot voipio at lucet dot fi.
If you read Finnish, you may prefer my Finnish fingerloop braiding pages at https://lucet.blog/iskunauhat/.
Materials and tools
For this course you need: yarn, scissors, a piece of string and a fixed point to fasten the braiding warp to.
In the Middle Ages the yarn was usually silk or linen, while the Vikings used wool. For practice any smooth yarn that tolerates pulling and tension can be used. I used cotton knitting yarn in most of the samples and in the videos. If you use wool, take a piece and pull the ends to different directions - if the yarn breaks very easily, it may not be suitable for fingerloop braiding. Sock yarns (often 75% wool, 25% polyamide) can take more tension and are possibly a better option.
The string should be long enough to reach comfortably around your braid warp and your fixed point; around 40 cm is often enough. You can use the same yarn as for the braid, but I prefer a bit thicker string. I feel that a thicker string is easier to take off of the finished braid.
My fixed point is a bookshelf, or sometimes a door handle, but you might also have a table leg you can tie to braid to. Or, use a heavy chair, or have somebody sit on the chair you use as fixed point. If you are flexible, around your foot might work for you. Some people fasten a woodworking clamp upside down on a table and use that, but my dining table is made of glass, so that's out of question... It's the corner post of my living room bookshelf that you can see in the videos (the bookshelf is fastened to the wall).
Following the course
I suggest you go through the course from top down, starting with setting up a warp. However, if you have done some fingerloop braiding before and just want a refresher course, you can see if A Lace Bend Round or A Round Lace of 5 Loops makes directly sense to you (you may want to check out Reading a pattern first).