I have had several people ask me about faux braiding and how to accomplish it. Let me make it clear, that I did not invent faux braiding or think it up in any way. I learned it first from the incomparable Anita White in a class years ago. Then I revisited it with Diana Geisinger here in a class a few weeks ago. It clicked in my brain in the Geisinger class and now I feel more confident in the art of faux braiding.
I asked Diana if she cared if I shared a few of her tips and she was game. I want to also thank Anita for introducing me to faux braiding years ago.
This is how I would approach it. For a average to small size rug, a 1 and 1/2 inch border would be appropriate. Measure 1 and 1/2 inches from your background and draw your outer edge all round. Then draw the 1 and 1/2 border into 3 equal pieces, approximately 1/2 inch each (see figure on left). You don't have to draw the lines all the way around your edge, you will only need enough to get started.
Then, draw a 45% angle from the right edge to the 3rd line in, as seen in figure on the left. That is how you start your hooking. Now, starting on the right side, hook a tail, then 4 loops, turn and hook 3 loops back and a tail, as seen in the figure on the right. That is the beginning of the faux braid. Now, do the left section, a tail, 4 loops, turn around and hook 3 loops and a tail. That is your 2nd faux section. Make sure you have 3 colors and keep track of their order. For instance, in the rug I hooked above……black-gold-blue-black-gold-blue. It is important to keep the order correct.
Now, if you are hooking a round rug, your problems are over. There are no tricky corners to deal with. But if your rug is square, here is the trick for accomplishing the corner. Take 3 strips of wool and braid them. When you get to the corner, remember to make the turn, you repeat a color. For instance….black, gold, blue, blue, black, gold, blue making the turn to the left or the right…..just repeat one color to make the turn. Then….this is the genius part, lay the braided piece on the border of your rug and it gives you a template to follow, when hooking the corner. It doesn't have to be perfect, and mine certainly isn't, but it does make a nice turn in a reasonable manner.
I hope this helps you with the faux border. If you have questions, write me on the blog or email me or better yet call me at 402-359-2699. I will be more than happy to talk you thru this. I found the key to the whole thing, was to be consistent with my loop count, a tail and 4 down, then 3 up and tail. Do that on every braided sequence and you cannot fail (she says with a great deal of confidence).
Happy faux braiding, one and all….