Ages ago, I wrote about my first attempts at some fingerloop braids. Among those was the cowe de race, a rather intriguing braid which includes an instruction that is not seen in any other braids in the Tollemache, Harley or Serene manuscripts:
"...and then shall A right enter into B of the same hand from within outward and under all the bows of both hands take the over side of A left reversed..." (Tollemache)
I had no problem with the first part but was unable to figure out 'take the overside of A left reversed' and wasn't getting the same pattern as Cindy Myers had. Luckily, she left a comment and explained her interpretation:
Very helpful! 'Overside' makes a lot more sense when you consider it as being the opposite of 'underside'.
So, I did a bit more experimentation and shall now explain how I got my previous patterns and how I achieved the same pattern as Cindy.
Basically, there are 4 ways you can pick up the loop (all assuming that your A right has already gone 'under all the bows of both hands' - I show with just one bow on A left for clarity):
Overside reversed: start finger above the bowe and curl downwards to pick up the top of the bowe.
Overside unreversed: start finger inside the bowe (between its two threads) and curl upwards to pick up the top of the bowe.
Underside reversed: start finger inside the bowe and curl downwards to pick up the bottom of the bowe.
Underside unreversed: start finger underneath the bowe and curl upwards to pick up the bottom of the bowe.
In practice, the two reversed moves shown above are nearly impossible to do like that when you have bowes on your right hand. Instead, you must position your hands like this:
|Workable overside reversed|
|Workable underside reversed|
The very interesting thing is when you start actually making the lace because using the 4 different pick ups you get the following 3 patterns:
|Lace cowe de race: overside reversed pick up|
|Lace cowe de race: overside unreversed pick up|
|Lace cowe de race: underside reversed pick up|
|Lace cowe de race: underside unreversed pick up|
As you can see, 'overside reversed' results in the 'correct braid. Although it is a 'reversed' pick up, the same colour remains on top of the bowe after pick up, so the 'stitches' and the 'background' remain the same colour throughout.
'Overside unreversed' and 'underside reversed' both result in the same braid. The pick up results in the colour that was on top being brought to the bottom. So, the colours alternate from being 'stitches' and 'background'.
'Underside unreversed' was my previous best attempt. The same colour remains on the top of the bowe after pick up. However, for some reason I don't understand, the 'stitch' colour comes up a bit early and goes down a bit later, resulting in a less clean pattern than the 'overside reversed'. I tried to braid with a very loose tension to emphasise this and hope it is visible!
So, that is the lace cowe de race...!
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