It doesn't matter if the size of the bump in the braids varies, but it is vital that the braids are dead even along the BOTTOM of the line of braids. It is very noticeable if even one s a little longer or shorter than the others.
^ The idea is that you want the bottom of all the braids to create a smooth visual line, even if you have to vary the amount of bump you put in when you tie the braid.
LaurieP- jinx! :lol:
Thanks! I braided well when I was working with my coach, but I haven't braided a mane in yearrrs. An opportunity to learn all over again. :)
Like everyone said, it's the bottom line that counts first and most. After that I think it's learning to deal with the whispies and different mane types, and developing that speed skill of just automatically knowing when to tie off the knot so you have that even line. I had a few tricks to help reduce the actual counting of crosses, but all the "real" braiders (I just picked up the overflow to help pay show expenses) could just see when they were are the right place (hence the reason they could do 11-16 manes a night and it killed me to do 8).
Braiding DVD- mane's, tails and more. There are loads of free tips/pics on the blog as well. $35 with free shipping.
if you count (correctly and don't go all ADD not that I've ever done that) it saves time undoing crosses to get that clean line. Being able to eyeball it as you go along is much faster but I did survey a few braiders (so we are talking an n of possibly 4 here) and it seems 50/50 for counting versus WTF are you talking about? But when you start out, it's a good trick to make the job look a bit better with less rework, I think.
DMK, what was the average age of the braiders in your survey? Just curious, as it does seem like a relatively recent method. Though I can imagine that anything that helps with uniformity when someone is learning would be a plus.
I could reveal their ages, but they might kill me! Pretty much all of them had been braiding for a while though (no newbies in the group)
I never counted and just used feel/eyeball, until about two years ago. Then I started to count and my braids improved dramatically, especially the bottom line. I can count and listen to a podcast or carry on a conversation, so that is a skillset, too! LOL!
But, I am not as fast as the pros. Maybe that is why...
The counting really only works though if you've got a good mane that's consistent top-to-bottom. If you do one that has thick or thin patches (especially if you always take the same width section of hair), then counting your twists won't give you an even line of knots. The thick braids will have low knots while the thin little weasly braid will have a high knot. :)
I used to think that, too, but I recently did nine strange (to me) horses in one night, manes all over the scale in thickness, and counting crosses worked perfectly everywhere but the skimpy wither hair. I can see where a REALLY bad mane might be a problem, but a mane in that bad condition would be addressed by the braider in most cases.
Then either I'm stuck with rotten manes, or I'm not doing it quite right! :) I'll have to try counting again and see what happens.
I'm curious now, too. I might have to try the counting thing, though I definitely have concerns about the ADD issue. :lol:
So you count how many crosses before you add yarn, then how many until you tie the knot? That would be a lot of numbers for my little brain. :eek:
I count crosses before adding yarn- I always start with right over centre, and go down 4 crosses and add yarn. Since my guy's mane is pretty even, it makes the braids about the same length, and then I do try and even up the knots like Ruthann suggests on the Lucky Braid DVD. I have alsdo recently bought a "tail comb"- one like a hair dresser uses and find the tail is good for helping separate the sections out cleanly and the comb sits tightly in the rest of the hair keeping it out of the way while I do the braid I'm working on.