As part of my stick-purse project I learned a new skill today.
The stick purse has a leather braided handle over top of a wooden core. Since I've made some good progress on the pouch design itself, I thought I should start working on the handle. On my birthday I had bought a leather braiding book from Zeli's so I bought some one-inch wide dowels and started playing with it.
I have two types of dowel, oak and poplar. I'd like to use the oak but I'll have to see what works best since I'll need to be able to nail the pouches to the handle without splitting it (yes, the extant example at the Fries actually had the pouches nailed to the wooden handle).
As a start I made what the book calls a slit leather handle covering of one thong. Basically you wrap the handle with a single piece of lether that has slits cut into it. You then weave a single strip of leather over and under the slits until you have covered the handle.
I picked this handle design because the extant examples and the artwork normally show that the handle is covered by a chequed pattern of leather. This is the simplest type of pattern I found in the book that produces that look to the woven leather.
I cut the handle cover piece last night, with 1/2 inch wide strips cut into it. I then dyed it a dark brown and then glued it to the handle. After leaving it to dry all day, I wove the tan strip of leather (also 1/2 inch wide) through the slits in the handle.
I think it looks pretty darn good for a first try. Second picture is with the mock-up of the pouch so you can get an idea of what it will look like.