As some of you may know I am an amateur leather braider. I generally like my knives to have a short leash of some sort depending on its style and purpose.
This is short 6-plait kangaroo braid mini-tutorial. Nothing really radically different than the long neck cord that I recently did for my Ingram SLK, except this is a single diamond braid which is a bit more tedious to do than the 4-seam work of the neck cord. Every strand goes under one over one on both sides. For a short lanyard this is a bit more artful than the quicker 4-seam work.
Getting started. This is a Loveless Designed, Lone Wolf City Knife (a real nice knife BTW). Three ~12 inch 1/8" handcut kangaroo strings were cut, greased and stretched. I use a lard/soap grease I made following instructions from David Morgan's book, but saddle soap also works. Some sort of grease makes braiding easier and more uniform, but the strings can be braided dry if you take care to pull them up.
Thread the 3 strings, flesh side all together through the lanyard hole and begin one course of flat 6-plait braid. This takes some adjusting to get the strings to nicely come around the butt of the knife. I usually fool around here for quite a while trying out different starting patterns to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Immediately go into 6-plait single diamond braid. Outmost string on right taken BEHIND the braid, under the top string, over the middle string, under the bottom string. Repeat by bringing the left top string BEHIND the braid and under/over/under. Braid for a bit then, go back and with a blunt awl start at the knife butt and tighten and neaten all the strings.
You can clip the braid or I just let it unwind a bit while I am trying to get the beginning just the way I want it. Strings should all pull up tight and uniform when you are done sorting. This photo was taken just before I went back to tighten and straighten the whole thing. While doing this I just leave the braid hanging and it tends to unbraid for a round or two. My goal at this point, not far from the knife butt is to get a solid round braid with as good a start as possible.
Then just braid as long as you want, keeping it tight and uniform as you go. The real secret is to start solid and then keep it solid. Going back into the braid can be done, but is best avoided.
This was done for about 2" for this little knife.
Clip or lash the braid and begin the first step of termination. This is a wall knot. Each strand is flipped over its neighbor. This is the Girl Scout braid many learned in 4 strings as kids. Make sure all is set and uniform for the next step.
Crown this wall knot by taking each of the strings around its neighbors leg and then up into the middle of the knot. Looks like a crown eh?
Slowly and carefully tighten each of the strings all the way back into the braid. Make sure all the braid is tight and then carefully pull the whole thing snug....not too tight just snug.
This one in the image is ready for the awl final tightning. As I tighten I roll the braid and knot quickly between my hands....this evens the braid, reduces stress in certain areas and usually loosens the knot. Keep working it until it is solid and neat.
I use a wax based finish coat (Filson wax, a beeswax/oil mix) and final roll, stretch, roll, squeeze, then trim the fringe. Done