I Actually Knit A Latvian Braid Without Screwing Up

I actually knit a Latvian Braid without screwing up. And you can too. Trust me.

How’s that for giving away the punch line in the title? I figure, might as well cut to the chase.

Waterlily finally resurfaced after a long siesta, cast aside for holiday knits and pattern development. I am not sure what inspired me to drag this poor babe out. I was itching to make a random scarf, but I told myself I had to finish old projects before I could go careening off into New-Knit land.

Self-discipline sucks.

I had left the project with the body of (twisted) stockinette complete, ready to divide for the back and front. I knew what was coming. I had been dreading this step since the first stitch. The way you dread a dentist appointment when you know you have news of a cavity coming your way.

There was no getting around it.

The Latvian Braid.

My first.

I will say this: once I finally worked up the guts to read the instructions, look at the illustrative diorama, and just think a bit, all was well. I didn’t even have to bust out You Tube. It was easy.

I actually didn’t screw the darn thing up.

As far as I know anyway.

(I am sure my email account is about to get flooded with sage commentary from knitters more talented than I who have glanced at my photo and can just tell that my Latvian Braid doesn’t look quite right.)

Well, it’s good enough for me. Nothing exploded. Nothing tangled (too much, anyway). Nobody died. No tears. No cussing.

A miracle.A Latvian Braid.

I do think the Latvian Braid looks remarkably similar (identical!) to the stitch I used in my Samoa and Best Hat Ever patterns. I know I am biased, but I strongly favor my own technique. It requires only a single strand of yarn (not two) and generally goes much quicker. I think my Latvian Braid looks a little skimpy because of the fiber (linen) and doesn’t have the benefit of blooming like the Madelinetosh DK used for my two hat designs. The pattern called for a Latvian Braid on two rows (wrong and right sides…I am not quite sure why…). My own technique just requires ONE row of tricky stitching. Better all around.

Waterlily is currently progressing at the speed of a snail with an injured foot. It too me the better part of three hours to knit five rows last night, including the Latvian Braid. I worked the first two rows of the lace pattern VERY CAREFULLY, cautious to count and set stitch markers pretty much everywhere. The third lace row got me…I won’t bore you, only to say the designer’s math was absolutely perfect after all, I am not wiser than she, and tinking back an entire row of lace takes a Really Long Time.

We will see what tonight brings.

 

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply Paula @ Spin a Yarn January 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I actually had to look that up because I’ve never heard of it before 🙂 It looks like it could get very tricky; however the youtube video made it look deceptively easy. Great job!

  • Reply Andi January 10, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Well done! I knit my first Latvian Braid in a shawl and I have to admit, I did mess it up a number of times. Maybe next time I will take your cautious approach.

  • Reply Alina January 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I’ve never heard of Latvian Braid! Maybe I knit it, but didn’t know the name, because it looks familiar! Congrats on the first successful try!! Oh, and I love love love your stitch markers!

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise January 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I have to say I think I like your version better, you make it sound compelling and perfect!! Well done on mastering a new skill!!

  • Reply caffeinegirl January 10, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Not that I’m an expert, but I think your braid looks perfect! And Elizabeth Zimmerman would encourage you stick with your own method. She was a renegade like that!
    Tinking lace does really slow down a project! I hope you won’t have to do it again.

  • Reply woolythymes January 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

    certainly looks fine to me! it really IS a drag when you feel at the beginning of the year that you have to be responsible and work on finishing up some lingering things. I feel your pain….literally. The grass is most definitely greener in my stash closet than it is in my WIP basket.

  • Reply Stefanie January 13, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    This is a pretty sea glass color. Congrats on a job well done on the braid.

  • Reply Barbara April 11, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Just wondering what the Latvian Braid is. Is the that “top” row of the body before the lace pattern begins? It’s gorgeous, regardless. I envy your commitment! (I have SO many WIP!)

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life April 11, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Yep. That’s it. It’s a row of horizontal knitting, basically, that is woven. Pretty feature.

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