Tech Talk [Latvian Braid worked FLAT]
This tutorial has been on my list of to-do for months. It came about with the release of the Whitehorn shawl (Interweave Knits Summer 2018) which features Latvian braids worked as an accent on the shawl body. The braids really accentuate the line of the increase and decrease pattern while adding a pop of color and texture to a rather simple accessory. However, they are worked flat rather than in rounds. For what ever reason, this is a technique that isn’t widely explained and I had requests coming in from the jump for reassurance and support - am I really supposed to be doing this on the wrong side? There are purl bumps - is this right? - and I swore to post about it.
I’m honestly too tired to set up my big camera for video and with the book in the thralls of editing right now I’m doing this quick and dirty so that I can save my energy for the influx of emails sure to come later (I’m not complaining - actually, this has been the best experience. My new editor is amazing and I won’t shut up about it). Because I’m doing this quick and dirty, I want to mention two things. First, there IS errata for this and it’s really, really simple. The text for the Latvian braid in print instructs to bring the yarn under rather than over when twisting back on the second twist row. This will make sense later on. Second, I’m not working the instructional swatch to the pattern for the shawl. This means I’m not working the increases, but the braid itself is the same no matter how you shake it.
The pic below shows our MC (grey) and CC (green) with one completed braid and the first row worked.
Row 1 (RS): With CC, work edge sts, *with MC, k1, with CC, k1; rep to last st before edge, with MC, k1, with CC, work edge sts. In this swatch, there are two sts knit at the start and end of each row as the edge sts - again, this isn’t representative of the shawl pattern.
In the pic below, you’ll now see the WS of the work with the edge sts worked in CC and both strands held to the back of the work.
When the pattern asks for one color to be worked by bringing the other color over the color just worked, this is what it means - literally just bring green over grey, then grey over green, etc.
Row 2 (WS): With CC, work edge sts, *with MC, k1, with CC, k1; rep to last st before edge, always bringing the new color over the color just worked, with MC, k1, with CC, work edge sts. You will notice that the two yarns are now twisted together - leave them alone because the next row will untwist them.
In the pic below, you see the first two sts worked in MC and both strands are held to the front.
In the pic below, you can see where the two strand of yarn are brought to the back of the work to work the edge sts.
Row 2 (WS): With MC, work edge sts, bring both strands of yarn to the front, *with MC, p1, with CC, p1; rep to last st before edge, always bringing the new color over the color just worked, with MC, k1, bring both strands of yarn to the back, with MC, work edge sts.
As you can see, when twisting the two strands over one another, the strands twist to the right on the first twist row and they twist to the left on the second twist row. Because the pattern incorrectly instructs to twist under on that second row, both rows will twist to the right when worked that way. If you’re working in the round, you will alternate the twist and I think that’s how the error occurred.
I hope this little tutorial was helpful for working up Whitehorn (or any other pattern that might have Latvian braids worked flat) and don’t forget to hashtag pics of your finished Whitehorn shawl on social media! #whitehornshawl