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vikkel braid (a tutorial)

This new design in progress, worked in my January handspun, uses a line of Vikkel Braid to set the main pattern off from the 1×1 ribbed hem. The braid creates a little line of knit stitches that seem to move sideways across the work. It’s normally used for small projects (such as mittens) knitted in the round, but there’s no reason it can’t be used to great effect in a larger project knitted flat as well.

There are a few descriptions of this technique around the web, but I learned it from a German video (link) Nancy Bush’s Folk Knitting in Estonia is probably the best print source on Vikkel Braid. As putting it into a design intended for publication means having to describe in writing how it’s done, I thought making a little photo tutorial would be good practice. The technique looks a little fiddly in the video linked above but it’s actually quite simple to execute.

While learning the stitch I took some photos; please excuse the quality, as I didn’t realize just how tricky it is to photograph closeups of your own hands, and the lack of adequate natural light only adds to the murkiness. I’m not apologizing for the dry skin, though: it’s February, y’all.

Step 1


Start with a M1 increase (shown above) and slip that onto the left hand needle.

Step 2

Knit a stitch through the back loop of the second stitch on the left hand needle:


like so:


and (without slipping that stitch off the needle) bring the right hand needle back to the front and knit into the first stitch.


Slip all of that (the first and second stitches from the left needle) off.


Now you have two stitches made, the tbl stitch and the regular one. In retrospect this is probably more images than are really necessary. Ah, well.


Step 3

Slip the last stitch from the right hand needle back to the left.


Now, repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get to the end. You’ll wind up with one stitch more than you started with; when working in the round, you’ll slip that last stitch over the first stitch of the next round to get rid of it. Working flat, just make the first stitch of your next round a k2tog or p2tog decrease. And now you have a lovely line of sideways knitting that will impress your friends and instill bitter envy in your enemies.

Here’s what the finished braid looks like in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (unblocked):

braid (alpaca)

Posted by Jodi Green on February 17, 2011 at 4.34pm
Categories: it's only sticks and string, knit design, tutorials

Comments on "vikkel braid (a tutorial)"

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Posted by Braided Fishing Line: Cortland Micronite "Super Braid" Fly Line Backing Size: 20lb. / 300 yds. on February 20, 2011 at 1.14pm :: link

[…] dpnsOther: only took me 3 days to knit these mitts! Had to learn a new knitting technique call the Vikkel Braid which is from Estonia. Took me a few tries to figure it out, but its really rather cool. Funny […]

Posted by » Christmas projects recap When Gaia Smiles on January 3, 2013 at 3.52pm :: link

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