Braids made easy!
So, I just made the fabulous Bird-in-Hand Mittens. I loved this pattern and after I finished the first one, I wanted the second one immediately. However, once I cast-on for the second mitten, it lagged at only an inch long for like 3 days. Why you ask?The knitted braid! On the first mitten, I did the braid twice and when I reached the third braid, I ended up doing a purl round instead. It’s just that every time I went do do one of those braids, it took me like an hour to make it around. Definitely fidly knitting.So. There I was on my second mitten, contemplating how I can make the mittens match but get to the “fun” fair-isle parts of the mitten faster. Suddenly, I had it! A slipped line of crochet stitches. The best part is that you can join the braid seamlessly!Here’s a tutorial:First, you’ll want to have the line of stitches that you want your braid to be on top of. I marked that in my mittens with this little green string like this:First, insert a crochet hook into the side of a stitch and pull up a loop. You’ll have one loop on your crochet hook.Next, staying on the same LINE of stitches, insert your crochet hook through the fabric, one stitch over from where your current loop is coming from. Remember that one stitch has two legs to it.Behind/underneath the fabric, hook the yarn.Pull the yarn up through the fabric. You’ll have two loops on your crochet hook.Lift the right most stitch over the stitch you just pulled up, and off the crochet hook (much like if you were binding off). It looks just like the braid does! And it’s so much quicker, especially once you get a rhythm going!So how do you do the seamless join?Well, once you get around, you’ll have one loop, right at the base of where you started.Insert the tip of the crochet hook right into the heart of the first stitch that you made (in between the two legs).Cut the yarn in the back (with about 6 inches left for working with) and pull the string up through the fabric so the end is now on the right side.Now, you’ll basically be duplicate stitching to create the seamless look. Thread the yarn on a tapestry needle and pull it under the two legs of the stitch directly to the left of the stitch though which you pulled the yarn through the heart of.Finally, put the yarn back through the “heart” that you pulled the working yarn up through.Weave in the end and push and pull the yarn as necessary to even out your tension.Voila! You have a seamless braid!I hope this was helpful!
Posted: January 27th, 2008 under Tutorials.