This week’s knitting technique is braided cast on.
I have most often seen these beautiful braids on mittens, both as the cast-on edge and in the middle of the knitting. They are very decorative and, as far as I understand, can be worked in multiple colours. You can see a lovely example of both in this picture:
As I first sifted and raked the Web for braid cast on tutorials I felt more and more confused. There exist several braid cast ons that are sometimes called the same name and sometimes you find the same method under two different names… To crown it all, the cast on I had in front of my mind’s eye (the second braid in the picture above) has nothing to do with a casting on at all!
Now, let’s clear the mess up a bit… To begin with, there’s a braided cast on (the edge braid in the picture above) and a knitted braid (the braid you can see in the middle of the mitten).
There exist at least two ways of performing a braided cast on: the easy one, most often called Latvian cast on, is similar to the long-tail cast on and can be done with 2 to 5 colours. The hard one, called Kihnu Troi, Estonian or double braid cast on, is… hum… a bit more complicated but the result seems worth every drop of sweat you’ll shed. In a few words, it’s a knit-on cast on with a lot of yarn overs and slipping stitches from one needle to the other. This method is described in Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush.
Latvian (long tail-ish) cast on
– worked with two threads:
– worked with three threads:
Kihnu Troi aka Estonian aka double braided cast on
And here is my homework!
See the beautiful braided edge? That’s it: the famous Kihnu Troi cast on! And there is actually one more braid on the underside.
My verdict: this cast on method is as tricky as it seems to be but with a lot of motivation and a bit of exercise you will get there… Is it worth it? Well, it surely looks good but if you don’t worry about the perfect finish on the wrong side of your project, the long tail-ish method is a good alternative.
P.S. Have you noticed the lovely horizontal braids in my picture? Here is how to knit them:
A big thank you to all my readers! See you next week!