If you’re a knitter whose yet to discover the Latvian Braid, then you’re really missing out. This beautiful detail gives a special finished look to any item. In the case of this free pattern, the Latvian braid polishes off a Fair Isle knit hat design.
What is a Latvian Braid?
The Latvian Braid is a unique knitting technique. Usually worked in two colors, it creates the look of a braid that sits atop the knitwork. Of course, there are many ways to work braids into knitting – through iCords, cables, etc. However, the Latvian braid often gets overlooked. This is a shame, because it’s a simple three-round technique that provides great detail to almost any project.
Ashley Little over on Craftsy explains it well when she says that in this technique, you’re “strategically crossing two colors of yarn consistently either under or over one another as you alternate purling each color. It’s much easier than stranded colorwork, because you don’t have to worry about floats or twisting and untwisting the two colors.”
On a hat like this one, the Latvian Braid does a terrific job of visually separating the body of the hat from the brim. Once you’ve tried this technique, you might find yourself wanting to use it often to give your hats that extra finished touch.
Fun Fact: There’s a twist, or lean, to this technique. You can make other a right-leaning or left-leaning Latvian braid.
Learn How to Knit a Latvian Braid
As you’ll see when you visit the pattern for this fair isle knit hat, I’ve created a video tutorial for the Latvian braid. You can also watch that here. However, if you’re planning to knit the whole hat, then you might want to wait until you’re ready for that step of the project.
More About This Fair Isle Knit Hat
The Chill Out Winter Hat is a free knit hat pattern. It’s worked with a traditional snowflake design, which is always popular for Fair Isle knitting. It’s also a great choice for a winter hat. The hat is a warm and cozy celebration of the winter season. And if you happen to fall prey to the unfortunately-common winter blues, the bright pops of color on this two-tone hat might be able to help.
The hat is worked from the brim to the crown. Once you work the brim, you add the Latvian braid. After the third round of the braid, the yarns are no longer twisted, and you can go into the Fair Isle body of the hat.
And although I absolutely love the braid on this hat, it’s actually not my favorite part. My favorite part is the crown. I’ve designed the decreases on the crown in such a way that it doesn’t interrupt the color work pattern at all. It’s quite satisfying, and the end result is a very cohesive finished hat pattern.
This pattern uses aran weight yarn. You’ll use size US 6 – 4.0 mm and US 8 – 5.0 mm knitting needles to complete this project. The hat is designed to end up with a circumference of 21.7”- sized for an adult.
Get The Free Pattern for the Fair Isle Knit Hat with Latvian Braid
Are you ready to try the Latvian Braid and think this fair isle knit hat pattern is the best way to do it? Click the image below to get the free pattern. There’s also an ad-free version available for sale on Ravelry.
You Might Also Like:
- Game Changer Knit Cowl pattern, which also uses the Latvian Braid for detail
- Double Dip Knit Hat pattern, which uses a different type of braid
- This or That: Fair Isle and Nordic Sweater Patterns with Video Tutorials