Working a Vikkel braid creates a line of horizontally-aligned knit stitches. You can do single or multicolored Vikkel braids.
When I was researching different braids, this was the most straightforward one (for me). There are other braids; feel free to substitute if you’d like.
For the All You Need Is…Mittens, for the first Vikkel braid right after the corrugated ribbing, I started by doing a M1 with the MC into the CC strand right before the first stitch of the round (which should be a knit stitch in MC).
1. Slip the newly made MC stitch to the left hand needle. You should have two stitches of the same color (MC) now on your left hand needle.
Using the MC, knit into the 2nd stitch from behind the first stitch. Do not slip the worked-into stitch off the needle (you can’t, anyway, without pulling off the first stitch). Next, knit into the first stitch with the CC yarn. Drop both of the just worked into stitches off the left hand needle.
2. You now have a CC stitch, which you just made, on your right hand needle. Slip that stitch to the left hand needle. Knit with the CC into the second stitch (note it’s also a CC stitch) from behind the first stitch. Knit with the MC into the first stitch. Drop both of the just worked into stitches off the left hand needle.
Repeat the above 2 steps until you’ve worked all the stitches of the round.
Pass the last made stitch over the first stitch of the round; this both ‘joins’ the braid as well as getting rid of the increased stitch (so you’re back to the same stitch count).
When you’re working with just one color, just do step one. When you start the two color braid at the top of the mittens, start with the MC & follow both steps.
Note that if you work the stitches as described, with alternating MC/CC already on the left hand needle, you will always have 2 stitches of the same color on the left hand needle before working into the first stitch from behind.You will always work that first stitch with the same color yarn, and switch to the opposite colored yarn for the second stitch.
Of course, this doesn’t hold true if there’s just one color set up on the left hand needle.
In those cases, such as the second two color Vikkel braid near the hem, just remember that you’ll work the first stitch with one color (A), the second with the other color (B), then for the next set of stitches, you’ll start with B for the first stitch, and work the second stitch with A. Keep alternating til all the stitches are worked.
For further reference, see Folk Knitting in Estonia, Nancy Bush, pp50-51.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find many online Vikkel references.
- Here’s a YouTube (in German): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSwfzQ3G3V8 which very nicely shows the technique using one color.
- The Daily Skein also has a one-color tutorial here: http://dailyskein.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/vikkel-braid