How to knit a Latvian Braid

Everything you need to know about knitting the Latvian braid – flat or in the round

Do you want to know how to create this beautiful horizontal braid in the colors? Is there a secret technique involved? Fear not, knitting a Latvian braid is actually remarkably simple and you certainly don’t have to knit horizontally. Basically, you only have to weave in a tail as you go intentionally twice.

close-up of the latvian braid knitting method with two braids in yellow and blue on a ground of stockinette stitch

It’s really that simple. For the Latvian braid, you are really just knitting a row with two colors and twisting them around each other on the right side. That’s it. Let’s show you how to knit it.

the backside of the latvian braid
The backside of the Latvian braid

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Instructions: How to knit the Latvian braid

someone showing how to knit the latvian braid

The Latvian braid is worked across three rows. One setup row and two pattern rows. When working flat, it's best to start on the right side. Most people prefer to knit it across an even number of stitches.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  1. Join in a new color (color B) and knit one stitch.

    joining in a new color to knit the first stitch
  2. Knit one stitch in color A.

    knitting one sittch in color A
  3. Continue knitting across the full row - always alternating between one stitch in color A followed by one stitch in color B.
    *k1 color A, k1 color B*

    continueing in this simple fair isle pattern across the first row
  4. Turn around and knit one stitch using the same color as the stitch appears (if you've cast on an even number of stitches, this will be color B).

    starting the second row by knitting one stitch in color a
  5. Pick up color A from below and knit one stitch. This will trap color B in between the working yarn and your project.

    picking up color B from below to knit one more stitch
  6. Pick up color B from below and knit one stitch. This will trap color A in between working yarn and your project.

    picking up color A from below to knit another stitch
  7. Continue repeating steps 5-6. Always knit every stitch in the color it appears and always pick up the yarn from below. Both strands stay in the back of your work.
    continueing to knit across twisting the yarns with each stitch
    Aside from forming the bottom half of your Latvian braid on the right side, this will twist your working yarn A LOT. Don't worry, it will naturally untwist in the next row.
    view on the right side after having finished the first pattern row of the latvian braid
  8. Turn your work around, bring both yarns to the front, and purl one stitch in color A making sure you trap the color b.

    starting the row by purling one stitch in color B
  9. Pick up color B from below and purl one stitch.

    purling one stitch in color a, trapping color b
  10. Pick up color A from below and purl another stitch.

    purling one stitch in color b, making sure to trap color A
  11. Continue purling across the full row, always picking up the yarn from below and alternating the colors.
    You should notice how the tail end of your yarn slowly untwists.

    repeating steps 9 and 10 over and over again to finish the latvian braid
  12. Continue according to your pattern.

    continueing knitting in pattern across the finished latvian braid


If you are working across a long row of 50 or more stitches, you will notice that the yarn twists a bit too much and it's getting hard to work new stitches. In this case, I recommend pulling out quite a bit of yarn from your ball before you start the round. And then, after every 10 stitches or so, move the twist as far down the yarn as possible by sort of pushing it away from you.

If that, too, doesn't help, you can untwist the yarns. You will have to do it twice since you won't naturally untwist the yarn in the second pass of the Latvian Braid.

If you want your Latvian braid to point in the other direction, you simply have to pick up the yarn from above!

So, on both the wrong side and right side, whenever you switch colors, you pick up the next color from above. This will twist the yarns in the other direction and if you do this consistently on both sides, the braid will point towards the right instead of the left.

Latvian Braid in the round

A knitted swatched with the latvian braid in the round

You can also work the Latvian bride in the round. It’s just as simple. There are only two minor things you need to switch.

Step 1: Knit across the first round alternating between colors A and B.

someone knitting one round in a simple fair isle pattern as a preparation for the latvian braid

Step 2: Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarns held in back (move your beginning of the row marker by one stitch), then purl across the second row alternating between color A and B. Keep both yarns in front of your work. And always pick up the next color from above.

purling one round while alternating colors, picking up the new yarn from above

Step 3: Slip 1 stitch purlwise and move your beginning of the row marker one more stitch, then purl across the third row maintaining the alternating color pattern. Keep both yarns in the front but this time always pick up the next color from below.

purling a second round in two colors, this time picking up the new yarn from below

The only difference between the Latvian braid in the round compared to flat knitting is that you don’t switch between a purl and a knit row. Instead, you switch the way you pick up the yarn.

Just like when working flat, you can also switch up the way you pick up a new color. If you do it from below in the second row and from above in the third row, the braid will point in the other direction.

You will also notice that, despite slipping the first stitch of each new round, you will end up with a visible jog where the start of your braid meets the end. You can close the gap with a tapestry needle.

Step 1: Simple thread your tail on a tapestry needle and go out through the last stitch of your braid, right through the last purl bump in the same color as your tail is.

Step 2: And then follow the partial braid, get out through the exact same hole. JJst look at your knitting. See where the braid should enter and exit the fabric and retrace this path with your tapestry needle once.

fixing a minor jog created when knitting a latvian braid with a tapestry needle

Step 3: Pull the yarn through to the wrong side and weave in the tail any way you like.

Even with that trick, the join will still be a bit visible. I recommend placing it where it’s least noticeable (so maybe not on the very front of your sweater, etc).

Anyway, that’s how to knit the Latvian braid. Comment below if you have any questions.

how to knit the latvian braid - a step by step tutorial for beginners

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