I love Brioche, especially the chocolate kind….but this post isn’t about the bread brioche, its about the knitting brioche!
Brioche knitting is a kind of one or two (or more?) colour knitting technique which uses yarn-overs to create a thick textured, multi-coloured fabric.
I decided that I should probably “walk before I run” and opted instead for something that used a simple “Brioche-rib” pattern.
After some more Ravelling (yes that is a word, its the opposite of “unravelling”, which i do if I don’t have time for knitting or crochet!)….I found this beautiful bandana cowl by Lavanya Patricella and decided that this was the one for me.
Now, like most knitters and crocheters, I have a fairly large stash of yarn. I was certain that I could find the perfect yarn to make this in, without going to the shops!!
The first yarn I found was this beautiful Malabrigo Arroyo yarn that I’ve been waiting for the perfect project for. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the right yarn to go with it in my stash. It’s “sport” weight, which isn’t a yarn weight I use an awful lot. This one can be re-stashed for another project.
The pattern calls for fingering-weight yarn. I remembered that I had this amazing yarn from “All Wool that Ends Wool“. I think this colour-way is “its getting warmer”.
I also have some dark Cascade Heritage yarn left over from my “Random Stripe Cardigan”. I think they go together well!
So, now my yarn was chosen all I needed to do now was to learn how to brioche knit. Simple right?? (can you tell I sometimes have my priorities totally wrong! ha! 🙂 )
I hopped over onto Craftsy because I’d seen a class on brioche knitting on there. Who’da thunk it….It turns out that Brioche knitting (the simple rib kind anyway) is actually pretty simple!
Basically, you slip and stitch and then knit a stitch (that’s the same as knitting normally). The “Magic” comes in how you make little yarn-overs each time you slip a stitch, by doing something you are taught NEVER to do when knitting. You move the yarn to the front before you slip a stitch, then knit with the yarn from the front (not the back). Thereby creating a yarnover. Next time you come to that stitch you’ll knit the yarnover together with the slipped stitch to create the rib pattern.
Hard to describe but surprisingly easy to do…as long as you get into the rhythm! I’ve spent the last few hours muttering “front, slip, knit, front, slip, knit” and I think I’m getting there.
The class I was following suggested knitting a one-colour brioche swatch first….I SO wanted to get stuck in with the two colours but I was good and knit a swatch.
Here it is! Its not perfect but I did some Brioche Knitting, some Brioche Purling, some Brioche Increases and then some Brioche Decreases! 🙂 (and some “brioche mistakes”)
So…ready for colour? Lets go!
Oh, this is MUCH more tricky! especially when you go wrong!
The principles are the same, but now it seems that you have to work across the row in one colour, slide the work back to the other end and across the row in the second colour before you turn. You also need to remember whether you are knitting or purling…! My tiny little brain was struggling to remember all this stuff!
Here is a very small swatch that I managed to make before going wrong and not being able to work out how to “pick it back up” again.
I know from when I was learning to knit that fixing mistakes is actually the best way to learn…however I ran out of patience….
SO…I got the pattern out and spotted that, because it was knit “in the round” not “flat”, it was actually simpler than the swatch I was making. In the Round you can complete a knit round with one colour, then a purl round with another colour. I figured that I’d got knitting and purling NAILED! (ish!) that I’d start on the real thing….
Here it is so far after only a few rows (you may have spotted it at the top too!)…I have to say that I am in love with the way the colours are going together!
It is worth noting that the pattern gets a bit more complicated later on, when you have to start knitting “flat” to create the bandana point, but I figure that I’ve got 88 rows of practice before that point! 🙂
What can possibly go wrong??
Wish me luck! 🙂
UPDATE: I’ve now finished this fantastic cowl. You can see the finished thing here! My First Brioche Cowl is finished, just in time!