How to Two Colour Brioche Rib in the round

I’ve recently released this simple brioche rib cowl pattern.  I’ve pulled together this accompanying tutorial to show you how to brioche rib “in the round”.

I want to persuade you all that brioche knitting really is simpler than is looks, so go on, go get the pattern (its free until 10th Feb 2019!) find some needles and some yarn and give it a go!

Brioche Knitting Cowl

To make the cowl you will need two complementary (or contrasting!) colours of yarn.  The pattern is designed using sport-weight yarn, but a DK yarn would work too.  I’d recommend using the same brand of yarn for both colours, just because there can be a slight variability between textures and thicknesses between different yarns.  I think using the same brand gives a more consistent texture.

I’m using these two colours, both taken from the Malabrigo Arroyo Range.  Colour A is “Prussia Blue (46)” and Colour B is “Aniversario (005)”.


Brioche rib creates a fantastic double-sided fabric.  One side will mainly look like colour A and the other side like colour B.

If you want to make this pattern, you can download it here to find details of how many stitches to cast-on etc.

In “flat” brioche, this means that you work a row once with your first colour, then slide back to the beginning and work again with your second colour, knitting one time and purling the next.

You also work each row twice in Brioche knitting in the round, however as your work is circular, you just keep going round and round.  That means that, unlike other types of “in the round” knitting, Brioche Knitting will have a “knit-row” and a “purl-row”.  I’ll explain more below…

What does a Brioche Row look like “on the needles”?

Each Brioche Row will be made up of two types of stitches.  A single stitch and a stitch which is “wrapped” with the other colour, as shown below.wrapped-and-single-stitches.jpg

You will always “work” (either Brioche Knit or Brioche Purl) a stitch or “slip” (and wrap) a stitch alternately as you go around the row.

Brioche Knit Row

In this pattern, you will be using Colour A to work all Knit Rows.  Look closely at the stitches, in this row, colour A is a “wrapped” stitch and Colour B is a “single” stitch.


If you are following my pattern, the first stitch in the round is a Brioche Knit Stitch

So…on a Brioche Knit Row, you will work as follows

Brioche Knit 1(brk1), Slip 1 with yarn in front (Sl1wyif) and repeat these two stitches to the end of the row.

Brk (Brioche Knit Stitch)

Brioche Knit (brk), is just like a regular knit, except that you knit it together with its “wrap”, as follows:


At the end of this row (as you’ll see further down) your working yarn will be in front of your work, following the final slipped stitch.  Leave it there whilst you complete the brioche purl row.  To start working a brioche knit row, move your yarn from front to back and then follow the instructions for this brioche knit row.

s1wyif (slip 1 with yarn in front)

The next stitch will be slipped.  You will always slip “purlwise” and you will always wrap this stitch ready to be “worked” on the next row.  On the “knit-side” row, the simplest way to wrap the stitch is to…

Move your working yarn to the front of the work and slip the next stitch purlwise


Then brioche Knit (brk) the next stitch without moving the yarn to the back.


This creates a yarnover, effectively wrapping the stitch


Then just repeat these steps until you get to the end of the row.

So that’s bring yarn to front, slip stitch, then knit the next stitch with its “wrap”….

I’ll be heard muttering “front…slip…knit…” as I complete a Brioche Knit Row.

If you are making the pattern, the last stitch in the Colour A, Brioche Knit Row is a slip stitch.  Because this is the last stitch in the row it is worked slightly differently as follows:

With the yarn in front, as for all other slipped stitches on this row, wrap the yarn around the needle from back to front, creating a wrap.



Leave this yarn to the front of your work whilst you work the next row so that you don’t “lose” this wrap.  You’ll need to work that stitch when you complete the brioche purl row.  You can then move it to the back of your work as you start this row again the next time around.

Brioche Purl (brp) row

In this pattern, you will be using Colour B to work all Purl Rows.  Look closely at the stitches, in this row, colour B is a “wrapped” stitch and Colour A is a “single” stitch.


If you are following my pattern, the first stitch in the round is a slipped-stitch

So…on a Brioche Purl Row, you will work as follows:

Slip 1 Yarn Over (Sl1yo), Brioche Purl 1(brp1), and repeat these two stitches to the end of the row.

Sl1yo (Slip 1 Yarn Over)

With the yarn in front (you are purling this row so it stays in front all the time), insert your needle into the next stitch purlwise and get ready to “slip it”.


Before you slip it, wrap your working yarn around your right needle from back to front, just like you would if you were going to purl this stitch


Don’t purl it, instead slip the stitch, along with its “wrap” onto your right needle.


brp (Brioche Purl)

The next stitch will be a wrapped stitch, purl this stitch in the normal way, together with its wrap


Then just repeat these steps until you get to the end of the row.  At the end of the row, leave your working yarn in the front of your work.

So that’s insert, wrap slip, then purl the next stitch with its “wrap”….

I’ll be heard muttering “round…slip…purl…” as I complete a Brioche Purl Row.

Switching colours between rows

A couple of people have asked about switching colours between rows.  I thought I’d do my best to clarify! 🙂

At the end of both a brk and brp row, leave the yarn you have finished working is at the “front” of your work.  This will mean that you don’t lose the wrap on the sl1yo at the end of the knit row and your yarn will be in the right place for the brp row.

When you start you brk row, move the yarn you are about to work to the back of your work to start knitting.

For the brp row, you will be working a purl and so your yarn will stay at the front of your work throughout.

Now go try it…!

Its really a lot easier than it looks, if you know how to knit, purl and slip stitches, you know how to Brioche!

Go get the pattern (here!) and give it a go!

Good luck and have fun!



EDITED: Feb 2019 – If you are in the US, you can buy a kit of yarn for this pattern here at Jimmy Beans Wool

22 Responses

  1. Christina Rogers

    I’m super new to knitting but this is on the top of my must make list! Just lovely! Would you ever consider creating a video tutorial of this?

  2. Brooke Weaver

    Yes, the actual brioching is simple and thank you for your instructions/pattern. However, managing the yarns at the join and switching colors is very confusing. I feel you left out the trickiest part.

  3. Heather Lynn

    The pattern is lovely, I do have to agree with Brooke Weaver. I found it tricky to begin round two with color B, as it was not stated in the pattern how to “anchor” the yarn and not lose the yarn over at the start of the next round. Also, when ending round 4, the pattern does not state that color A needs to be draped around the needle to execute the final Brp1 I cast this project on and frogged it quite a few times. I think I finally got it right tonight. When beginning round 2 of the pattern, I tied color B to color A and was able to continue. I am very happy with the way this cowl is working up. I am using Malabrigo Rios in Anniversio and Pearl Ten on size 6, 80 cm circular needles. I did visit your brioche tutorial, thank you for that!

  4. I’m a fairly experienced knitter but I could not—FOR THE LIFE OF ME—figure out brioche knitting until reading your instructions. The YOs always tripped me up. Surprising how such a tiny detail can make such a huge difference. I was stuck in an auditorium one day with WiFi and circulars and came across this post. It was so hard not to jump up and down when I realized I was finally doing it right. Thank you so much for this! You’re the first knitter I found who made sense of the madness. ❤️

  5. Susan Distel

    I’ve started the pattern as my first brioche project and it’s coming along beautifully. Thanks so much.

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