VIDEO: How to knit basic brioche stitch

When Deborah Helmke’s brioche stitch Caen Cowl sample for Knitscene Fall 2015 arrived in the office, I fell in love with it. It’s one of my favorite colors, it’s squishy, and it’s totally oversized and trendy—you know that image of singer Lenny Kravitz and his giant, oversized scarf? It’s like that, but way more wearable by those of us who aren’t Lenny Kravitz.

Even if it is now summer and there’s no real reason to wear a giant oversized cowl. You have to plan ahead!

I’d never knit brioche stitch before this cowl arrived, but I had to have it, so I had to learn it. Turns out, brioche knitting, like so many other things, is a lot easier to do than it initially sounds. The stitches that didn’t make sense in my head suddenly felt familiar when I had yarn and needles in my hand, because they are totally familiar—if you can work a knit 1, purl 1 ribbing and a yarnover, you can do brioche knitting. Allow me to demonstrate.

Yep, that’s right, I did this in both English knitting and Continental knitting styles (that’s throwing or picking for some people). It’s easy to do in both knitting styles, and once you get the rhythm going, it’s really fast! I think I knit this cowl in about a week.

Of course, it helps that I was knitting Malabrigo Chunky yarn on US size 11 needles but let’s not quibble.

If you’re ready to tackle brioche knitting, we have five projects in Knitscene Fall 2015 that are great for beginners and brioche masters alike! The Caen Cowl is a perfect introduction to brioche knitting, which is why we also created a kit for this project—to give knitters everything they need to add this skill to their knitting resume. Jennifer Mattesky’s Bayeux Cowl takes it up a notch with a staggered brioche stitch pattern worked in the round.

brioche stitch shawl brioche stitch cowl

Zsuzsa Kiss’s Tourlaville Shawl and Sharon Fuller’s Bessin Scarf are both great projects for practicing two-color brioche knitting.

brioche stitch shawlbrioche stitch scarf And if you’re ready to take on garments that use brioche knitting, Meiju K-P’s Orne Cardigan and Leah McGlone’s Argentan Pullover both use brioche knitting in different ways. Added bonus: they’re both totally seamless!

brioche stitch sweater KnitScene-2015-Fall-0119

And if you prefer the written word, we included step-by-step instructions to tackling basic brioche stitch with an excerpt from Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s Brioche Chic in this issue. Grab your copy of Knitscene Fall 2015 and get started with this great knitting stitch today!


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