I love learning new techniques, it sets me a challenge and allows me to explore new areas of knitting that I haven’t experimented with before. When I’m learning a new technique my first thought is how I can change, improve or break it down! It’s been many years since I’ve tried working on Brioche Knitting and I had almost completely forgotten about it. My friend, Nancy Marchant, who is a designer based in Amsterdam, has built her entire knitting career around this stitch and if you fall for Brioche her work is well worth checking out (I’ve added links to her craftsy classes at the bottom of the post).
The 2 things that drew me to this stitch are it’s fluffy, bouncy, thick texture and the ability to combine colours easily in your work. The Nua collection that I’m working on for this autumn was just perfect to add a little brioche stitch into so I started exploring the stitch a bit more.
The basics of Brioche are pretty simple; you are alternating a knit stitch with a slipped stitch that’s combined with a yarnover. When you work the next row you reverse this so the stitch that was knit is now slipped with a yarnover and the stitch that was previously slipped is now knit together with the yarnover (this is known as a brioche knit stitch ‘brk’). To look at, Brioche stitch is like super cushy 1×1 ribbing. Due to how it’s knit it’s very stretchy and wider than stockinette stitch.
Here’s a little video I put together of basic brioche:
Once you’ve mastered the basics of Brioche the fun really begins! Next up, is combining 2 colours; allowing 1 colour to be the main ‘rib’ and the other to be the background. Of course, this is reversed on the other side of the work then. As Brioche stitch is a 2 stitch repeat when you work increases, you need to add 2 stitches at a time to stay in pattern which creates some lovely effects!
Now, of course, I always want to keep experimenting so I decided to try out my favourite short row method, German Short Rows, with Brioche Stitch.
I discovered that if you keep your turns every 2 stitches (to maintain the Brioche Stitch) it works really well. I’ve added this technique to a collar for one of my Autumn Collection!
See it in action here:
If you want to have a bit of fun with Brioche Stitch you can explore with a few Craftsy classes. Below you’ll find affiliate links to different classes:
Explorations in Brioche Knitting, and then to learn more about working in 2 colours try Brioche Knitting: Exploring Color and Texture.
Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark does a basic Brioche Knitting class called Brioche Knitting Made Easy. This was the class I started with and I found her a great introduction to the stitch. You learn how to knit it flat, in the round, work 2 colours and different ways to cast on and bind off.
Have you tried out Brioche knitting before? What do you think?