Brioche knitting is as luscious as brioche bread.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I love learning new knitting techniques, especially techniques that look a lot more complicated than they are. Brioche knitting, popularized by Nancy Marchant's book Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch is one of those techniques.  It looks complex, but if you can knit, purl, knit stitches together and make a yarn over, you can do this. I highly recommend giving it a try.

Much like brioche bread is soft and buttery, brioche knitting produces a very airy and spongy fabric that is ideal for soft pieces like scarves and cowls. Knit in one color, the basic brioche stitch produces a reversible fabric. But two color brioche is where things get interesting. Some of Marchant's examples of variegated yarns used in tandem are absolutely gorgeous.

Marchant offers a Craftsy class, "Explorations in Brioche Knitting" that offers visual instruction as well as two scarf patterns. I made the Alex scarf with two colors of Spud and Chloe Sweater,  a soft worsted blend of washable wool and cotton that I purchased during the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl.

Alex Scarf

It's important to pick colors that are different enough in tone that there is a good contrast between the lights and the darks. As an example, this is the same scarf in black and white: 

Alex Scarf (B&W)

You can see that the blue is light enough to really pop from the grey background.  If I had used a darker blue, the effect would be muddied. 

The only downside to brioche knitting is that it does use a lot of yarn. I used every bit of both skeins, and I would have liked my scarf to be a little longer. Also, when knitting two color brioche, you knit each row twice, once with each color.  It goes quickly, though, and I didn't find that to be a problem.

Here's a link to my Ravelry project page if you'd like to see more about the pattern and the yarns I used.

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