Unfortunately, brioche knitting is nothing to do with cake! But on the plus side, it is a great knitting technique that’s well worth trying out. Brioche knitting produces a finished piece of work that looks like conventional ribbing but with with more pronounced ridges formed by the knit stitches. A finished piece of brioche knitting is also thicker and more squidgy than conventional rib – meaning it’s extra warm and great for garments such as sweaters and scarves.
In its most basic form, brioche knitting is a combination of knit stitches and slipped stitches that have been paired with yarn overs. That might sound complicated, but it isn’t really. There are a lot of variations on the technique but here’s how to work a piece of basic brioche knitting.
• Loosely cast on an even number of stitches using a long-tail cast on (see Knit & Stitch Creative Issue 41 for how to do the thumb long-tail cast on).
• Work a foundation row thus: *with the yarn in front, slip one stitch, then knit the next stitch; simply repeat from * to the end of the row. Bringing the yarn to the front of the work creates a ‘yarn over’.
• Work the second row thus: *with the yarn in front, slip one stitch, then knit together the next two stitches on needle; repeat from * to the end of the row. The stitches you knit together are the slipped stitch and yarn over from the previous row.
• Then simply repeat the second row. If you want to change to another stitch (eg garter or stocking stitch), work purl 1, knit 2 together across the last row of brioche knitting.
• To cast off in brioche knitting, work *purl 1, knit 2 together and then pass the purl stitch over this; repeat from * to end.
As with any new technique, try out brioche knitting on a few sample swatches before tackling a project and then start with something simple, like a scarf. Brioche knitting is great when worked in a soft yarn – why not try a scarf made in CreaCrafts Provenance Albite (click here to buy this yarn) or Provenance Granite (click here to buy this yarn)? And if you enjoy brioche knitting, why not explore what the technique has to offer? There are lots of interesting variations on the method – including exciting ways with colours.
Don’t forget to share your experiments with this new technique with the rest of the CreaCrafts community.