Beginner Brioche (Not Bread)

October 15, 2018
Continuing my quest to learn new things (and no, I’ve not finished the crochet cowl), I went to this month’s knitting guild meeting to learn to do the brioche stitch. Coming from a family of foodies and talented bakers, I’d only known about the edible brioche. The knitted version is a deceptively simple-looking, extra squishy stitch that is often knit in two colors. The guild instructor brought a sample of this Beginner Brioche Cowl.
Looks a bit like stockinette stitch — rows of knit stitches in columns of alternating colors. As I said, deceptively simple. Something I learned: counting is different in brioche. Each row is worked twice, and a single stitch plus an accompanying yarn over (which, for some reason, is referred to as its “shawl”) is counted as one stitch. Go figure! We started with one color brioche. I made the mistake of using the dark grey yarn I’d brought. Pro tip: stitches are easier to see in a lighter color. Nonetheless, I was able to work a few rows of real brioche. brioche-guild After everyone had worked a few rows in a single color, we ripped them out and dived in to two-color brioche. The instructions provided were all words — no diagrams or photos – which added to the challenge. I found myself chanting quietly as I worked across each row. The meditative aspect of knitting in action. twocolor-brioche I was pretty pleased with the way the grey knit stitches stood out from the orange purl bumps. But when I turned it over, I could see that I’d done something wrong. See how the grey cuts across the lovely orange column? back-brioche Being a novice briocher (is that a thing?), I couldn’t figure out what exactly I’d done wrong, but I knew that the error extended across a row. Looks like a purl that should’ve been a knit. Maybe. Although I ripped out the second swatch at the end of the meeting, I haven’t given up the possibility of a future brioche project. Maybe the Beginners Brioche Cowl in a couple of beautiful colors of bulky weight yarn. I’m open to all suggestions and recommendations. In the meantime, I’m making good progress with Starshower. I really enjoy the pattern and love the yarn — just hoping that it softens and drapes more once it’s blocked. starshower-cowl

3 Responses to “Beginner Brioche (Not Bread)”


  1. I think you’ll find the Beginners Brioche Cowl a little easier. It seems like working brioche in the round was easier. ALTHOUGH, I completely abandoned my brioche cowl after awhile…..I have such limited knitting time and felt like I wasn’t making any progress (and Christmas gift knitting was looming….). Maybe someday, when I have more knitting time (I wonder when that will be….) I’ll try it again! ;)

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  2. I love the notion of a “dance” with a new stitch. My mother used to say “anything is easy if you know how” which is what I now say in reply to knitting students who ask, is that hard?” Hope the knitting group is enjoyable and supportive!

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  3. Melissa Powers Says:

    Greetings- I enjoyed your description of this dance with brioche. I too have tried it on the needles and it was a challenge. I had to put down the project itself and just work on the stitch. I did abandon it….or more clearly….changed the stitch for the section that had a brioche border. It certainly is gorgeous….a tricky little devil. Nothing is hard once you learn it ….. (who said that????!!!!). Knitting is so very relaxing even when we ask our brains to learn new stitches. I’m attempting a baby cap in a bulky yarn. Will go to my local yarn shop and they invite you to sit around the table and work. I need a supportive and wise group to help me. I think I can complete it in 3 hrs. I attempted it on my own but something fowled up. Happy Fall days…… happy projects.

    On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 7:54 AM Saltwater Hill Knits wrote:

    > saltwaterhillknits posted: ” Continuing my quest to learn new things (and > no, I’ve not finished the crochet cowl), I went to this month’s knitting > guild meeting to learn to do the brioche stitch. Coming from a family of > foodies and talented bakers, I’d only known about the edi” >

    Like


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