Brioche stitch is beautiful. No question about that. It turns even a simple project like a plain scarf into a gorgeous creation with rich texture. If you make a brioche project using thin yarn and thick needles, the texture becomes almost ethereal, and the project looks and feels like a cloud.
In addition to all these wonderful features, brioche stitch is unbelievably easy to make.
If you prefer to follow a video tutorial, click here.
Use any type of cast on that creates a firm edge (long tail, knit on, cable cast on). Brioche stitch is quite loose, and it needs something to hold it together. A firm cast on edge is a perfect solution for that.
Cast on an even number of stitches. We’ll use two of the stitches as selvedges to form nice side edges.
SET UP ROW
The first stitch is a selvedge. Slip it purlwise (insert the right needle into the stitch from right to left). Then work a sequence of [knit 1, make a yarn over and slip the next stitch purlwise](watch how to do it). Repeat brackets to the last stitch (that’s our other selvedge), and purl the last stitch. Turn your work.
Slip the first stitch purlwise, [knit the next stitch together with the yarn over created in the previous row, then make a yarn over and slip the next stitch purlwise] (watch how to do it). Repeat the brackets to the last stitch, and purl the last stitch. Turn your work.
That’s it. Repeat the working row until the project gets as big as you want, or until you run out of yarn. I mentioned “running out of yarn” because brioche stitch is a perfect way to make a scarf when you don’t have enough yarn for a tighter scarf or a bigger project.
When my niece brought me a ball of exquisite mohair yarn from her travels, I took needles that are five sizes bigger than the size suitable for that yarn, cast on 24 stitches (that seemed like the right number at that time :-), and started working in brioche stitch. Two evenings later I had a stunning cloud-like scarf that surprisingly turned out to be quite big, and I used up all of the yarn.
The trick is to stop knitting when the leftover yarn is about four times longer than the width of the scarf. That length of yarn will be enough to bind off stitches.
Speaking of binding off stitches here’s how to do it (it is also shown in this part of the video tutorial)
Knit the first stitch. Then knit the next stitch together with the yarn over. Pass one stitch over the other one as you usually do when you bind off stitches. Purl the next stitch. Pass one stitch over the other. Repeat until you have one stitch left. Pass the yarn tail through the last stitch, and pull tight to secure.
If you decide to make a stripy brioche scarf, work two rows in one colour, and then two rows in the other colour. Carry the yarns up using way #1 explained in this tutorial.
Now you are all set to make all sorts of beautiful projects. Maybe that odd ball of alpaca or cashmere sitting in your stash is just waiting to be turned into a gorgeous brioche scarf, who knows? 🙂
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.