I LOVE brioche—both the stitch and the bread. I fell in love with fabric the moment I found it in a Vogue Knitting pattern from the Winter 1998/1999 edition. It was pattern #10 which sadly is not online, so I’m happy to have the printed magazine.
Brioche was not new 20+ years ago when I discovered it. It’s been around for centuries and is believed to have originated in the Netherlands for fisherman sweaters. Think Aran Isle only Dutch.
In the hunt to find projects to use up odds and ends of my stash, I looked back at a previous post I made on simplified brioche knitting, but many of the links no longer worked, so this is an update to that post as well as a free scarf pattern in case you want to try it for creating stretchy, beautiful knitwear.
Brioche is almost as simple as garter because it is the same and knitted both directions. And brioche is far stretchier than a standard rib. This means that it will stretch farther sideways than rib patterns. Which makes it great for a horizontal piece, but not good for a vertical one. I learned this the hard way.
As you know, there are loads of Brioche patterns, but few stand out as good references. The good ones use standard knitting terminology instead of BRKs, BRPs, etc. I call these the “brioche without tears” patterns.
Simple Brioche Instructions
In single color, flat brioche, all rows are the same—no matter which way the work is facing. Only the setup and bind off rows are different.
Across any even number of stitches:
- Setup Row: (prep for pattern rows) *K1, yarnover (yo), slip 1 purlwise; repeat from * to end of row
- Pattern Rows: (repeated row) *K2tog (the slip 1 and yo of the previous row), yo, sl1; repeat from * to end of row
- Final Row: (prep for bind off) *K2tog P1* repeat across
- Cast off: in pattern (K1, P1)
Below is a pattern for a super quick knit scarf that I call 12 Feet of Love. It’s knit in a discontinued yarn called Kitten, by Reynolds, a wool-blend that creates a slightly fuzzy, bumpy fabric that was popular in the 80’s.
12 Feet of Love Scarf
This pattern can be any length, width or use any yarn you desire. This makes it a great stash buster project.
Length: As the title suggests, the project I knit was 12 feet including fringe. You can stop at your desired length.
Width: I you want a wider scarf; you can make it wider simply add pairs of (2) stitches until it is the desired width.
Yarn: I used Aran, but this pattern works for any yarn weight. If you use a thinner yarn, add more pairs of stitches, a thicker yarn will require a pair or two less. The best thing is to knit a gauge swatch with the whatever yarn you plan to use.
- Needles: Size 9 or whatever gives you the appropriate or preferred gauge.
- Yarn: I used 600-700 yards of Aran weight
- Darning needle to weave in ends.
- Cast on 16 stitches.
- Start setup row: *K1, yarnover (yo), slip 1 purlwise; repeat from * to end of row
- Next row and every row after: *K2tog (the slip 1 and yo of the previous row), yo, sl1; repeat from * to end of row
- When the scarf is the desired length, do bind off prep row: P1, K2tog across
- Bind off 16 remaining stitches
- Weave in ends
- If desired, add fringe and trim to preferred length
I hope the reference is useful for you. I’ll probably expand it to include more and more “conversions” as more as more simple brioche patterns (once again) are made available.
My next big thing is two-color brioche and it turns out that knitting brioche in the round is even easier than two-color brioche flat. Below are a pattern and a video to help without a BRK or BRP in sight!
Pattern: Joann’s two-color cowl
Two-color brioche cowl video tutorial: Milk Shed: Easy two color cowl video (knits and purls only): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRt0i1dQfJc
I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Call to Action!!!
If you know of other brioche patterns using standard knitting terms, I’m collecting them, so please share!