I've been experimenting recently with Brioche knitting. This ribbed, often two-tone style of knitting has always reminded me of patterns we encounter in nature: the bark of an old maple or oak, the delicate lines seen in coral, ferns and prehistoric fossils.
This cowl was knitted for a friend who rides motorcycles (yes, that's her in the pictures). The idea was that the broad base of the cowl could go over her shoulders and under her riding jacket, which would help hold it in place. At the same time, the cowl looks perfectly feminine. Because of the nature of Brioche stitch, the cowl is also fully reversible.
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below — every knitter's
gauge is unique]
24-inch US#2/2.75mm circular needle
24-inch US#4/3.5mm circular needle
23 sts/34 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
18 sts/28 rounds = 4 inches in brioche stitch Note: 1 row of brioche consists of 1 row of LC and 1 row of DC
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
The cowl is knitted top-down in the round, one round in LC and another round in DC.
Please note that I use Nancy Marchant terminology for brioche stitch. I highly recommend her books Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch and Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns, as well as her lessons on craftsy.com.
yf: yarn forward: bring the yarn to the front, between the tips of the needles.
yb: yarn back: take the yarn to the back, between the tips of the needles.
sl1yof: slip 1, yarn over, yarn to front: with working yarn in front, slip the next stitch purlwise, then bring the yarn over the needle and the slipped stitch, then bring yarn back around to the front, ready to purl the following stitch.
yfsl1yo - yarn forward, slip 1, yarn over: bring the working yarn between the tips of the needles to front of work, slip the next stitch purlwise, then bring the yarn over the needle and the slipped stitch. Leave yarn in back, ready to knit the next stitch.
brk: brioche knit: knit the stitch together with its accompanying yarnover
brp: brioche purl: purl the stitch together with its accompanying yarnover
brk4st Inc: brk1, yo, brk1, yo, brk1 into the same stitch: 1 stitch increased to five.
Two-Color Brioche, In the Round
One brioche round consists of 2 rounds, one worked with the Light Color [LC], and the other with the Dark Color [DC].
I use the Invisible Ribbed Bind Off method describe on p. 197 of the book “Cast On, Bind Off. 54 Step-by-Step Methods” by Leslie Ann Bestor, Storey Publishing 2012. This is a type of sewn bind-off and creates a flexible edge.
Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind off works well, too. Info here.
Using the larger needles and LC loosely cast on 112 sts. Place marker and join for working in the round. Switch to the smaller needles.
Set up round [LC]: [K1, yfsl1yo] to end of round. Bring the LC yarn forward and leave it hanging in front of the work.
Attach DC yarn.
Round 1A [DC]: Yf, [sl1yof, brp1] to end of round. Bring the DC yarn back. Round 1B [LC]: Yb, [brk1, yfsl1yo] end of round. Bring the LC yarn forward and leave it hanging in front of the work.
Repeat Rounds 1A & 1B 59 times more: 60 rounds total worked in both LC and DC.
Increase round [DC]: Yf, (sl1yof, brp1) 4 times, [(sl1yo, p1, sl1yo, p1, sl1yo, brp1) into the increased sts, (sl1yof, brp1) 7 times] to last 12 sts (sl1yo, p1, sl1yo, p1, sl1yo, brp1) into the increased sts, (sl1yof, brp1) 3 times.
Repeat Rounds 1A & 1B 3 times: 3 rounds total worked in both LC and DC.
Bind off. (See pattern notes.)
Wash to block – do not stretch – and weave in ends.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Elaine Phillips has been in love with knitting since she was very little. Like everybody, she started out using patterns from books and magazines. Pretty soon, she was modifying the patterns to suit the particular projects she was working on, and from there it was just a small step to designing patterns of her own.
The knitting and crochet patterns Elaine has created range from the very simple to the complicated. She publishes her work on her website ABC Knitting Patterns.