Saturday, December 09, 2006

Brioche Stitch Explained

Looking inside the book "Viva Poncho", that I often use as inspiration, I found the lovely "Desiree Poncho" (in the pic in pink), and I found this Brioche stitch pattern very very nice, perfect of a scarf made with the new Rowan Polar yarn I just bought on eBay. So I tried.
The pattern looked very easy:


Co multiples of 3 sts
Found Row: *yo, sl 1, k1*
1st Row: *yo, sl 1, k2tog*
Repeat 1st row for pattern.

Simple isn't it? Well it is SO elementary that it's impossible to figure it out. How do you start a row with a yarn over? And how do you yarn over? When it says Slip 1, it is knitwise or purlwise? The number of sts will double from found row and row 1?

It took me a whole day of research on the web, I've found 1000 explanation but none clear and understandable. So I tried every possible combination, knitting and undoing what I had knitted, over and over again. The pattern was always a mess... until now!
I finally got it!!! I am so happy that I want to share my experience with you, so that from now on if you find a brioche stitch (or brioche rib) pattern you'll know how to do it without going crazy :-)

Here some tips I figured out:

1. YO = Yarn over in this pattern does not mean a usual yarn over, as if to make 1. But it means bring yarn forward, toward you. And keep it in front of you as if to purl. So you'll always start your row with the yarn in front of you. Then you'll slip one stitch as follows.

2. Sl 1 = Because the Brioche stitch is a rib pattern, which usually alternates knits and purls, I figured that slip 1, meant slip 1 as if to purl, because after that you always knit.

3. K2tog = Because the yarn is in front of you as if to purl, when you'll knit the next 2 sts tog (or k1 in found row) you'll bring naturally the yarn back, making a new st crossed above the slipped st (you'll knit them tog on the next row). You always knit together 2 crossed sts (a slipped one from precedent row and the stitch you made bringing the yarn back to knit). After knitting the sts, bring anew the yarn toward you (yo in the pattern) and restart.

3. Foundation row = Begin as it follows (this tip comes from Viva Poncho): Bring Yarn forward (yo), slip 1 (purlwise), k2tog, then continue as in pattern, *yo (=bring yarn forward), sl 1 (purlwise), k1*. If you follow this tip count one more stitch to the multiples of 3 sts.

So, after all this tying change the pattern as it follows:
yo -> Yf= Bring yarn forward as if to purl
sl1 -> Sl1p= Slip 1 purlwise

Cast on multiple of 3 sts (+1 if you follow the Viva Poncho Tip on foundation row)
Foundation row: (Yf, Sl1p, k2tog;) *yf, sl1p, k1*. Repeat ** till the end of row
Row 1: *yf, sl1p, k2tog*. Repeat **
Repeat row 1 for pattern

I hope I've helped some of you to figure this pattern out, because now that I got it, it goes really fast and the texture of the ribs obtained is fluffy and exquisite. Here's an example of the Brioche rib in Polar Combat (click to enlarge).

Happy Knitting!


ITALIAN UPDATE:
A grande richiesta aggiungo la spiegazione anche in italiano. Con un'avvertenza, prima di iniziare uno schema impratichitevi un po' con il punto. E' molto bello e veloce, ma difficilissimo da recuperare in caso di errore. Per cui meglio fare 2-3 prove prima di partire con la sciarpa o il poncho.


Monta maglie multiple di 3

Primo rigo di fondazione: *porta il filo verso di te (come se dovessi fare un rovescio), fai scivolare 1 maglia come se dovessi lavorarla a rovescio, lavora 1 maglia al dritto**. Ripeti da * a **
NB: quando lavori la maglia al dritto crei un incrocio col filo che hai precedentemente portato in avanti.

Rigo 1
: *porta il filo verso di te (come se dovessi fare un rovescio), fai scivolare 1 maglia come se dovessi lavorarla a rovescio, lavora 2 maglie insieme al dritto*. Ripeti da * a **.
NB: Le due maglie che lavori insieme sono incrociate, perché una delle due è quella che hai creato all'andata.

Ripeti il rigo 1

57 comments:

Sony said...

THANK YOU!!

I was going bonkers trying to figure this pattern out. Like you, I'd searched under every rock for a clarified explanation.

I'm so glad that I kept looking. You're explanation, not only made perfect sense, but was quite easy to comprehend.

Cheers,

Sony

D said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I finally got it! You're a savior...

Justine said...

I'm so happy someone used this explanation! :-D thanks to you girls!

Christian said...

Thank you for this nice explanation of the very lovable Brioche stitch.

It's true that most explanations of it (like the one in "the big book of knitting") are incomprehensible. Yours, and Elizabeth Zimmerman's in the wonderful "knitting without tears," help a lot.

To me it helps a lot to realize that the reason the stitch is so nice and thick is that you are wrapping the yarn around and around the needle as you knit. You bring it forward, and lay it back over, with each stitch.

Enjoy! Thanks!

SquirrellyWrath said...

Thank you so so much for posting this! You've just saved me a lot of time and tears trying to figure it out for myself!

PippaW said...

I'm very happy that this explanation is actually helping others! Brioche stitch is so nice one you figured it out! :-D

Jesse said...

I made the Ponch out of Manos cotton, and it was truly lovely. So lovely, that in a foreign country a year + later I've got some yarn and wanted to revisit it - but how to get the pattern? Google, of course! Thanks for posting your experience too, because now, though I remember just attacking the thing, I know I'd be cross eyed trying to figure it out away from my knitting group!

NF said...

Thank you very much! With your help I can now do this wonderful brioche stitch!

annette said...

pippa, is it too late for a question on this pattern? i appreciated your brioche tutorial but how in the world do i sew the damn thing together? "Sew A to B matching points o and x" make no sense to me. any help is appreciated.

annette

PippaW said...

Annette you are talking about the "Pima Poncho" pattern I guess. I haven't sewn it yet, but if you own the book, at page 48 there is a diagram that explains clearly how to sew it. Actually you take one of the two short sides and sew it to the left side of the above long side. I'll try a scheme:

a_______
|_______|b

You sew b on a. This way you form a sort of loop poncho. I hope this helps! Let me know :-)

annette said...

pippa, thank you so much for responding. i'm talking about the poncho you have pictured on this post...the brioche 'desiree' poncho from 'viva poncho'. why does your explanation make sense but then when i go to do it....? i'll give it a whirl.

again, i appreciate your help. that brioche stitch was a bitch until you explained it :o)

PippaW said...

Dear Annette,

I guess it's more difficult to do it than to explain it. I think you have to twist the poncho to close it. But then again I didn't try yet.

I'm glad my explanation was usefull, it took me so long to understand this lovely stitch, now I'm happy I'm helping others like me! :-))

Meghan said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I have been going insane with this stitch - it looks so simple, and yet made absolutely no sense!! Thank God you felt the same way too - I have been searching the internet ALL DAY for some help and clarification. Now I am happily knitting away and it feels GREAT!

Thanks again :]

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being the ONLY person on the Internet who could thoroughly and competently explain this stitch!!!

Cecilia said...

Oh gosh - I thought it was just me! I have been watching YouTube videos on this stitch over and over and couldn't for the life of me understand why I was messing up something that appeared so simple. I spent days scouring the internet for better instructions. I'm so glad I found your blog - I finally did it too!

PippaW said...

Thanks to you for stepping by and leaving a comment! Happy brioche-knitting! :-D

Andreas said...

THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU Oh my God thank you so much, you saved my life! I've been trying and trying forever, it's almost 5am and I've been up all night trying to figure it out! I just couldn't sleep and I was simply going crazy! But now I got it!!!

Anonymous said...

You're a researcher after my own heart. Thanks!!!

I'm printing this out and putting it in my Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Book. :)

--kuaikuai

PLT said...

Thank you so much. Your explaination is a lot clearer than what I've seen so far.

However, I still have two concerns:
1/ I feel like it only works when I cast on even numbers, multiple by 3 stitches and not odd.

2/ I casted on 6 stitches, and ended up with 9 stitches.

Is is supposed to turn out like these?

Thank you!

Andy's Crafts said...

I want to thank you, my wrists want to thank you, my yarn wants to thank you and my needles want to thank you lol! It is easy after one reads your blog and I will point out this blog in mine. I see a You tube Video verbalizing what you explained, I will make sure I mention your blog as well.

knittynurse said...

I have been fighting with this stitch for days. The picture looked so pretty and I couldn't get it right. It just clicked for me. Thank you for an explanation that made sense and led to success.

PippaW said...

Andreas, kuaikuai, knittynurse and Andy's I'm happy the explanation was useful!! :)


PLT no, it's not right. If you start with six sts you must end with six sts as well. You are always creating a new stitch but at the same time you are working 2 sts together, so you end up with the same number od sts :)

Ingrid said...

thank you so much! i've spent all day making a twisted mess and now i can finally swatch my sweater!

its all about bringing the yarn to the front! :)

Olivia said...

wow - thank you so much! You have saved me many more hours of confused mess of yarn, if only I'd read this earlier!

PippaW said...

It took me hours too, Brioche stitch nightmare! ;)

Laura said...

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!! Like the other posters, I was being driven mad by the brioche stitch, until I found your immensely helpful post. I'm so happy I could cry (tears of joy, of course). Thank you again!

PippaW said...

Laura, :D

maria isabel vermelho said...

hi iam too learning this stiche thanks!

lazysundae said...

you are a life saver!! i was going nuts trying to figure out how to start a row with a yo. thanks!

PippaW said...

Thanks you you all for stepping by and leaving a word! Happy knitting!

KatInTheSixth said...

How do you cast off?

PippaW said...

I make an usual cast off. I mean the same as if it was a stockinette stitch :)

cavemum said...

This is such an easy way to approach brioche! I was also tearing my hair out trying to figure out instructions, when finally I noticed on a YouTube tutorial, that the woman in the video knitted quite differently to me...I mean she pulled the yarn over the left stitch when knitting in different way to the way I do. Someone once told me I knit 'like a German'! (I'm English, I live in Spain, but my American granny taught me to knit). Does anyone know if the regional variations are what causes the difficulties in 'getting' brioche?'

One thing I still am having trouble with is that I always seem to end up with an extra YO at the end of a row. Anyone else have this problem? Anyway thanks so much for your post!!

http://cavemum.wordpress.com

PippaW said...

Dear Cavemum, in brioche when you yarn over you just bring the yarn toward you, you don't make a new stitch. What happens to your work, you don't end with a k2tog?
Thanks for leaving a comment!

Abbylyn said...

Hi! I realize this post was some years ago, but...I've been learning brioche knitting for a few weeks now. I bought the book "knitting brioche" and have been stressed out ever since! I looked all over the web and youtube for tutorials. I have FINALLY gotten the knit and purl stitches down, but cannot seem to pick up a dropped stitch.

Can you help?

Thanks.

PippaW said...

Dear Abbylyn I'm afraid I cannot help. Every time I dropped a stitch I was unable to recover it. The main difficulty with Brioche Stitch for me is that if you make errors is almost impossible to recover them. Sorry I can't help!

Poxacuatl said...

Hi, thanks for this :^) I also found this z'simplez' pattern a pain with so many interpretations online.
Are you knitting English or continental? That's what threw me when trying to figure out the brioche!

PippaW said...

Dear Poxacuatl, I knit both ways, but when I do brioche I usually go with the English way. I'm happy this post was usefull to you! Happy knitting!

eweRknotty said...

Having completed 1/2 a scarf in a count heavy, undulating wave-rib pattern, only to learn that the intended recipient is allergic to wool, and the christmas gift exchange deadline was moved ahead 2 weeks, I nearly dropped the idea of gifting a scarf... But then I remembered the swift success I enjoyed with brioche (after many painful failed attempts prior to finding THIS blog last spring). Sadly, having decided to reformat this laptop last week, I lost all my saved bookmarks. The first patterns I tried left my new attempts as dismal as my very first while I searched in vain for one as comprehensible as described on this site. SOOOO HAPPY to have relocated these most helpful instructions- THANK YOU!! <3 <3 <3 irene

PippaW said...

:D Happy Holidays!!!

Jen said...

do you have any tips for an italian cast on? Ive been looking for almost a week and its making me crazy

PippaW said...

Dear Jen, what do you mean for "Italian cast on"? Try this video anyway: http://video.leiweb.it/Lezione_2_avvio_maglie_video/4bd5dd14-cc2d-11dd-b8fc-00144f02aabc

Anonymous said...

thank you sooo much, I also searched all over for the brioche stitch. i am making the turban, but i have a question, how do i cast off!?

PippaW said...

Hi! I usually bind off like I usualy do whil others knit. In the book "Knitting Brioche" though they suggest three different ways: Two color cast off; Barided binf off in the round; Italian bind off. I guess you just choose your favorite way! I hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

About 3 months ago I bought the Brioche book and tried to figure out how to do the stitch. After HOURS decided I had a mental block and put it away. Got it out again yesterday and it still didn't make any sense to me. Tonight I found your explanation and it was an "ah ha!" moment. Thank you so much. I thought I must be getting senile.

PippaW said...

I'm happy it helps! It's the same for me, in the book the brioche stitch is really complicated to figure out and I always have to check back to my own explanation ;))

Carrie#K said...

Bless you!! I could not get that 2nd row down from the pattern I'm working and I could not remember how the second row went. Thank you, thank you!

PippaW said...

Hi Carrie K, I'm glad it helped you!! :D

mr penguin said...

omg. i literally spent all day trying to figure this out. it finally all clicked when i read your simple instructions. thank you so much for sharing!

PippaW said...

Dear mr penguin, I'm very glad you found it useful, it was a nightmare for me too! ;)

MonikaRose Crochets said...

MonikaRose Crochets said...

Hi all...i find placing a lifeline at the end of completed row 4 very helpful...correcting mistakes in brioche stitch in 2 color is difficult. I had to frog a few rows.

Lifeline can be placed after the repeats (row4) at any stage of pattern.

Please look at this utube video to see how it is placed, start to finish and also how to place stitches back onto the needle.

This way no need to fix mistakes just frog to the lifeline.

Hope this helps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MVX3vljypw

DainiBuri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DainiBuri said...

Thank you. Very helpful explanation.

pippaw said...

You are welcome! :)

Lois said...

Bless You!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bless you! Even the videos don't show it properly!
Once I realised that you just leave the yarn at the front when you knit, instead of passing it to the back like you would normally do when doing a Knit stitch,
I fell in, and it is now quite simple!
Thank you SO much.
Dianne

Anonymous said...

Thank You Dianne! :)))