Brioche knitting creates a super stretchy and bold rib look with lots of softness and bounce.
Learning to brioche knit can be intimidating, it took me a long time to psych myself up for it. But once I took the plunge I was amazed by how simple it was and I couldn't believe that I had waited so long. I love how rhythmic it is.
Don't be lulled into a false sense of security- it is really easy, but if you make a mistake it can be difficult to retrace your steps and get back to the correct rhythm with it.
That all said, let's get you started brioche knitting in one color! Let's start with a video demonstrating all the techniques explained below:
Cast on an even number of stitches using your favorite method. Make sure that when you cast on and the whole time you are brioche knitting work it loosely, it will make your life much easier.
Row 1 is your set up row:
Holding your *Yarn in Front (YIF), Slip 1 as if to purl (Sl1), Knit 1 (K1)* Notice, after your knit stitch your working yarn is now in the back, simply bring it around to the front underneath your needle. When working brioche you always want your yarn in the front so after any knit stitch you will need to bring it forward. Repeat from * to end, your pattern repeat should end with a K1 stitch, if it doesn't you've gone wrong somewhere and should restart.
Notice how when you went from the knit stitch with the yarn in front, slipped a stitch and then created the next knit stitch, it pulled your working yarn over the top of the needle, crossing over the slipped stitch and creating an extra loop? That's perfect! You should end up with half again the amount of loops- so for example, if you cast on 10 stitches you would end up with 15 loops by the end of row one.
Something to know about brioche:
When counting your brioche stitches, the slipped stitch counts as 1 and the knit stitch and yarn over loop that cross over each-other count as 1 rather than 2. So when you are counting your stitches and following a pattern count the slipped stitch column and the knit column to get an accurate count.
Row 2 get into your brioche rhythm:
Holding your *Yarn in Front (YIF), Slip 1as if to purl (Sl1), Knit 2 Together (K2Tog)* The 2 stitches you are knitting together is the slip stitch from the previous row and that extra loop you created that crossed over the top of it. Remember to bring your yarn back to the front after your K2Tog stitch! Repeat from * to end, and you should end with a K2Tog stitch. If you haven't please begin again, any errors in brioche will be very visible. Your stitch count should be the same as the previous row.
And that's it, just continue with row 2 until your project until it is as long as you want. Practice will bring you a nice, comfortable, relaxing knitting rhythm.
Bind off Row (bind off super loose):
Yarn in Back (YIB), Slip 1 as if to Purl (Sl1), *Knit 2 Together (K2tog), Pass the Slipped Stitch over the current stitch Knitted (PSSO), Sl1, Pass the Knitted stitch over the Slipped Stitch (PKSO). Repeat from * across the row until only one stitch is left. Cut your yarn, pull the end through the loop and weave in.
CO cast on
BO bind off
YIF yarn in front (creates your yarn over “YO”)
YIB yarn in back
K2tog Knit 2 together from the front (loosely)
Sl1 slip one as if to purl
PSSO/PKSO pass the slipped/knitted stitch over (ie pass the right stitch over the left stitch)
Brioche Survival Rules:
1. Always have your yarn in front.
2. Always knit loose.
3. Always start a new row with a slip stitch as if to purl with YIF (yarn in front).
4. Always end a row with knit 2 together.
5. Always tear out if you look back and see an error.
If you like the yarn used in this demo you can find it here.
If you're ready to make your own Brioche Cowl try our Brioche Knitting Kit to get you completing your very first Brioche project.