It’s pretty. It’s smooshy. It’s hell.

I was curious about that ultra smooshy, contrasty stitch—the Brioche stitch. It looked intriguing, quite challenging. When my local yarn shop requested knitting class interest, I piped up asking about the Brioche stitch.The class ended up not being long enough for me to really get a handle on Brioche, so I set it aside to work on later.

When Later arrived, I decided to make a cowl from Purl Soho’s free Brioche hat and cowl pattern. It was easy enough and I progressed along nicely—I thought—until I saw a mistake.

I frogged back. Fixed the mistake. Started knitting again.

Found another mistake. Frogged. Knitted.

This happened about 300 million times.

I believe I UN-Brioched this cowl more than I Brioched it. A common issue was forgetting to yarn over at the appropriate time, then knitting 10 rows and discovering it after hours had been invested.



Luckily, I found this awesome video on fixing mistakes in Brioche by KnitFreedom that helped me with fixing MOST of my issues. I love Liat Gat’s videos. Very clear and presented like she’s your friend, sitting next to you, explaining how to fix it. Awesome. This saved me LOTS of time not having to frog a zillion stitches.

Needless to say, I was quite relieved to finish this knit.

I have to admit, this cowl is thick and smooshy. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Sunset and Marte.


Beautiful together. But honestly, the inventor of the Brioche stitch was either a genius or a sadist . . . or both. The two row pattern is so deceivingly simple that it’s easy to space off and screw up but ONLY to be noticed after knitting 200 gajillion rows after the fact!

Well, here it is. It’s not perfect, but I do like it.


Thanks to my buddy, Ann, for helping me confirm the color choices. And thanks to Jami at the Yarn Shop and More for getting me started. I will leave the Brioche stitch (and Entrelac, for that matter) to those who are much more skilled (patient, masochistic) than I.

Tips if you dare to try Brioche knitting:

It takes about several rows of knitting before anything remotely Brioche-looking appears. I’m talking about 8-10 rows before it looks like it’s supposed to. So if it looks all wonky, it doesn’t NECESSARILY mean you’re doing it wrong. It’s just . . . Brioche. :\

One Brioche row is comprised of two knitted rows. That’s what makes it so smooshy and doubled up. That also makes you have to watch BOTH SIDES of your knitting. This is not your typical TV knitting project even though the rows are easy to memorize and a knitter can really get moving after a while. Just make sure you take a look at both sides to reduce the amount of time you need to tink back a bajillion stitches. Because. You. WILL.

Also, I recommend getting a start by watching KnitFreedom’s Brioche videos.

These wise words sum it all up:

I’d rather EAT Brioche than KNIT it!   ~Casapinka

BUT don’t let me dissuade you from trying Brioche. It really is worth it if you stick to it and concentrate when you’re learning. What you’ll get is something quite spectacular if you stick to it. 🙂

For my next project, I feel . . . the need . . . for speed. I’ll be weaving on my rigid heddle loom. Stay tuned!



24 thoughts on “It’s pretty. It’s smooshy. It’s hell.

  1. mulchandmorecrafts says:

    Couldn’t find a reply button anymore under our above conversation but yes I am on ravelry, but haven’t been active for years (need to learn/relearn my way around there again) I did friend you-I am mulchandmorecraft on there. Thanks for dragging me back into activity, lots of catching up to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cottagechickknits says:

    Glad you conquered the brioche. From a teaching standpoint, I consider it to be one of the final frontiers. Personally, I prefer the knit-below method: it’s far more intuitive but looks exactly the same as the classic yarn-over brioche. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M-R says:

    Made me laugh, Cindy ! 😀
    The secret with brioche knitting is familiarity. Were you to persevere, you’d find that things like the YO became second nature.
    I made myself a mnemonic, and it’s now a fixture for me when brioching. Rather than using the term ‘bark’, I use ‘break’; and I have two little phrases: ADVANCE-SLIP-BREAK and BURP-SLIP-AWAY. These are for the ‘break’ (for me) and ‘burp’ rows, of course, wherein the two A words represent the YOs. Each phrase is logical: one advances, one slips and one breaks one’s leg; or one burps, and from embarrassment one slips away.
    Get it ?
    You could invent your own.
    But honestly, you knit so beautifully that it would be a crying shame if you didn’t learn to find the joy of brioche lace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s