Baffled by Brioche?

There are some patterns in knitting that we all drool over and think “Ooooh, I can’t wait to try that!” Then we read the pattern and it makes no sense. I’ve said before, I’m a very visual learner, so if I can’t picture the structure of the stitch and pattern then it’s a lost cause.

I don’t know how many brioche patterns I’ve passed on as I tried to read and understand them. The main problem was each pattern was so different it might as well have been written in Chinese. Then, I found out that brioche is a fairly new term for this style of knitting and was originally called Fishermen’s Rib.  Knowing that, I began to look at how to start a Fishermen’s Rib. Still, all the directions and patterns were too complex.

I finally broke down and scoured the internet for some sort of simple video that showed me how to broiche. I found the video from the Knitting Stitch Patterns channel on YouTube and curled up with a blanket and hot tea ready to watch the seven minute video as if it were a two hour movie. I stopped, started, rewound, and studied it for about 15 minutes. Once I cast on I paused and knit, knit and paused. I ripped out my cast on after one row and started over. I finally got to two rows and then had to rip out. I was so excited when I got to four rows and I could see the pattern starting. I was such a wonderful process!


The biggest revelation came when I realized that brioche knit is really just knitting together a yarn over and a knit stitch and vice-versa for brioche purl. Once my brain broke through all the crazy complications that designers with good intentions had written in the patterns I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Then, I couldn’t wait to finish my project.

I’ve started working at a local craft store that happens to have a wonderful yarn section. One of the many wonderful things I get to do while working there is knitting samples for display. I used this as my challenge to finally learn brioche. I chose the navy and bright green because, well, our store is completely full of Sea Hawks gear. We have Sea Hawk beads, scrap book paper, cut-outs, wood crafts and more. I have a running joke with some that if I wasn’t a Sea Hawk fan, then I’m slowly being brainwashed to become one.

I had so much fun knitting this scarf and was so happy with how long it was. I don’t normally like to knit scarves because they can be kind of boring, but this kept me on my toes as I mastered a complex looking pattern. Once I gave the scarf sample to the yarn manager she told me customers were begging for the pattern so I had to write one. I knew that the directions I found with the video were a little to complex and confusing, so I wrote down what made sense. The yarn manager proofed it for me and encouraged me to write the pattern with as little flair and as much simplicity as possible.

I hope you have as much fun as I did with your scarf and you enjoy rooting on what ever team you like as you knit. Now on to the next challenge – increase and decrease with brioche. I can’t wait!

Lady Hawks Brioche Scarf




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