Testing the Waters With Brioche

I’ve always really loved the look of brioche knitting, but I shied away from trying it for a long time. A woman working on a brioche hat once explained the process to me, but she did it so rapid-fire and moved her fingers so fast that I just nodded dumbly and accepted that that bit of magic was outside my grasp. But recently, I feel like pattern writers have re-discovered brioche and now beautiful patterns are everywhere calling to me. Just look at this Ravelry search for beautiful brioche patterns. I decided to test the waters.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of the cowl I made using Gina’s Brioche Hat and Cowl pattern by the Purl Soho team. (They always have really great basic patterns for trying out new techniques.) I don’t have good pictures because my grandma stole it from me before I could do a full photo shoot. Grandma is 92 and was feeling cold while the family was out one night. I was wearing my new cowl that I’d finished the week before. I put it around Grandma to keep her warm. She made several comments throughout the night about how she liked it and how warm it was keeping her. As we were getting ready to leave, she patted me on the arm and said “Thanks for the scarf” and turned and left. Thief! Don’t give her the benefit of the doubt, Grandma knows what she did.

I used two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted that I’ve had in the stash for something like 8 years. I love how soft this yarn is. Perfect for anything that’s going to be close to the skin. Of course Grandma would want to steal it. The green color is Vaa and the rose color is Pink Frost. I had about 1/3 less yardage than called for, so my cowl is only about 6.5″ wide rather than the 10″ called for in the pattern. Since I need to make myself a new one anyway, I think I will cast on fewer stitches to give a slightly smaller circumference, that way I can still get by with only one skein for each color.

I should not have let brioche intimidate me for so long. The new technique just took a little focus and time to get used to. I like that you achieve a two-color effect, but only have to work with one strand of yarn at a time. Is there a technique you’ve been hesitant to try?

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