Knitting the brioche stitch with two colors creates a beautiful vertical stripe effect. The fabric is stretchy and reversible, making it perfect for cowls and scarves.
To learn to knit the brioche stitch with two colors, you should start by learning how to knit brioche stitch in the round. You'll add another move to your arsenal: the brioche-purl stitch (abbreviated br-p, or "burp").
To do the brioche-purl stitch, purl the slipped stitch together with it's wrap. As you practice, learning to "read" whether it's time to do a brioche-purl or a brioche-knit will speed up your knitting and make your project more fun.
You'll need a pair of circular needles – to knit a small-diameter swatch like this, you can use Magic Loop to knit in the round. Start with just one color and practice on the following swatch.
To make a small swatch in the round:
With larger needles, CO an even number of sts (eg 24 sts) and join for working in the round.
Set-up round: * sl 1 wyif, k1; rep from * to end.
PM for BOR.
Round 1: with smaller needles, * br-k1, yf sl1yo; rep from * to end.
Round 2: * yf sl1yo, br-p1; rep from * to end.
Repeat rounds 1-2 until you are ready to bind off.
Using a large needle, bind off with JSSBO (Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off) or any stretchy bind-off.
Now, when you feel comfortable doing that, you can use two colors – it's even easier to remember what to do, because one color always knits and the other color always purls. Abbreviations that are used in two-color brioche knitting: LC (light color) and DC (dark color).
With larger circular needles and DC, CO an even number of sts (eg 24 sts).
Slide sts to other end of circular needle.
Set-up row: with LC, * k1, yf sl1yo; rep from * to end.
Prepare for working in the round, making sure there are not twists in the round. PM for BOR.
Round 1: with DC and smaller needles, * yf sl1yo, br-p; rep from * around. Round 2: with LC, * br-k, yf sl1yo; rep from * around.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you are ready to bind off.
With DC, bind off using JSSBO or any stretchy bind off.
– DC is always brioche-purling
– LC is always brioche-knitting
Tips and skills to practice:
– On LC rounds, leave your yarn hanging to the front as you do the last sl 1.
– On DC rounds, make sure to catch the LC-wrap on the last br-p of each round.
– Every time you switch colors, make sure both yarns are out of the way, so you
do not get any twisted colors at the beginning or the round.
Measure your gauge and you can cast on for a basic hat! The next article will show you how to decrease in brioche stitch for the top of the hat.