It’s a rare book that leaves me hungry to both cast-on and rush to the bakery, Brioche Chic by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark is one. I have experience knitting basic brioche, but hadn’t thought it was really possible to use the technique for anything other than scarves until this book.
What is the Brioche stitch? It’s a unique stitch that combines two common techniques, double knitting with a k1p1 rib to create a unique fabric that’s thick and textural. Brioche fabric is often reversible and colour work is simpler than in many traditional forms as each colour is worked one at a time.
Brioche Chic lives up to its title providing 22 knitting patterns many of which are suitable or designed specifically for men. In addition, it contains several knitting classes-worth of material covering the basics of brioche knitting and beyond. The educational sections contain clearly photographed knit swatches, line drawings to illustrate techniques, descriptions, and useful tips.
If you are new to brioche knitting, the first section covers the basics, starting with a single colour brioche rib, either worked flat or in the round. After that foundation skill is learned, additional techniques such as shaping and how to decode the brioche stitch language in both abbreviation (such as
brykyobrkyobrk) and chart form are covered. The tips are helpful, such as how and why to use locking stitch markers (of coil-less safety pins) to mark individual stitches. The first two patterns reiterate the basic stitch both knitted flat and in the round. From there the possibilities expand, a shawl shows how increasing can be used to simply and beautifully create a complex looking accessory, and how these basic stitches can be paired with classic garment shapes to create something special.
After covering the basics, Mercedes shows how basic brioche stitches can be transformed further with twisted stitches (cables) and the introduction of a second colour, many of these stitches are reversible, but not all. I wish the wrong side of the fabric for selected flat-shaped cables was shown to illustrate how it differs. It was fascinating to learn how different weight yarns can be paired to change the effect of the vertical stripes in an otherwise ordinary two-colour brioche rib. The patterns for these two sections also build on the skills explained at the start of each chapter, the garments are based on classic shapes and should appeal to a variety of knitters. The book ends with Special (helpful) Topics, including how to weave in ends, seam, block, how to thread a life line, and correct mistakes.
With Brioche Chic we see how a basic technique can expand into colourful and creative possibilities.
You can find more brioche resources at Mercedes Knits.
This post is part of a two week blog-tour, thank you for stopping by! The full tour schedule is:
- 10/6 – Lindsey Stephens at Poetry in Yarn
- 10/7 – Interview on Planet Purl
- 10/8 – Annie Modesitt at Modeknit
- 10/9 – Heather Walpole at Ewe Ewe Yarns
- 10/10 – Gwen Bortner at 2 Sides 2 Points
- 10/13 – Heather Zoppetti (author of Everyday Lace) at Digital Nabi
- 10/14 – little acorn creations
- 10/15 – Sarah E. White at About.com
- 10/16 – Beth Casey at Lorna’s Laces Yarns
- 10/17 – Meaghan Schmaltz at The Unapologetic Knitter
Disclosures: I received a copy of title from the publisher in order to participate in the blog tour. In addition, some of these links are amazon affiliate links, but not all.