Friday, August 01, 2014


The Brioche stitch is a reversible ribbed stitch pattern that creates a warm and rich fabric. It originally became popular in Europe in the 1800s and is also known as English Ribbing. The brioche stitch resembles a 1 x 1 rib but has a lot more loftiness and stretch. The natural stretch of the stitch is great for loose-fitting items that require ease.

The brioche stitch uses more yarn than usual to make an item. Every other stitch is a double stitch on every row, and working two rows is equivalent to one row because every other stitch is slipped on every row.

Avoid using yarn is slippery such as alpaca, silk or bamboo as the tendency to 'grow' in length is pronounced. Opt for a yarn that has a more grip such as 100% wool (not a super-wash).

If you choose to have selvedge stitches, it important that the first stitch at the start of the row is slipped or a ripple will appear along the edges.

Brioche Stitch 
(Even number of stitches)
Foundation Row       *yo-sl1, k1; repeat from * to end
Pattern Row              *yo-sl1, k2tog; repeat from * to end
Repeat the Pattern Row to form the Brioche stitch.

Casting On                Use a cast on method that has a lot of give to accommodate for the stretchiness of the brioche stitch pattern. The long-tail cast-on method works well for the brioche stitch.
Foundation Row       To work the yo-sl1, bring the yarn forward and slip the next stitch purlwise. Knit the next stitch. A ‘yarn over’ stitch will be created as you take the yarn from the front to work the knit stitch.
Pattern Row              Work the yo-sl1 as worked in the foundation row. Knit the next 2 stitches together (this will be the slip stitch and yarn over of the previous row).
Binding Off                When binding off, do not create the yarn over. You can slip 1 stitch (or purl the stitch to keep the ribbing pattern) and then k2tog. Bind off very loosely to maintain the stretchiness of the fabric. A conventional bind off will require using a needle a couple sizes larger. The Italian bind off works well with this stitch pattern or Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind off.
Counting Stitches    Do not count the yarn overs when counting stitches.
K2tog                         Some patterns reference the K2tog as brk (brioche knit).

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