Brioche knitting (which creates a type of fluffy, thick knit) is something I’d been avoiding for years. Maybe because it’s got a French name? Maybe because said name made it seem like it would involve some crazy hard technique that could only be accomplished by continental style knitters who were skilled at knitting upside down and maybe partially submerged in water? Really, I was under the assumption that brioche knitting was something reserved for the fanciest, most skilled knitters among us.
Turns out, brioche knitting is actually totally easy, and you can knit a basic brioche project even if you’re only capable of knitting, yarn over, and knit 2 together. You don’t even have to know how to purl, people! (The level to which I facepalmed upon this realization was remarkable.)
How to do a basic brioche stitch: right handed, then left handed
Righties, watch this.
Lefties, holler at this one.
See? SO very FACEPALMINGLY easy! Now that you’ve mastered the basic brioche stitch in 15 minutes flat, why not put it to use by knitting up a super simple, lush and fluffy cowl that breathes just enough for fall? Here’s the pattern promised in the videos for knitting up a brioche stitch cowl.
Brioche Cowl Knitting Pattern
2 skeins Lion Brand Landscapes® yarn in Boardwalk
size 10 knitting needles
Abbreviations & Terms
CO – cast on
sts – stitches
provisional cast on – Here’s a tutorial.
k – knit
sl1yo – sl1 and yo at the same time (watch the tutorial video in this post if you’re new to brioche and working a sl1yo in brioche)
rep – repeat
brk – brioche knit
p – purl
kitchener stitch – Here’s a tutorial.
CO 34 sts using a provisional cast on.
row 1. k1, *k1, sl1yo; rep from * to last st, k1.
row 2. k1, *brk, sl1yo; rep from * to last st, k1.
Rep row 2 to desired length minus one row.
row 3. k1, *brk, p1; rep from * to last st, k1.
Join ends using a kitchener stitch. Weave in all ends and block to finish.
Never used a kitchener (a.k.a. grafting) stitch? Check out my tutorial on how to do it in this post. Note: Since the kitchener stitch isn’t as fluffy as the brioche stitch, the stitches will lie in pattern with the rest of the cowl, but as you can see, it will be less fluffy than the rest of the cowl.
Like I said, brioche knitting is super easy. If you’re a newer knitter or don’t find brioche knitting as easy to pick up as I did, let me know in the comments – I’m absolutely happy to answer any questions you have! Happy knitting, friends!
The yarn pictured in this tutorial was provided Lion Brand Yarn.
Whoa! I just learned how to do brioche two weeks ago. The teacher figured out how to do both rows at the same time but it wasn’t working for me because I knit continental. I go pretty quickly because of it, anyway. I was wondering about knitting backwards instead of purling–I need to watch those videos when I don’t have a crying kitten to watch :D
I’m working on a cowl and it’s the fluffiest, coziest thing ever.
Cher @ Designs by Studio C
This is one stitch I have yet to master – thanks for the instructions! Love the yarn, by the way!!
Thank you for the simple pattern. I’ve been looking for one to make doll clothes (American Girl and larger) and your pattern makes it easy to adjust to the different sizes. Should I feel ambitious enough, I might even make one for me! Many, many thanks! Can’t wait to try it.
THANK YOU for the left-handed tutorial. What a pleasant surprise. I’m excited to try out your pattern.
You’re most welcome! :)
You’re most welcome! :)
Beth k. Loy
I think brioche knitting is not difficult to follow. I like the kind of yarn used in the tutorial. Can we get this yarn at Michaels?thank you.
I looked it up, and it doesn’t look like Michaels carries Lion Brand Landscapes online at least. However! :) I have seen this yarn in person at JoAnn, & they carry it online too: http://www.joann.com/lion-brand-landscapes-yarn/zprd_13587019a.html.
Do you have to do the provisional cast on. Can’t I just do a regular cast on for this pattern
You can, but there will be a bulkier seam than if you do a provisional cast on. As with all knitting, everything is up to you!
How long is this? Lovely pattern by the way, starting it today!
Hi Deborah! It’s about 28 inches in diameter and 14 inches tall. Since it’s brioche stitch and uses a bulky yarn on top of that, there’s a ton of stretch. I gifted this to a friend recently, but when I tried it on, I could wear the cowl as a hood, and the back of my neck was covered all the way to the top of the back of my shirt. So you can adjust the size by doing a couple more or less stitches, and every couple stitches ends up being almost an inch due to the bulk. Ok, long answer to a short question – let me know if this doesn’t make sense! -Heidi :)
Yeah ok I’ve tried this like ten times and no matter what I do I’m not getting the right line up of stitches. I cast on 34 and still can’t follow you. I’m new at knitting but I’ve been crocheting for years so I’m not like clueless, But this is not clicking and I’m getting really frustrated please help me make sense of this
Hi Mel! I’m so sorry you’re having issues with this. Could you email me a picture of your work so I can see what’s happening? My email is handsoccupied-at-gmail-dot-com.
Thanks so much for tutorial and pattern!! I need a little guidance though- I’m stumped with how to do the kitchener’s stitch with the brioche. When you do the KPPK grafting, are you working the two stitches (the “x” stitches- the yo and slip) as one? I tried it and it came out stinky, lol. I’m sure it doesn’t help that it’s my first time trying both brioche knitting AND kitchener’s. Thanks in advance for the advice! :)
Yes, you’d work the X as one stitch. One thing you can also do is one row of k1, p1 (non-brioche) to make grafting less complicated. :)
Thank you very much!! :)
Love it! Colors are wonderful and it get’s me excited to try something new also. Thank you!
Hello! I love the pattern and would like to make it using Austermann Natura yarn. Could you tell me what the gauge should be? I don’t see it listed.
Thank you for the guidance.
The yarn featured is approx. 4 sts/in. According to the internet, your yarn is about 3.25 sts/in. I’d cast on a few more sts, ensuring your total is an even number, if you want a similar-sized cowl. Thanks for commenting! :)
So, two things. I’m hoping to make this with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, and I am no good at translating patterns to different sized yarn. I wouldn’t know whether to cast on more or fewer stitches, to change needle size, etc. Can you help? Either by telling me how many to cast on and what size needles, or by telling me how to figure this out on my own. :-) Also, I love knitting in the round. How would I adapt this pattern to knit in the round? I really appreciate the help. I’m one of those “cast on X stitches, join, knit until you run out of yarn, bind off” knitters, I’m ashamed to admit. I’m trying to branch out. THANKS!!!!
Instead of a provisional cast on, you’ll cast on in the round. According to Lion Brand’s website, your yarn’s gauge is roughly:: Knit: 9 stitches x 12 rows = 4″ (10 cm) on size 13 (9 mm) needles. Since the yarn I used is only 4 sts/inch, you’ll only need to cast on 18 stitches to get a cowl of the same size pictured.
Thanks for commenting,
PS: I’ve been meaning do a tutorial on calculating how many stitches to cast on in any given project. So stay tuned – I’ll post that in the near future! :)
Thank you! And then, do I just follow the stitch pattern that you do for all the main rows of the scarf? YO, slip, knit the X…? Can’t wait for your calculating blog. :-)
I love this pattern thank you, but where do I find a right handed tutorial pleas.
Tried following it left handed but got confused:(
There are both right and left handed video tutorials in this post. The right handed one is on top.
Thank you for sharing this super easy pattern! and how to do the stitch I’ve been wanting to for a while,and now im finally able to make something with it.when I first of the 34 provisional cast on it came out way too huge/wide for me, so I had to cut the number of cast on stitches and now I making a beautiful infinity scarf,thanks again. I’d love to see a brioche hat pattern next.
I loved your video with Brioche knitting and ridding the purl stitch. Right now, I have a Horizon Brioche Cowl – through Red Heart using Navy yarn and Painted Desert yarn (switched to this variegated yarn since I could no longer locate the requested yarn).
The difficulty I have is when I switch to do the Burp (Brioche purl stitch) and slp/yo stich following, it doesn’t look correct. Can I use your way of knitting Brioche using the 2-colored yarn and follow your instructions to work out?
Are you having the issue when following the instructions from this site? If you want, feel free to email me (Heidi-at-handsoccupied-dot-com) a photo and I can help try to figure out what’s up!
I love the wool colors and have never knitted Brioche before and am very excited to try it.
How many balls of Lion Brand Landscapes yarn will I need for a scarf? Should I still cast on 34 stitches or will that be too wide for a scarf.?
You’ll need 2 skeins of Landscapes for a cowl, and 3-4 for a scarf, depending on the length you’d like to achieve. :) As long as you cast on an even number of stitches, you can make it as narrow or wide as you’d like.
Thanks for the video, which was very helpful. I found it confusing to have S1yo in the pattern instructions though, where the slipstitch comes first, when you actually do yoS1 with the slipstitch second in the video. Can you clarify which it should be please?
Some people write it different ways as abbreviation standards aren’t yet universally set for brioche stitches. As long as your sl1yo or yosl1 are worked correctly, your finished stitch should turn out fine. The first video is for knitting brioche right handed, and the second is for left handed – are you knitting your brioche stitch right or left handed?