Brioche, You are Not the Boss of ME!


I’ve gotten my feet to the street this week, yay!  Not only have I been running, but I also downloaded the apps for the 100 push ups & 200 sit ups programs, thanks to J (and NO, I haven’t registered for a full marathon YET, J, so don’t ask!).  :D  I did the initial test, which totally sucked for me.  Hard to believe that 2 years ago I was doing 4 sets of 25 full push ups without a problem, yet I struggled to get 10 done.  *sob*  Ah well – that’s going to change again!  ;)  The thing that I really like about the app is I put my iTouch on the ground with me & I’ve got the plan right there – no need to “drop & do 20”, then jump up, go to the computer to see what the next set is to be.

I’ll admit to being bad, though.  I’m too impatient to wait the full 90 seconds between sets.  So I do my push up set, hit the timer, then switch over to the sit up program & do that set.  LOL

Brioche, You are Not the Boss of ME!

I recently knit a project that incorporated the brioche stitch.  It makes for a wonderfully smooshy fabric and I fell in love with it.  The best place for loads of information about this technique is Nancy Marchant’s site, The Brioche Stitch.  I’ve yet to experiment with all the different variations of this stitch, but I finally managed to lick the 2 color stitch.  I’ll admit it, it took me about 5 tries to finally get it right.  Even then, the resulting headband (which I’m about to share with you) has a few mistakes in it, but only my fellow knitters would spot them.  ;)

I have leftover yarn from my Doctor Who inspired sock pattern, Ten – and I SO wanted to make a headband using Brioche to give me the same Ten look.  I think I finally succeeded, WOO HOO!  :D  One side looks like his brown suit while the other looks like his blue suit – how awesome is that?!  I’m very, very pleased with the end result.

Yes, you can spot one of my mistakes in this following shot.  LOL

So…  how to go about working up a brioche headband?  Easy – here we go!  ;) FYI – gauge doesn’t matter for this pattern, as you simply knit until it is the desired length, then sew the ends together.

Yarn:   Fingering Weight – 2 contrasting colors
Needles:    Size 1 (2.25mm) double pointed needles (DPNs)

Tie the ends of the 2 colors together in a slip knot. Using the loop now formed, cast on using the long tail cast on, but alternate the colors. Rather than trying to explain exactly how to do this, I thought a video would be best. I did actually make a video, but it proved to be rather difficult to get a really good, clear one without at least a tripod for my camera! So I did the next best thing & found a good one on YouTube. ;)

Cast on 10 using this method so you have 5 stitches of each color, thus:

First we need to do the setup rows – you only need to do these 2 “rows” this one time.  For these instructions, I’m going to call the black yarn in my photos the main color (MC) and the variegated yarn the contrasting color (CC).

Setup Row 1:  With the MC, *P1, S1, YO* to the end.  Do not worry if your yarnover slips off the needle at this point.

Setup Row 2:  Slide the stitches to the other end of the DPN.  With the CC, *WYIF, S1, YO, bring yarn to the back and BRK* to the end.  At the very end, make sure to include the MC yarnover in the final stitch.

Now that you have the setup rows done, you can proceed to the stitch pattern you will follow for the remainder of the project.  Continue in this pattern until your headband is the length you desire.  I prefer to keep it to about an inch too short to fully meet when I wrap it around my head because it WILL stretch with use.

Each row is worked twice – one time for each color.  So first, you will work the MC across – then slide the stitches back to the other end of the needle & work the CC across to complete the row.  At the end of the 2nd pass through, you will turn your work like you normally would.

Row 1:  This row is the purl side of the MC and the knit side of the CC
Using the MC – *WYIF, S1, YO, BRP* to the end.  Slide stitches to the other end.
Using the CC –  *BRK, WYIF S1, YO* to the end.  Turn.

Row 2:  This row is the knit side of the MC and the purl side of the CC
Using the MC – *BRK, WYIF, S1, YO* to the end. Slide stitches to the other end.
Using the CC – *WYIF, S1, YO, BRP* to the end.  Turn.

Here is the knit side of the MC (purl side of the CC) after I’ve knit a few rows:

And the purl side of the MC (knit side of the CC):

Continue with rows 1 & 2 until you have knit the length you need, then bind off as follows:
Using a larger needle (I used size 4 – 3.5mm), you are going to bind off using both your MC and the CC.  The key is that you will be working this row with the opposite color.

If your last row was the knit side for the MC, you will bind off thus:

BRK with CC, then P with the MC.  Slip the CC stitch on the right needle over the MC on the right needle to bind off 1 stitch.  Now BRK with the CC and slip the MC on the right needle over the CC to bind off the next.

If your last row was the purl side for the MC, you will bind off thus:

P with the MC, then BRP with CC.  Slip the MC stitch on the right needle over the CC on the right needle to bind off 1 stitch.  Now P with the MC and slip the CC on the right needle over the MC to bind off the next.

Continue until all stitches have been bound off & leave a long tail – you will use the tail to sew up the seam.  Block your headband, then sew the seam.   I hope you enjoy the challenge as much as I did!  :)


So besides the side trip I made to brioche land, I have also been working on the latest sock pattern as well as another pair of Severus Mitts for myself.  I have this gorgeous malabrigo yarn that just begged to be mitts & I thought I’d take on the challenge of thinking outside the box for Severus & follow my friend Down Under who knit the pattern in colors that Severus Snape wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.  Mine are blue so far & I haven’t decided what color to trim them with yet.  ;)

Today’s Ravelry Search

Interested in more brioche?  How about one of these patterns?  ;)  These aren’t mine – just click the picture to reach the Ravelry pattern page!

* The pattern that started it all for me - they are TOO cute!

The beauty of brioche - it's reversible, as is this hat! :)

* Scarf! This one is single color using variegated yarn - nice!

Another cute hat!

* Ooh, how about a cardi to go with the booties?! :)

This scarf pattern? I *love* it & have since I first saw it!

* Jesh's adorable tam pattern! I love it!

See, you can even make shawls using brioche! Nice!

* Another baby brioche cardi - also very cute!

Ah, Lily Chin - how I love thee! :) Such a pretty wrap, isn't it?

* Gorgeous scarf! Pattern is available in both German and English.

* A dishcloth would be a terrific way to start off with brioche! And it must be said, I could not resist this adorable face!! :D

* Free pattern

Happy Sunday, everyone!

About H3Dakota

Runner. Knitter. Geek. Vegetarian. Dog Lover.
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15 Responses to Brioche, You are Not the Boss of ME!

  1. suse-the-slow-knitta says:

    COOL! another awesome technique to try out!


  2. peony67 says:

    Uh oh… that two colored hairband looks cool… Its been so long I’ve done any briche stuff.. maybe it is time to try again. :-)


  3. Joe says:

    There’s a way to zero out the timer. I never tried it before, but go to Setup, Timer Reset Options. Set it to On.

    You’ll be pressing the +30 sec button soon enough.


  4. Carol says:

    Just discovered your blog – happy am I!


  5. Pamela Ryan says:

    love to do the brioche since I took a class to do the cabled scarf. Am going to try the headband and will definatley do the Sushi Ushi scarf, I have a great silk purple I have been dying to find the right pattern to work with. Thanks :)


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  7. Sooz says:

    I just came upon your site by accident looking for a hat pattern, but I love you already! I am running my 17 half marathon in 4 years in February. My daughter and I are running a full Marathon in May.
    I have never seen this Brioche technique before and I am dying to try it.


    • H3Dakota says:

      YAY! I love to hear about other knitting runners! :) Have you run a full marathon before? Brioche is so much fun once you get the hang of it – be prepared to rip it out a few times until you do. LOL


  8. M & B says:

    Hello! I just bought Nancy’s book on brioche and am excited to try it. I am a knitting runner too, or a running knitter, or however we want to say it. Glad you are combining your two passions! Too bad we can’t do them at the same time. Now off to read some more of your blog!
    Cheers –
    Mary over at Rewind Knits


    • H3Dakota says:

      LOL, I’ve often wished there was a way to knit & run at the same time, I confess. But then I realize that the sweat on the yarn would just be awful. :D I hope you enjoy my odd mashup of a blog!


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