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Learn Brioche Knitting Stitches and Tips for Beginners (2023)

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tutorialsbrioche knittingYou’re gonna love knitting brioche! This squishy, lofty stitch creates the coziest fabric that gently hugs your body. We’ll start with the basics: the brioche knit stitch (brk) and brioche purl stitch (brp).

With just these two stitches, you can create simple yet stunning brioche projects. But once you master them, you’ll feel empowered to level up with fancier techniques like two-color brioche.

To get you started, I’ll share my best tips for knitting brioche smoothly, from needle size and yarn choices to special stitch markers. With the right tools and know-how, you’ll be unstoppable. So grab your needles and let’s dive into brioche mastery! You’ll be hooked in no time by the liberating flexibility of brioche knitting.

Brioche knitting creates the coziest, squishiest fabric that bounces back when stretched. The stitch is formed with basic knits and purls worked into the previous row’s slipped stitches and yarn overs.

We’ll start with single color brioche worked flat back and forth in rows. Then you can move on to more advanced techniques like two-color brioche in the round. With the right tips and tools, you’ll be cranking out brioche projects in no time.

I’ll share my best needle and yarn recommendations so you can knit brioche fabric that blossoms with texture.

Key Takeaways

  • Brioche knitting involves brk and brp stitches.
  • Two-color brioche creates distinct knit Vs on each side.
  • Count only visible stitches, not yarn overs, for gauge.
  • Fixing mistakes is easy with patience and persistence.

Brioche Knitting Overview

Brioche Knitting Overview
You’d find that while brioche stitching seems complicated at first with its unique lingo, it isn’t too tough to pick up the basic stitches and work your way up to fancy two-color brioche once you get the hang of those simple brk and SL1YO moves.

Starting with a gauge swatch, master basic brk, SL1YO, and the brioche bind off before tackling those occasionally tricky shaping methods. Soon you’ll be creating tweedy textures, brioche stitch scarves, and comfy cowls with only some yarn, needles, and yarn overs.

Brioche Stitches

Brioche Stitches
Let’s dive right into the basics of the brioche stitch. To create the brioche fabric, you’ll need to combine knit and slip/yarnover stitches. The brk stitch forms the ribbed knit column by knitting together the two loops of the previous slip/yarnover.

The SL1YO stitch creates an elongated stitch with a yarnover that you’ll knit together on the following row.

Brk (Knit Through Both Loops of SL1YO)

When knitting brioche, brk stitches create lofty ribbing by penetrating both legs of SL1YOs. To work a brk stitch, insert the right needle into the slipped stitch and its yarn over from the previous row.

Knit them together through the back loops, allowing the stitch to naturally mount on the right needle.

Brp (Purl Through Both Loops of SL1YO)

You’ll purl through both loops of each slipped stitch and its yarnover in brioche to create those lofty ribs we all crave.

brp Purl through both loops of SL1YO
1 Insert the right needle into both loops of the slipped stitch and its yarnover
2 Wrap the yarn around the needle and purl as normal
3 Creates a ribbed column on the reverse side of the fabric
4 Used on wrong side rows in brioche knitting

SL1YO (Slip 1, Yarn Over to Create X With Two Loops)

Don’t fret when that X surprises; a slip and yarn over magically create two tasty treat loops for your brioche. Twist and twirl the yarn around your needle. This slip stitch maneuver forms two loops that dangle and sway in a rhythmic dance, ready for your next brk or brp.

Two-Color Brioche

Two-Color Brioche
When knitting two-color brioche, you’ll work with light and dark yarns that create distinct knit Vs on opposite fabric sides. The lighter color forms the prominent ribs on the Light Side while the darker shade makes the Dark Side’s ribs, so choose a Light Color and Dark Color with enough contrast for the reversible fabric.

Light Side (LS) and Dark Side (DS)

Lighter clouds form the ribbed V’s on the light side, while darker storms shape the dark side’s ribs in two-color brioche knitting. LS yarns in lighter hues create the prominent ribs, with DC yarns supporting in shadow behind.

Sharp tips pierce sticky yarn as LS and DC quantities remain even to shape locking stitch markers in balanced brioche light and dark.

Light Color (LC) and Dark Color (DC)

Choose the lighter yarn for your cast-on to be the light color in two-color brioche knitting. Carry the dark color along the slipped stitches on the wrong side, swapping yarns for color changes on the right side.

Vary the slipped stitch direction to twist the yarns when changing colors to prevent holes. Experiment with different weights when choosing yarns for your brioche project, like a cozy two-color brioche vest.

How to Knit Brioche

How to Knit Brioche
Getting started with brioche knitting isn’t as tricky as it seems. Cast on an even number of stitches, then work Row 1: slip 1, knit 1, yarn over, repeat to end, knit 1; Row 2 is slip 1, knit through both loops, yarn over, repeat to last stitch, knit 1.

For the final row, work slip 1, knit through both loops, purl 1 across, ending with knit 1; bind off.

Casting on Even Number of Stitches

You’ll want to cast on an even number of stitches to start your brioche project. Choosing the right number ensures that your pattern works up smoothly. Use stitch markers between sections and cast off tightly. Pick two sharply contrasting yarns and quality needles.

Row 1 and Row 2 Instructions

After casting on an even number of stitches, you’ll start row 1 by slipping 1, then knitting 1 and slipping 1 yarnover across, ending with knitting 1.

  • Cast on
  • Slip 1
  • Knit 1, slip 1 yarnover
  • Repeat across
  • End with knit 1

Last Row and Bind Off Instructions

For your last row, simply slip 1, brk, and purl across, ending with k1 before binding off firmly to finish your brioche project.

Charts for Advanced Colorwork Patterns

Charts make brioche colorwork in advanced patterns effortless. You simply work the stitches as indicated to create intricate designs. Following charts lets your hooks flow freely through brioche’s rhythmic stitches, unveiling the beauty hidden in each row.

Free Brioche Patterns

Free Brioche Patterns
You’re craving something other than basic scarves and hats, so check out those free brioche patterns for shawls, stoles, and baby dresses on the website.

Stripes, textures, color blocking, and lacy repeats adorn these squishy-textured brioche pieces, thanks to the springy elasticity of the highland wool and other strands of yarn.

Simple geometry and colorwork turn basic rectangles and triangles into statement pieces. Let your creative spirit run free with these liberating patterns, and gain mastery over brioche techniques as you make something beautiful.

The possibilities are endless when you dive into these free patterns for shawls, stoles, and dresses.

Tips for Brioche Knitting

Tips for Brioche Knitting
Here are two helpful tips to get started with brioche knitting. Choose a smaller needle size than usual to help maintain an even tension with this lofty stitch, and select a smooth, pliable yarn that won’t split easily.

Have plenty of yarn ready before you begin and remember that slip 1, yarnover counts as just one stitch when reading your knitting. Be sure to count only the visible vertical stitches across your row to accurately check gauge.

Closed-ring stitch markers can snag, so try split-ring or locking markers instead.

Once you have the basics down, try two-color brioche for reversible fabric.

Choose a Small Needle Size

Pick a smaller needle size when you start brioche knitting to achieve a nice tight fabric.

  • Use 1-2 sizes smaller than usual.
  • Aim for a tight gauge.
  • Swatch to find the perfect size.

Use a Sticky Yarn

Try using a sticky yarn when knitting brioche to prevent stitches from slipping off the needle while manipulating those double loops. Take into account yarn substitution when selecting a yarn that has enough grip to keep stitches from slipping.

Have Lots of Yarn Ready

Make sure there is plenty of yarn nearby when you brioche, so you do not interrupt your flow.

Remember Sl1yo is One Stitch

You’ll feel less frustrated when you remember that SL1YO counts as just one stitch, even though it’s slipped and yarned over. Choose supplies, stay organized, and master slipping stitches for your gauge swatch.

Count Visible Stitches for Gauge

When counting stitches for gauge with brioche knitting, you must only tally the visible stitches, not including the yarn overs. Stretch your swatch by hand to check row gauge and prevent sagging edges. Track your row counts when practicing simple brioche hats.

Avoid Closed-ring Stitch Markers

Since closed-ring stitch markers get jammed up in brioche stitches, don’t bother using them. Opt for removable markers instead to prevent pulled stitches. Consistency is key for clean brioche fabric, so swatch properly with quality yarn.

Use a Loose Cast-on and Bind-off

A loose cast-on and bind-off are crucial for brioche’s squishy texture, so take care not to pull stitches too tightly.

Try Two-color Brioche

Go for two-color brioche to elevate your project. Drape brioche swatches to preview ribbing patterns before casting on. Vertical brioche columns are formed when slipped stitches join rounds in brioche ribbing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I fix mistakes in brioche knitting?

Oh goodness, brioche is incredibly forgiving! Simply release those stitches, take a deep breath, and try once more.

What kind of yarn works best for brioche projects?

You’ll want to use a yarn with nice drape and bounce for brioche knitting. Go for wool, alpaca, silk, or other fibers with elasticity. Avoid overly fuzzy or textured yarns, which can obscure the stitch details. The ribbed brioche fabric really shines when knit in a softly springy, lofty yarn that shows off the dimensional stitches.

How do I substitute colors in a brioche pattern?

When substituting colors in a brioche pattern, simply swap the specified yarns for different hues that provide enough contrast. Keep the same yardage and fiber content to maintain gauge. You may need to adjust your tension slightly between colors, so check your gauge swatch.

What is the best cast on method for brioche knitting?

For brioche knitting, I recommend the Italian cast on. It creates a stretchy edge that won’t flare out. Just make a slip knot, then knit into the slip knot but leave it on the left needle. Continue knitting into each new stitch before slipping it off the needle. This forms the foundation row.

How do I block my finished brioche project?

When blocking brioche, soak your project in cool water with a wool wash. Gently squeeze out excess water with towels, then pin your project to the measurements on a blocking mat. Allow it to fully dry before removing pins. This will open the brioche stitches beautifully.


You’ve mastered the basics – now it’s time to dive into brioche! This ribbed stitch may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tips and practice, you’ll soon be hooked. So grab those slippery yarns, tiny needles, and stitch markers and take your knitting up a luscious, lofty notch with brioche knitting.

The chewy, squishy fabric you create will become your newest knitting obsession in no time.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.