Monday, January 12, 2009

This Post is NOT about the Brioche Stitch

I lied—sort of…The introduction to Hat 7 requires some background. (3 guesses, (and the first 2 don’t count), guess what stitch is being used in Hat 7?)
Shown here, the outside and the inside views of the hat (still in progress)

The brioche stitch is written (in shorthand) as K1b—knit one in the stitch below --that is--stick the tip of the needle not into stitch on needle but into the stitch below and form a new stitch –then let the stitch on the needle fall off .

Yes, the stitch on the needle will “run” or ladder—but it won’t be able to run far! It will be trapped (secured) by the newly made stitch (the one worked in the stitch below) the run (or undone) stitch sits on the stitch below (a slip stitch in effect)

Alternately, you can
R1: K1 *slip 1, YO, K1, (repeat) end with K1
R2: K1, P1, P2tog (the slipped stitch with the YO) 

But the Brioche stitch/the K1b stitch is really a technique. 
I mean, let’s look at the knit stitch...

Knit every stitch, every row, and you get garter stitch.
Knit every stitch, every ROUND, and you get stocking knit
Knit and slip (in a pattern) and you get a NEW stitch pattern, that is neither garter nor stocking knit—(actually there a several patterns that can be created!)
Knit and K2tog, and YO and you get another stitch pattern, a lace—and there are lots of garter stitch based laces.

Knit is a basic technique.
There are lots of patterns (stitch patterns!) that can be created just using a knit stitch.

Sally Melville, in The Knit Stitch,  demonstrated, there are lots of things you can do with just a knit stitch—and really I think she just scratched the surface.

Same is true with the Brioche stitch.

It’s a technique that can be applied to ribbing, to seed stitch, to color work-- and there are LOTS of different patterns that can be created using this basic technique. 
Don’t take my word, look at this site--but be warned--if you do, you’ll be forced to learn more about the brioche stitch, and will feel compelled to knit something using this technique!

Ribbed Brioche stitch is often called Shaker or Fisherman’s rib.
And there are lots of variations on this rib pattern--half Shaker rib, Shaker (aka fisherman’s rib) and others, these are just the 1 X 1 ribbing. 

And there are lots of variations on this rib pattern--half Shaker rib, Shaker (aka fisherman’s rib) and others, these are just the 1 X 1 ribbing.

Then there are other ribbing patterns –like 2 by 2 ribbing, and 1 X 3 ribbing, and well LOTS of different techniques just with ribbing.

And finally there are 2 yarn (often 2 colors) ribbing patterns (note, plural—MORE THAN 1!)

The last one—the 2 yarn (2 colors most often, but not always!) 1 X 1 brioche rib is sometimes called doubled shaker rib, or more confusing, double knit shaker’s rib, and the most confusing, just plain double knitting!

(and it is a sort of double knitting.. it’s just very different than the other sort of double knitting!)

Katerina Bush's Big Book of Knitting (no link) is a good resourse for learning about the brioche stitch and shaker knitting too.

While it was generally held America, for YEARS, that 2 color double knit shaker ribbing couldn’t be done in the round – but it was commonly done in Europe.

And then a few year ago, Wendy Easton did a hat and scarf set forWeekend Knitting—with the hat done in 2 color, 1 X 1, brioche stitch, worked in the round.

Hat 7 was not inspired by that hat and doesn’t look much like that hat.

Hat 7 at was actually inspired by the Tsock Tsarina (who, not quite a year ago) was swatching some 2 color, 1 X 1, brioche stitch—for a shawl.

This stitch is deeply textured--the interlocking mesh makes it an air trapper—a hat that traps air and warmth even though it’s soft and loose.

One color (or in my case 3 different colors) predominate on one side, and the other color (in my case, the black) predominates on the other--the photo's above show this.

Stretch the work out as far as it will go--(as was done on Wendy’s version)-- and it looks different again!

More recently, Lisa has been playing with moebius wraps.

And got me thinking about a moebius brioche stitch ‘thing’--

But first, mastering the brioche rib--(and a few more hats!)

So Hat #6 was finished—the crown is a steep peak, but typically it gets folded over.. (OK, it too, is still waiting for a small pompom (and no, I haven’t really even looked for my pompom maker)
Its kind of hard to see the fold in the brim, the black is so dark and obscures the detail but a small pompom will be nice.

Hat #7 is a traffic stopper... (YES, I know it should be green at the bottom, and red at the top.. but call it creative license)

A tubular cast on, then 1 X 1 ribbing that changed to 2 colors, 1 X 1 brioche (aka double knit) shaker ribbing. 

I am up to the hard part (the decreases). 

I  actually use the 2 color brioche rib directions from Wendy's pattern--but that's about it.--

A different yarn, a different gauge, a different cast on, a different start, with different colors (more colors), a different fit... This hat is JUST like hers.. only every little detail is different!

And I am still thinking about the brioche rib for a moebius... Maybe Lisa will knit up a prototype for me!


Tsarina of Tsocks said...

Heh. Maybe. But maybe not. Two-color brioche - either circular or flat - is fun and fascinating for a number of rows. But after a while... it gets a little old. It LOOKS more interesting than it is to work. Worth it, of course. But you notice I haven't picked up that two-color scarf in - how long did you say? Yeah, almost a year. And I even know where it is.

I do think the moebius idea is an interesting challenge, though. It'd be fun just to swatch that and see where the changes fall.

Pity you missed the meeting yesterday. I was working another variant on two-color brioche - checked rose fabric. It doesn't LOOK at all brioche-like, but the technique is fundamentally similar.

Another stitch that's fun to do until it gets old... around Row 20 or so!

Anonymous said...

HA-HA-- I opened your site anyway and glad! I did. Why oh why won't the brioche stitch leave me alone? Oh Thank You for your page.
Knit-Sick in Vancouver