Brioche stitch (aka Fisherman’s Rib) is a fluffy, thick rib. The concept is simple- yarn over strands are worked together with stitches to create an extra luscious, reversible knit fabric. It is like normal ribbing with a bonus!
When I first tried brioche years ago, I was trying to help out a friend that had started what looked like a simple 1×1 rib scarf. She ended up having to be in the hospital for a couple days, so I wanted to surprise her/cheer her up since I knew she didn’t really like the project she was working on. I thought I knew what she was doing. A couple rows of working plain k1, p1 stitch found me befuddled and confused. Why was her ribbing so full and scarf wider? I hastily ripped out my rows. When I arrived at the last row she worked, a giant question mark might as well have been above my head! There were extra strands of yarn and yarn overs every other stitch. Well, fast forward to now and I am happy to tell you brioche is not only easy but addictive!
There are two steps that tend to get knitters hung up about brioche- how to start and how to end.
I’ve made a video featuring a simple cowl design with brioche stitch in the round. Because I am using two different yarns/colors in the cowl, it is a lot easier to see what you are doing. The yarns are very thick and create a project with a short turn around time. Encore Mega is the solid color, and Cannoli (NEW this year!) is the multi. The combination of the two yarns also creates a reversible project- one side shows Encore Mega more dominantly while the other side shows Cannoli as the lead.
Perhaps you will try your hand at this magnificent and misunderstood stitch? Here is the pdf. Enjoy the video!
I’d like to introduce Kaelin Hearn, our new sales rep for Eastern Pennsylvania and New York. Kaelin began working at Plymouth in 2004 right out of high school and worked around her college courses. She started out in the warehouse, packaging and sorting shipments. Soon after, Kaelin began working on our computers and formatting patterns. She also assisted at photo shoots, contributing her fashion sense to our garment stylings. Some of you may know Kaelin from talking to her on the phone in customer service about yarn shop orders or pattern questions. She was our go-to girl!
Her passion and eagerness to learn about yarn, design and sales shined. In the spring of this year, Kaelin began her journey as a sales rep. Having great customer service and a big heart has helped guide her into her new role. She is an asset at Plymouth. I personally love consulting with her on yarn and pattern trends. She enjoys hosting trunk shows for Plymouth and contributing any knitting trends to the designers and the Plymouth customers.
Kaelin is great at helping guide shops to incorporate the best creative, functional, and current trends into the shops. She is very unique if she isn’t knitting or searching for new designs she is spending time with her very big family or fishing on the weekends.
Kaelin is modelling my newest design. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pattern that I like to come back to, again and again. Alas, the criteria for such a pattern is high for me.
Here is a working list of some of the must haves for that perfect pattern:
1. Quick to knit, must take 1-2 days to make, no more than that!
2. It must keep my attention- something that isn’t just boring stockinet or garter.
3. Should require only 1-2 skeins. Bonus if it is only 1 skein. I need to use up those impulse buy skeins I get when I go yarn shopping! (You know what I am talking about- they call your name… and you don’t know what to do with them but you can’t just leave them on the shelf!!)
This brings me to my newest design- Twisted Column Mitts.
These mitts meet all of these requirements for me! They only took me one evening to make. They have a simple cable that adds interest. Lastly, they only require one skein of bouncy, washable and durable DK Merino Superwash.
What are your requirements for that perfect pattern?
Mitt (make 2)
CO 40 sts, divide the sts onto 4 DPNs. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. PM. Work in 1×1 rib (k1 st, p1 st) for 10 rounds. Beg working in twist columns pattern. Work 22 rounds twist columns pattern- end having worked round 8 of twist columns. Thumb: Work round 9 of twist columns across 20 sts, pm, m1 twice by picking up the bar between the 2 sts with the left hand needle from front to back, k this st tbl, pick up the same bar with left hand needle from back to front and k this st (2 sts inc’d.), pm, work round 9 of twist columns across 20 sts. Next Round: Work next round of twist columns across 20 sts, sl m, k to m, sl m, work next round of twist columns across 20 sts. Inc Round: Work next round of twist columns across 20 sts, sl m, m1, k to m, m1, sl m, work next round of twist columns across 20 sts. Rep the last 2 rows until there are 12 sts in between the m- end having worked round 5 of twist columns. Next Round: Work round 6 of twist columns across 20 sts, sl m, p across 12 sts in between m, sl m, work round 8 of twist columns across 20 sts. Next Round: Work round 7 of twist columns across 20 sts, remove m, BO in k the 12 sts for the thumb, remove m, work round 7 of twist columns across 20 sts. 40 sts on needles. Work in twist columns pattern as established for 4 more rounds- end having worked round 11. Then work in 1×1 rib for 7 rounds. BO in rib on next round. Make another mitt. Weave in all ends.
ABBREVIATIONS: beg= begin(ning), BO= bind off, C3B= sl 1 st to cable needle and hold to back, k2, k1 from cable needle, C3F= sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to front, k1, k2 from cable needle, CO= cast on, dec= decrease, DPNs= double pointed needles, inc= increase, m1- make one, pm= place marker, p = purl, rem= remain(ning), rep= repeat, RS= right side, sl= slip, st(s) = stitch(es), st st = stockinette st, T3B= sl 1 st to cable needle and hold to back, k2, p1 from cable needle, T3F= sl 2 sts to cable needle and holt to front, p1, k2 from cable needle, tbl= through back loop
Many years ago, felting seemed to take over the knitting community. I would spend evenings with two of my friends, Amy and Gloria, working on knit and crochet backpacks, flowers, beads, petals, and hats to be felted. I remember in particular a large felt tote I made using super chunky wool and a lattice design. The bag was so large that I could actually sit in it (yes, comfortably!) before felting.
The magical part of felting was that it appealed to beginner and advanced knitters alike. Beginner knitters didn’t have to have perfect tension or wonderful seaming abilities. Pretty much any mistake could be hidden once the knit was felted. Advanced knitters could appreciate the smooth and rewarding fabric from doing intricate shaping or colorwork (think tartans and plaids!).
Felting is asking for a resurgence. I have designed for the month of June a felt hand bag that uses a fun, easy to memorize motif: the triangle. Plymouth Yarn’s Gina is a 100% wool roving yarn that has a delicious stripey color transition. Gina really makes the construction of the triangles POP. You won’t need to change colors, tie in ends, or any of the normal striping techniques for this yarn. It does the work for you- and it will keep you interested in knitting the bag just to see what color will come out of the ball next.
Are you going on any road trips this summer?I will be going to the shore several time this summer, and this will be an enjoyable travel companion to my car ride.
10” wide 10” tall
(not including handle)
Materials: Gina: 3—50G balls, color 11 Spring Flowers
Gauge: 16 sts, 16 rows= 4” in st st on size 10 (6mm) needles (before felting),
5” x 5” = 1 triangle, before and after felting.
Needles: US Size 10 (6mm) DPNs (double pointed needles), stitch marker, yarn needle for sewing.
CO 66 sts, placing 22 sts each onto 3 DPNs.
Join in the round, being careful not to twist. PM. K one round.
Round 1: *Ssk, k to last 2 sts on DPN, k2tog; rep from * twice more. (6 sts decreased)- 60 sts.
Repeat the last round until there are 6 sts remaining- 2 sts on each needle. Cut yarn and draw through remaining sts. Fasten off.
Make 11 more triangles. Make 2 hexagon motifs by working a small (not too bulky selvedge) mattress stitch- stitching 6 triangles together. Set aside.
CO 14 sts onto a DPN. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 25”- this “gusset” will go around the perimeter of the bag.
Rows 1, 3, 5, 7 (WS): P all sts
Rows 2, 6: K all sts.
Row 4: Sl 5 sts to spare DPN and hold to front, k5, k5 from DPN, k4.
Row 8: K4, sl 5 sts to spare DPN and hold to back, k5, k5 from DPN. Repeat these 8 rows for braided strap until desired length- ours is approximately 26” + 25” for the gusset. End having worked row 3 of cable. BO in k on next row.
Sew the 25” of the gusset’s sides to the sides of the hexagons. Sew the CO and BO edges of the strap together- making sure there isn’t a twist in the strap.
Felting: Gina felts quickly and easily by hand.
Fill your sink with hot soapy water so that the bag is just submerged. Using your hands (put on some rubber gloves to protect them from the heat!) agitate the hand bag, rubbing it against the sides of the sink and against itself. You can shock the bag by running it in some very cold water to help merge the fibers together, but it isn’t mandatory. When the stitches of the handbag have disappeared and the bag has stiffened a bit from felting, wring out the excess water and roll in a towel to get most of the moisture out. Shape and let air dry.
ABBREVIATIONS: BO= bind off, CO= cast on, dec= decrease, DPN= double pointed needle(s), k = knit, m= marker, pm= place marker, psso= pass slipped stitch over, p = purl, RS= right side, sl = slip,SSK =slip 1 st as if to knit, slip a second st as if to knit, knit them together through the back loop, st(s) = stitch(es), st st = stockinette st, tbl = through back loop,tog = together,WS = Wrong Side, yo = yarn over, wyif = with yarn in front, wyib = with yarn in back.