This week, I’m knitting with Rozetti Yarns Merino Mist, which sports a shimmer that’s sure to brighten up a dreary winter’s day. If you missed it, see how my version of the free pattern, Jay Sweater, turned out using Merino Mist in Rain Cloud and Night. Hint: Stunning!
Today I’m making an accessory to wear with my dazzling Jay Sweater. Originally, I planned on making a cowl that doubles as a snood. What’s a snood, you say? It’s a cowl that you can pull up to cover your head when the wind blows and you’re without a hat.
I really like the look of the Cozy Snood, which is a free downloadable pattern. It looks so warm to wear while walking on a brisk winter’s day, but then I thought it may be a little too warm once indoors, like a shopping mall or store. It’s knit flat and seamed, so I thought I’d close it with buttons instead. That way I can undo the buttons without pulling it off over my head when I stop at the store. I even bought the buttons that would go with all three of my colors (Rain Cloud, Thunder, Night) beautifully. Then I thought; do I really want to do and undo all those buttons? Of course not.
So I decided to look at the pattern details to see if I could come up with something else that was a little easier to pull on and off, yet keep the quality that I really like about the pattern – the open rib. The pattern calls it a Brioche Rib.
I don’t claim to be a Brioche expert, but in my experience, Brioche is accomplished through yarn over and knit (or purl) two together. This pattern calls for knit below, which in my experience is known better as a Fisherman’s Rib. Since I’m not a Brioche expert, I consulted with a knitting pal of mine, who is a Brioche expert. She confirmed my thoughts in that the resulting fabric is very similar in appearance, however, the technique is very different.
Since this is not the first time I’d come across the “knit below” technique termed Brioche, I decided to research it more and discovered that the two terms are often used interchangeably. In my research, I happened upon a website that’s an amazing resource for both techniques; briochestitch.com.
As you can see from the images above, these are two different techniques that look the same. It’s easy to see why the two terms are used interchangeably.
I finally decided that I’d make my favorite winter wearable accessory, which is a long cowl (infinity scarf) that I can wrap around my neck to keep me nice and warm when outside, and easily unwrap a layer when inside. I also wanted to use two colors so I chose to use a conventional Brioche stitch, in the round.
If you’re new to Brioche, it’s easier to learn in the round rather than flat. In the round, it’s a two row repeat; four if worked flat. Fisherman’s Rib is a single row repeat when worked flat. Both Brioche and Fisherman’s Rib are reversible fabrics, meaning both sides are right sides. Since there’s no wrong side, I’ll refer to Side A and Side B. When knitting two color Brioche flat, you need to use a circular needle as you need to knit two rows on Side A before turning your work to knit two rows on Side B. When knitting in the round, the first round works Side A (i.e., brk), and the second round works side B (i.e., brp).
For this project, I’m knitting in the round using Rain Cloud (MC) and Night (CC) and a two color Brioche technique. Here are the pattern details.
k = knit
p = purl
sl = slip stitch purlwise
yo = yarn over
brk (brioche knit) knit the stitch that was slipped in the previous row together with its yarn over
brp (brioche purl) purl the stitch that was slipped in the previous row together with its yarn over
wyif = with yarn in front
gauge 16 sts = 4” on US 6 [4.0mm] circular needle, however, gauge isn’t that important but does affect overall size.
Using a US 6 [4.0mm] circular needle and MC, cast on 240 stitches (to wrap 3 times), 180 (to wrap 2 times), do not turn your work, slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and attach CC.
Set-Up Roundwith CC: wyif, *sl1yo, p1; rep from *.
Place a marker onto your needle or hang a marker on the first stitch. Now join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.
Round 1 MC: (forms MC “knit’’ columns, slips “purl’’ columns) With MC, *brk1, sl1yo; rep from *.
Round 2 CC: (forms CC “purl’’ columns, slips “knit’’ columns) With CC, wyif, *sl1yo, brp1; rep from *.
Rep Rounds 1 & 2 until desired length.
For the longer version, I recommend working the rounds until it measures 6″ – 6½” in height (or until to run out of yarn) as it will wrap around your neck 3 times. If making the smaller version, you may choose to continue until your work measures 8” as it will only wrap around twice.
Cast off loosely. I used a US 7 [4.5mm] needle for my cast off. Remember to incorporate the yarn over with its corresponding slipped stitch (brk or brp) in your cast off row.
This very simple, yet elegant pattern is based on an instructional tutorial provided by briochstitch.com, with amazing results. If you’re not quite convinced about two color Brioche or working in the round, I suggest you follow the instructions for the Cozy Snood using the Fisherman’s Rib technique. You’ll achieve a very similar look to that of single color Brioche with only a single row repeat, and you can easily size it into a long cowl by adding more stitches.
This was a fun project and I must admit, I was caught up in the brk1,s1yo* motion, so much so, that I intended to stop at 6” and ended up with 6½”. I really like how the two colors of the Merino Mist complement each other.