Tag Archives: Brioche knitting

Crowning glory

I have crowns on my mind. More hat crowns.

For Better or Worsted MCN from Anzula Luxury Yarns, yum

I love a pretty crown on a hat. This one hits all the right notes. It’s for the hat and cowl pattern that I’m designing for the class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in August. The class covers beginning 2 color brioche rib in the round, and brioche increases and decreases. Does this sound like Brioche Pastiche? Yes and no! This set includes a cowl, for non-hat wearers. An a nautical theme!

Malabrigo Rios, a favorite yarn for brioche

This crown is slightly simpler, but the overall effect is the same. I just sent the pattern off to my tech editor, and I’m looking forward to moving on with these designs.

There are a few spots left on this cruise. Do you have to cruise with us to knit this hat and/or cowl? Of course not. But it would be really fun! Here’s a list of the places we’re going.

I’ll show you the whole set soon, after tech editing. I love them!

Brioche Pastiche, even pastichier

I had a fabulous time in Minnesota last month, teaching for the Minnesota Knitters Guild Yarn Over event. This was supposed to happen in 2020, and it finally happened in 2022. It was a whirlwind event; I flew in on Friday, taught on Saturday, and flew home on Sunday.

Brioche Pastiche

One of the classes I taught was Brioche Pastiche, a three hour introduction to two color brioche rib, increases and decreases. I originally designed this hat with a spiffy four section crown. I thought it would be fun to update the pattern with an alternate crown, but first I had to design it. I was still knitting it at the retreat; I finished it when I got home.

I made it one leaf taller before beginning the crown shaping

and gave it a swirlier, flowery top. It’s just a tiny bit taller than the original hat (more leaf rounds, fewer decrease rounds).

I’ve updated the pattern and run it past my new tech editor. I’ve also updated the language in the pattern to be a little closer to standard. If you previously purchased Brioche Pastiche, you should be receiving a message through email and/or Ravelry that there’s an update available. This will give you both the original crown and the new crown. If you’re interested in purchasing this pattern, use coupon code GLORY for 15% off through May 22 on Ravelry and Payhip.

And! It’s also part of the Brioche Hat Trick ebook on Ravelry, in case you want a LOT more brioche. (The ebook is only available through Ravelry for now. If you’ve already purchased the ebook, you’ll get the Pastiche update without needing to repurchase.)

Thanks to the Minnesota Knitters for inspiring me to get this done! (If you were in my class, you’ll get this update, too.)

Goldilocks hat, Take 3: Success!

Knowing all that I learned from the two previous hats made this an easy knit for me. The yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted, 80/10/10 superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon.

A quick selfie for proof of concept. It fits the way I want it to. Now to work on a cowl version for non-hat wearers.

It’s coming along nicely. I’ll also need to work up a smaller version of the hat. And two options for crown shaping, too. So many options for this class project!

I’m writing the pattern in modular units (chart and written instructions) for each motif. And I’m trying to decide for the charts: a separate chart/page each for small hat, large hat, and cowl? Or just chart the motifs with instructions on how to set it up? That would take fewer pages, and that’s how I want to do the written instructions to avoid a 15 page pattern. It’s pretty obvious which motif you’re working, based on stitch count between markers. What do you think?

Onward!

Goldilocks, Take 2

To make the hat shorter? I made the whale tail taller, so I could use fewer repeats. From 3 tails to two. They have more visual pop, too. I put the whale tails on both front and back; that’s visually pleasing.

I added waves to each side of the whale tails. From one side the waves are breaking towards the tail, and from the other side they’re breaking away. Symmetry!

But I don’t like the waves being vertical instead of horizontal; they’re perpendicular to the whale tails. Nope. That’s not how whales swim. (You’d think I would have thought of this while knitting an entire hat, but nooooo.)

On to Take Three!

Goldilocks hat syndrome

I’m designing a hat for a class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise at the end of August. It’s a quickstart brioche class, with brioche rib, increases, and decreases.

Brioche Pastiche

I usually use Brioche Pastiche to teach a class like this. It’s a lovely hat, and it does teach all the thngs you need to know, but we don’t get to the right leaning decreases until late in the class, and I’d like to have more practice time before sending students off.

When I teach increases and decreases separately from brioche rib, I use my Deep End hat or cowl, or Madrona Cowl.

Deep End and Madrona

But those don’t start with brioche rib, so they’re not quite right for the 3 hour class, either.

New hat above, Deep End below

Piece of cake, right? I’ll design a hat with a whale tail motif (how nautical), beginning with brioche rib, and then working into increases and decreases. And! I’d make the back with a choice of all gulls like Deep End, or a mix of gulls and plain rib, so there’s not as much to overwhelm a new brioche knitter on the first patterning round. The stitch count is the same as for Deep End. Why, this hat would practically design itself. Sounds great!

Massive fail. the hat is enormous, because the plain rib is much wider than the gulls, over the same number of stitches. And it’s a little too tall, too, because of the added brioche rib at the beginning.

Back to the drawing board. I’ll be back…

Upcoming classes

I’m teaching for Virtual Knitting Live from Vogue Knitting this coming weekend. Want to learn a new skill? I’m offering Petite Brioche, Log Cabin Knitting, Slip Away Cowl, and Sheepy Steeky Coasters. A potpourri of classes! I love how Vogue Knitting jumped right into online events in 2020, and has continued to put them together on a monthly basis. There’s always something new and interesting to learn; I’ll be taking a couple classes, too.

I’m also teaching Sheepy Steeky Coasters via Twisted on February 5, and Stranded Colorwork Knitting via For Yarn’s Sake on February 6. All classes are via Zoom.

And in February I’m making my first foray back into in-person teaching, at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat with Brioche Pastiche hat, Syncopation Shawl, Minerva Entrelac Cowl, and Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes. Vaxed, boosted, and masked. I’m hoping to have a book signing at the market, too.

Are you ready to learn something new? I feel like 2022 is whizzing by already!

An epiphany!

I was looking at a Knit Picks call for design submissions, and it said that the designer needs to have a USA, Canada, UK, or Australia shipping address. I knew they shipped to USA and Canada, but the rest was news to me. Hello!

Knit Picks is carrying my book, Brioche Knit Love, and where it would cost me $80 to ship to Australia via the post office, their rates are much better. So if you’re in the UK or Australia and want my book; check it out. My publisher doesn’t have distributors there, so this is a great way to get access. And it works for Canada, too. We do have a Canadian distributor (Julie Asselin), but I don’t know if books are in Canadian LYSes yet.

Currently sold out, but they’ve ordered more!

Knit Picks featured me in their email newsletter last month; that was thrilling.

It’s supposed to go on their blog this month; I’ll post a link if/when that happens. For now, I’m chuffed that my book can get to some other countries! It can travel internationally, even if I can’t, yet.

Brioche Knit Love: putting it all together

The final projects of Brioche Knit Love combine all the techniques we’ve been learning throughout the book. We now get to play with both worsted and fingering weight yarn. (I like to teach using worsted weight, so you can see your stitches better. Now you’re ready for the fun stuff.)

I wanted this chapter to be beach themed, in honor of my beloved Oregon Coast. But the book is coffee themed, so I had to rename all the projects with that in mind, too. I think that was the hardest part of making this book!

(knit in Malabrigo Rios)

This is the Cappuccino Cowl, a study in syncopated brioche. It was originally called Coast Range, after the mountains between Portland and the coast, but now the peaks are peaks of foam on a cappuccino. You can wear it with either light or dark peaks pointing up.

(knit in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted)

The Seafoam Latte Scarf combines increases and decreases with a syncopated crest of the wave. The working name for this piece was Beachcomber. I do love the thought of Seafoam Lattes, though.

(knit in Hazel Knits Entice MCN)

The Coffee Bean Trivia Cowl is a bandana style cowl that is knit flat from the lower point until it’s wide enough to join to knit the neckline in the round. This is a very easy to wear piece. And the yarn is sooooo soft. The working name of this was Kelpie, because I thought it looked like a kelp forest underneath the waves. I decided that the little roundels could also be tiny coffee bean trivia shells, as in this post. (Check the link for a fun free project, the Victoriana bracelet.)

(knit in Huckleberry Knits Gradient, and Madeline Tosh Twist Light)

Seagull Flight may be my favorite project in the book, but it’s so hard to choose. And it’s always been called Seagull Flight, from the very beginning. This one just rolled off my needles. I knew what I wanted it to look like, and I knew the basic layout. It’s a half-pi shawl, and very easy to knit.

How did I get it to fit my coffee theme? A flight of coffee. Done.

The final project in the book is actually two projects. You can knit Coffee Breakers as either a cowl or a shawl. (Working name was Surf’s Up)

(knit in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock)

The cowl is easy to wear, and takes about half as much yarn as the shawl.

(knit in Hazel Knits Entice MCN)

And the shawl takes two skeins of fingering weight yarn; it’s sooooo squishy. I love how it feels around my neck, especially in this yarn. (Thanks to Ann Berg for knitting this sample for me!)

I hope I’ve enticed you to try brioche knitting! I’ll be with you every step of the way. Brioche Knit Love has photo tutorials, as well as a link to video tutorials. All the designs are accessories, and mostly small and easily accomplished. The projects start from the very beginning, and build on your skills, one at a time. If you already knit brioche, you can knit the easier projects as quick gifts, and knit the projects from the last chapter with confidence.

You can see all 21 designs from the book here.

Brioche Knit Love is available through local yarn shops, and from the publisher, Library House Press. Local yarn shops can order from our distributor, Sommer Street Associates. The book’s official publication date is October 19, but pre-orders are shipping, and I know several knitters have already received their copies!

Brioche Knit Love: Increases and Decreases, and a winner

Brioche increases and decreases make brioche rib so much prettier, and so much more fun to knit! Just a few new stitches to learn, and the brioche world is your oyster.

Knit with Hazel Knits Lively DK

The chapter begins with the Iced Latte hat. There’s only one new stitch to learn, the right leaning brioche decrease, and we don’t use it until we’re shaping the crown at the very end.

The Iced Latte hat is a perfect pairing with the Iced Latte Cowl.

Knit with Malabrigo Rios

The Berry Galette Cowl and Wristlets give you the opportunity to create undulating patterns in your brioche. These were inspired by the blueberry bushes in my garden.

More Malabrigo Rios

The Green Tea Chai Scarf has a simple repeat, which is a great opportunity for learning to read your brioche knitting! You won’t need to look at the chart/instructions after a few repeats.

A little more Malabrigo Rios!

And the Latte Leaf Coaster and Cup Cozy give you a chance to explore increases and decreases along with syncopated brioche, both flat and in the round. These make great quick gift knitting.

All of these patterns have written instructions as well as charts. And there are photo tutorials for all the increases and decreases. I had to use the book yesterday to remind myself how to make a 4 stitch brioche decrease while teaching my Brioche Doctor class for Virtual Knitting Live! Very handy.

Winner! I’ve picked a winner from the comments on the introductory Brioche Knit Love post, and that winner is Meredith Coelho. Meredith, I’ll email you to get your snail mail addy. Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments. If you didn’t win, please buy my book! I’d love to teach you brioche. Purchase from your LYS or directly from the publisher.

One more chapter’s projects to show you after this, in which we get to combine all our new brioche techniques.

(All photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography)

Brioche Knit Love: On to 2 color brioche

Continuing the tour through my new book, the next two chapters in Brioche Knit Love feature 2 color brioche, knit in the round and flat.

The Grande Brioche Cowl is an upsized version of my Petite Brioche headband, with a more interesting edge treatment. (Shown in Malabrigo Rios)

Did you know that brioche doesn’t have to be knit/purl ribbing? The Peppermint Mocha Cup Cozy and Coaster are stockinette brioche. I love the look of this fabric. (More Malabrigo Rios!)

The Italian Soda Cowl is 2 color brioche rib, knit flat. You’ll get into a rhythm with the brioche rib, and with the selvages, too. I knit this with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. That rainbow colorway is Pegasus, one of my favorites.

And the Iced Latte Cowl is a reincarnation of my Parquetry Cowl. I love garter stitch and brioche rib together. In fact, I loved it so much, I designed a matching hat, which I’ll show you in a later post. These are knit in Hazel Knits Lively DK.

Can I just say how great it was to have my sister Sharon modeling with me for this book? We had a very fun day! She’s the perfect model. (All book photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography.)

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the intro post for this book, if you’d like a chance to win a copy. I’m picking a winner on Sunday October 10. Right after I finish teaching for Virtual Knitting Live!

If you’re interested, i think there’s still room in some of the classes. I’m teaching Herringbone Braids and Beyond, Log Cabin Knitting (newly revised!), Brioche Increases and Decreases, and Brioche Doctor. The registration page is here.

Onward!