Tag Archives: Brioche knitting

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!

Brioche Knit Love book pre-order info

The pre-order page for Brioche Knit Love is live! The book is due out on October 19. It will be available through the publisher, Library House Press, and also through local yarn shops. Ask your LYS if they’ll have this book for you! But not until next week; the wholesale ordering system isn’t quite set up yet.

If you’re a brioche newbie, this book is for you! And if you already know how to knit brioche, and just want some new pretty patterns to knit, this book is for you, too. Here’s the description:

“Grab a latte and join Michele Lee Bernstein from PDXKnitterati as she guides you through the basics of brioche knitting. Using bite-size accessory projects as the foundation for learning, Michele will lead you confidently through every step, from start to finish. You’ll find gentle instruction, clear photos and twenty-one tantalizing patterns as you work your way through one- and two-color brioche (flat and in the round), increasing and decreasing, and syncopated brioche. Michele even teaches you how to recognize and fix your mistakes along the way. From cast on to bind off, Brioche Knit Love is the perfect primer for first-time brioche knitting.”

I learned a lot about the book-making process this summer, designing for this book and making it come to life. I learned about managing multiple test knits at the same time, too. Thanks so much to my test knitters, especially the brioche newbies who learned to knit brioche with the first patterns from this book.

My sister came to model with me; we had fun.

I’m looking forward to holding this book in my hands. Not sure about jumping into brioche? Here’s what the experts say:

“A sweet, clear guide to one of knitting’s most enchanting techniques. The advanced-level patterns are nothing short of aspirational, and the beginner-level patterns are cool enough to attract even the expert.
— Franklin Habit, international knitting instructor & author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons”

“Brioche has a unique language of its own, but have no fear! Michele teaches what you need to know exactly when you need to learn it for each irresistible design. The clear guidance and inspirational photos inspire confidence and motivation to cast on for these cozy projects.
— Anne Berk, author of Annetarsia Knits: A New Link to Intarsia”

“If you’ve been nervous about Brioche knitting, this is the book you need! Michele clearly explains the technique and her designs are absolutely gorgeous. You’re going to want to knit everything in this book!
— Jen Lucas, knitwear designer and author of Sock-Yarn Shawls”

I’m planning some book signing events at a few local yarn shops, too: Yarn Folk in Ellensburg, WA on Saturday Oct. 23, my local yarn source For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, OR on Saturday, Oct. 30, Knot Another Hat in Hood River, OR on Saturday Nov. 20, and Wild Knits in Salem, OR on Saturday, Dec. 4. They’ll have books available for you there. I’ll bring some favorite pieces from the book, so you can see them in person.

If those dates or locations aren’t convenient for you, or you just can’t wait, check out the Brioche Knit Love book page and place your order if you’d like to knit brioche with me! Bonus: I’ve made a special page of video tutorial links, just for this book.

I can’t wait to share all of this with you!

Book teaser

My publisher shared this online, which means I can, too. The proofs are back from the printer, and we’re good to go! You can see the cover for my book, Brioche Knit Love, and me wearing one of my designs. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see that the subtitle is “21 Skill Building Projects from Simple to Sublime.” Twenty-one! It’s been a busy summer of knitting and designing.

The book should be available October 19, if all goes according to plan. I’ll have information for pre-orders in a week or so. Looking forward to it!

New class: Brioche Doctor! Fixing Brioche Mistakes

We love knitting brioche. But sometimes things happen. I’m launching a new Zoom class, Brioche Doctor: Fixing Mistakes in Brioche. We’ll go from finding simple missed yarn overs all the way through frogging and getting back on the needles. Class will be on Saturday, February 13, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Pacific time. Registration is through Twisted Yarn Shop.

We’ll be working with a flat 2 color brioche swatch, but even if you’ve only ever done brioche in the round, this should be pretty accessible for you. I love new classes, and I think this one will be lots of fun. Come tink, drop, and frog with me!

Deep End class and discount

Deep End brioche hat

My Deep End brioche hat class has just been listed at Twisted. This class will teach you brioche increases and decreases in a jiffy! Most of the techniques are introduced in the first patterning round. The class is not a beginning brioche class; you should already know how to knit brioche rib. The Deep End pattern is included in the class fee. Registration link here. Class is on Saturday, October 24, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific time.

If you want to knit Deep End but don’t need a class, you can still purchase the pattern, and the introductory discounts are good through tomorrow, October 8. Purchase through Ravelry or Payhip.

WordPress has just chosen to force me into using their “new” block editor today. They’ve been trying to do this for a long time; I like the old editor just fine. Now I have to learn a new thing, and I’m not sure I have the mental bandwidth this week. Ugh! Aaaaand the preview tab doesn’t work. I hate change…grumble grumble grumble. Well, I’m going to go ahead and post; hope this looks okay!

Tinking Brioche Decreases tutorial

A student asked me how to tink brioche decreases. I made a little video so I can share it with all of you, too.

Also, my Petite Brioche class through Twisted on September 26 is full!

So we added another class on October 17. Link to register is here.

There’s still room in my Syncopation class on October 3, link here.

Let’s knit!

On the needles: more brioche!

After teaching my brioche increases and decreases class at Virtual Knitting Live last month, I started thinking that I wanted to design one more hat.


Specifically, it would be a teaching hat, one that uses both left and right leaning double decreases within the first few rounds. I love Heliotrope and Brioche Pastiche, but it takes quite a while before we get to the right leaning decreases.

I wanted a big stitch pattern to make a visual statement, and there it is! This is the staghorn motif from Nancy Marchant’s Knitting Fresh Brioche. I could use this motif twice, and not have a big enough hat, or three times, and the hat would be too big. Hmmm. I could use the motif once or twice, and make the rest of the hat in garter stitch, which has the same row gauge as brioche rib. But that could be confusing for students, as it knocks one out of the rhythm of brioche knitting.

Also, using this motif once or twice doesn’t guarantee that students will get to practice both increases more than a few times during class. A better alternative to garter stitch would be to use a smaller motif for size adjustability, and for practice with both decreases.

This stitch pattern is based on Nancy Marchant’s large gulls. I made it taller, to make it fit the row repeat of the staghorn motif. I like the way it echoes the shape of the staghorn motif. Perfect. I added a single rib on each side of the staghorn motif as an accent.

Sometimes designing is just this specific. I knew what I wanted to feature in the pattern, and then it was just a matter of putting several parts together. Like playing with Legos? Now I’m up to the crown shaping, and working out how to make that work for three sizes, which is just a bit of engineering.

It’s coming soon; I want to use it for classes this fall. That means it’s jumping to the top of my to-do list. Don’t worry, Sneaker Wave is still coming, too. By the end of the month, I think!

How do you decide which project to work on? Do you have many or few? What makes one jump to the top of the list? For me, there’s nothing like the power of a deadline.

Monday, when the sun was still visible through smoke

Side note: 2020 is an absolute dumpster fire. Pandemic, lockdown, a crashed economy, civil unrest to protest police brutality and racism…and now wildfires up and down the west coast. Entire towns have burned to the ground, and people are being evacuated for their safety. The fires aren’t close to my home right now, but smoke has blanketed most of western Oregon, and the air is unhealthy for breathing. The city of Portland declared a state of emergency as of last night.

I’m hoping and praying for change on so many levels.

Working on this little knitting project is giving my brain just enough to chew on, to keep the worry at bay. I’m grateful for home and safety, and grieving for those who have lost everything.

“Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.“ Elizabeth Zimmermann

Petite Brioche Zoom class May 2

Petite Brioche: It’s my gateway project into brioche knitting. Brioche rib has such a simple, soothing rhythm to it; it’s a perfect technique to learn during this pandemic lockdown. The Petite Brioche pattern is free here on my blog, but sometimes you want a little more guidance, right?

Blue brioche headband

I’m offering a virtual class via Zoom on Saturday, May 2, 1 to 3 pm PDT. I’ll help you get started with your 2 color brioche rib headband. Price is $25. Class size is limited, as we figure out the ins and outs of this new way of teaching and learning. Come knit with me!

Leave a comment if you’re interested. Hoping to introduce you to the joys of brioche!