How to Knit Two-Color Brioche

This is Part One of my Whimsy North Knits Brioche series. For all the posts in this series click here.

Oh, brioche, not the bread the knit stitch. I have found that in the knitting world brioche can be very polarizing. Those that haven’t tried it yet shy away in fear and the knitters that have mastered it are obsessed!

Both of these reactions are very valid as brioche looks intimidating and if you don’t know what you are doing it can be tricky to learn. However, once you figure out the basics you can feel pride in creating a beautiful, squishy, and intricately knit item.

In this post I’m going to go over the beginnings of brioche knitting, how to knit two-color brioche, and share some of my brioche knitting patterns with you.

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The beginnings of my Nordic Sunrise Shawl

The Brioche Explosion in the Knitting World.

I think most people would credit Nancy Marchant with bringing brioche stitch into the forefront of knitting. Her brioche knitting books, brioche knitting website, and video tutorials are what the beginning knitwear designers learned from and where I first learned as well.

In my eyes, brioche knitting really hit the big time in late 2014 and into 2015 when Stephen West released his Exploration Station Shawl pattern for his 2014 Mystery Knit Along. (Read my post What is a Mystery Knit Along for more information on that).

After the excitement over that pattern, other designers jumped on board and the brioche knitting patterns took over! You had Andrea Mowry with her Briochealicious shawl and Leslie Robinson from Knit Graffiti who’s main design focus is brioche and she even has online classes now teaching how to do it.

Completed Nordic Sunrise Shawl before blocking.

The basics of Two-Color Brioche Knitting

Now that we know what started it all, will look at how to get started with knitting brioche. Below you will find my video tutorial that shows you how to knit simple straight two-color brioche. The video breaks down what to do for each color of yarn. Which side is your main color and which is you contrasting color as well as, how to knit a brk1, sl1yo, and a brp1, sl1yo, which are the main stitches in brioche knitting.

Once you have finished viewing the video move along to the below swatch pattern to practice.

Basic Swatch for Two-Color Brioche Knitting

To create your practice swatch for two-color brioche knitting follow the below pattern:

With MC, CO an odd number of stitches using the Twisted German Cast on method. Turn to work CS row.

Setup Row CS MC: {P1, sl1yo} Rep to last st, p1. Slide.
Setup Row CS CC: Join CC yarn, sl1, {brk1, sl1yo} Rep to last 2 sts, brk1, sl1. Turn.

Row 1 MS MC: K1, sl1yo, {brk1, sl1yo} Rep to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1. Slide
Row 1 MS CC: Sl1, {brp1, sl1yo} Rep to last 2 sts, brp1, sl1. Turn.

Row 2 CS MC: P1, sl1yo, {brp, sl1yo} Rep to last st, p1. Slide
Row 2 CS CC: Sl1, {brk1, sl1yo} Rep to last 2 sts, brk1, sl1. Turn.

Rep [Rows 1 & 2 MC & CC] until swatch measures 4″/10cm from cast-on edge, or until you are satisfied with your swatch.

My Brioche Knit Designs

Now that you have mastered the two-color brioche stitch it’s time to put it into practice with some patterns! I love designing with brioche and am always coming up with new designs. To check out a few of them click the links below:

Close up of my Nordic Sunrise Shawl design. This view shows the vertical stripes of two-color brioche.

Taking it to the Next Level

Next in my brioche knitting series is how to create brioche designs using increases and decreases. This is a fun and easy way to take brioche knitting to the next level.

My Pink Sky at Night Shawl uses increases and decreases to create a waves effect.

So have you tried brioche yet?

For more Brioche Knitting Check out the following:


One thought on “How to Knit Two-Color Brioche

  1. This tutorial shows how to knit two-color brioche stitch with a selvage edge over any odd number of stitches. It begins with two setup rows, one for each color.

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