Finally (and seasonally inappropriately, unfortunately) my second brioche cowl is done and I’m geared up with a pattern and tutorial to show exactly how I made this bad boy.
Quick reminder – my first brioche cowl was made from stash yarn. The (very) brief instructions for that version are:
1 skein Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Rainforest
1 1/3 skeins Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Stratus
Size 6 (4 mm) circular needle
Cast on 130 stitches, join
Knit 5 rounds to make the curled edge
Do two-color brioche stitch using Rainforest for the knit rounds and Stratus for the purl rounds. I continued in brioche (approximately 150 rounds) until Rainforest was almost gone. To transition from brioche back to stockinette, knit every knit (single) stitch and k2tog on the stitches with yarn overs. If this doesn’t make sense, you’ll see what I mean in the video below! Add 5 more rounds knit rounds in Stratus, then bind off. That’s it! I ended up using a full skein of Rainforest and roughly 1 1/3 skins of Stratus.
Since that cowl used an ambiguous amount of yarn and has “suggested” row counts, I wanted to come up with a cowl that only uses 2 skeins of Maxima.
Tutorial: Two-color Brioche In the Round
COLOR A: 1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in variegated colorway (Rainforest shown)*
COLOR B: 1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in solid colorway (Helium shown here, Stratus used previous)*
* I included a bunch of color combo suggestions below!
Size 6 (4.5 mm) circular needle
bk2tog: Brioche knit 2 together. Knit the “paired stitches” — these are the slipped stitches from the previous round with their paired yarn overs.
bp2tog: Brioche purl 2 together. Purl the “paired stitches” — these are the slipped stitches from the previous round with their paired yarn overs.
sl 1 YO: Slip one purlwise while creating a yarn over. In the video, I show how I “catch” the yarn with my needle as I slip the stitch on knit rounds. For purl rounds, just slip the stitch purlwise with yarn in the front and add a YO at the same time.
There are so many sites who do great brioche tutorials, if you don’t find mine helpful. I love The Purl Bee especially.
bk2tog [brioche knit 2 together]: knit next knit stitch together with its paired yarnover
YOS [yarn over slip]: bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn over right needle
Loosely cast on an even number of stitches.
Set Up Row: *YOS, k1, repeat from * to end of row.
Row 1: *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to end of row.
I found brioche difficult (actually, impossible) to learn through written instructions. Please watch the video above. I’ve made two of these cowls and still find it difficult to write out instructions!
Cast on 120 stitches in COLOR B (Helium shown). I prefer long tail cast on.
Place stitch marker. Join, being sure to not twist your stitches, and knit 5 rounds.
Setup round: Using COLOR A, (k1, sl 1 YO), repeat to end. On the entire round, you’ll knit 1 stitch, then slip the next stitch purlwise while creating an additional loop of yarn.
Round 1: Switch to COLOR B and bring yarn to front. (sl 1 YO, bp2tog), repeat to end. On the entire round you’ll slip the single stitches and create an additional loop of yarn at the same time. On the slipped + YO stitches from the previous round (I call these paired or doubled stitches), purl them together.
Round 2: Switch to COLOR A and bring yarn to back. (bk2tog, sl 1 YO), repeat to end. For the entire round you’ll knit the paired stitches together, then slip the single stitches while creating a YO.
That’s it! Repeat rounds 1 and 2 for 127 rounds total. To transition from brioche back to stockinette, knit every knit (single) stitch and k2tog on the stitches with yarn overs. Knit 5 rounds in COLOR B, then bind off.
Weave ends. Soak cowl and block aggressively.
I think the real fun of this pattern is in the color combinations. Since I love Maxima so much, I looked through a bunch of different colorways and made some suggested combinations! At the moment, I think my favorite mix is Currant + Sand or Peach Melba + Natural.