I’ve enjoyed learning the Brioche style of knitting, though it seems to take a LOT longer than traditional knitting to get the same amount of fabric.  Only “seems” because you are actually using twice the yarn, and it’s making a much loftier fabric than with conventional knitting.

Meet Icicle, by Nancy Marchant, from the book, “Knitting Fresh Brioche.”  Once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it.  It’s not exactly “mindless knitting” – you need to pay attention to what you are doing, but it is enjoyable knitting.

Practice is really the key to this style of knitting.  It has a rhythm and pace that is completely different from conventional knitting.

Yarn is important – almost in the double-knitting sense.  In fact, Brioche is a sort of double-knitting, in that you are knitting four passes (two right-side, two wrong-side) for each completed “row.”   A bulky yarn will make a bulky fabric and be harder to knit.

I used KnitPicks Stroll Fingering in colors Black and Dove Heather.  This is a sock-weight yarn that worked well enough, but might have been slightly too fuzzy for the project (and it’s not a “fuzzy” yarn).

Even after I felt comfortable with the style (and had memorized the 20-row pattern), I still managed to get off on the stitch count with frustrating regularity.  I could usually find and fix my error within the row, but I kept getting off on the last stitches of the first row in the four-row set.  I expect it was due to inattention, but sometimes, I could not “see” where the extra stitch was added (or removed).  

I take back my previous recommendation about using a size larger needle.  That was inexperience talking, and by the time I got half-way through the yarn, I wished I had used a small needle.  I think it would have made a neater finished project.

Using two skeins of each color (or 100 grams of each color, or 460 yards of each color), the final project was 10″ x 80″ – a nice length for a generous scarf.

I have a recipient in mind for this scarf – it suits his sense of style and coloring.  Since I’m still a novice at this – and the project has some flaws – I’m hesitant about giving it to him.  He’s a very stylish person, and this might be a bit too “home-spun” for him.  Maybe he’ll start a trend.


Casting Off – Lace Shawl

This turned out to be a scarf more than a shawl.  I knit this twice – once as directed, which turned out to be too short for a shawl, and once with an adjustment to make the scarf more narrow and longer.  I’m much happier with this result, though I have come to the conclusion that “shawl in a ball” is a loose term.

Here it is, blocked and as finished.  What is really nice about this yarn is that it is designed to start and end with the same color, which makes for a nice balance in a scarf (or shawlette, if you go that route).

Yarn:  Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, available at most yarn retailers and online.  For being a commercial product, it is very nice.  Soft, nice drape, and quick to knit.  It’s a good thing I like it – I have two more balls to knit up.

Pattern:  Lace Shawl, by Alice Halbeisen.  I think the pattern might be a free download from Interweave Knits, “Knitting Daily” site.  This is an easy and very nice pattern which can be adapted to a shawl or scarf, depending upon the number of pattern repeats.

Click on image below for larger view.



Stash Buster – Sparkle Shawl

This is a completely made-up pattern, using some nice black-metallic-sequined yarn I picked up several years ago.  Unfortunately, I lost the yarn band before I completed the project, so I don’t have information on its origins.  Whatever it was, it was a commercial brand (available at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s), and took two skeins.

Typical top-down format for a shawl, with the yarn-over increase on each side of the center stitch, and at each end on the right-side rows.  All wrong-side rows were “Knit 3 – purl to last three stitches – Knit 3.”

Pattern was a version of the “fan and feather” – [K4, (YO, K2tg) 4 times], repeat to end, and add additional repeats as the shawl grows wider.  Final boarder was an easy four-row mesh of [YO, K2tg] on row 1 and [K2tg, YO] on row 3 (purl rows 2 and 4).

Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to see the pattern at this point.  The shawl needs blocking, which might make the pattern more visible.  I’ll post a finished version after blocking.

If you look closely, you’ll see a small band of black-only within the top third of the shawl.  For some reason, the metallic and sequin accent mysteriously disappeared for a time within the skein.  Rather than skip it (I wasn’t sure how much yarn was missing the metallic accent), I kept on knitting, and I kind of like the subtle accent it creates.

Knitting in Ireland (aka Floral Lace Shawl)

I was determined to finish this shawl while in Ireland, and I managed to accomplish that feat.  I’m pleased with the result – now, I just have to figure out who it belongs to!

Floral Lace Shawl, from Vogue’s Knitting Shawl’s & Wraps.  Yarn is Red Heart’s Boutique Unforgettable.   I think the shawl turned out fine, but this is definitely more in the “affordable” yarn category.  I liked the yarn, but I’ve handled much nicer.  Still, Red Heart is definitely improving their yarn lines, and offering a much nicer and more varied selection than the worsted weight available to my Grandmother.

Graciously modeled by  Daughter #2 on her college campus where I met her for lunch.  The two pictures on the floor and chair were taken in my hotel room in Cork.


Another Ruffled Scarf

Probably the last one of these I’ll knit.  Too fussy for my level of patience.

This is Yarn Bee Chrysalis – not sure of the color (112? – whatever that is – I lost track of the yarn band).  I was not happy with this yarn – it “grabbed” too much – I foresee much getting-caught-on-things its future (apologies to the person it was knit for – you’re gonna get it, anyway).  I thought it was just me – my hands can be on the dry side in the winter – but when I took the picture on the tree, it was a terrible mess to get OFF!

Like before, this is a simple knit scarf – 6 stitches on the needle, knit until done and bind off.  There are some videos to guide you I’ve posted one before, and here’s the link, if you would like to watch:  How to Knit a Ruffled Scarf.

Another Frilly Scarf (Large)