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.