Brioche Knitting Part 3: Two-colour Brioche (in-the-round)

If you've been following my 'Brioche Basics' series so far, you will know that I've been learning this technique by practicing the basic stitches until they feel natural. Many of you have said that you want to learn brioche too so I've been sharing the steps with you in easy bite-sized chunks. The 'sl1yo' and 'brk' stitches have already been covered in the earlier posts, and in order to make today's two-colour swatch - this little jar cover - we need to use the 'brioche purl' or 'brp' stitch.

If you're making a swatch, it might as well be used for something!

Brioche Purl / BRP (aka 'Burp')

You already know that the 'brioche knit' or 'brk' stitch involves knitting the slipped stitch and it's paired yarn over together, and it logically follows that the 'brioche purl' or 'brp' stitch involves purling the slipped stitch and it's yarn over (from the previous row) together to form a single stitch, as illustrated in images 1 and 2 below. This is much like a 'p2tog' in regular knitting.

Note: the colours have been muted to make the stitch formation easier to see.
Images 3 and 4 are a reminder of the 'sl1yo' stitch from the previous tutorial. When slipping stitches, always put the yarn to the front of the stitch before slipping, and slip the stitch purlwise, then carry the yarn over the top of the slipped stitch.

Notes on making the swatch

As with the previous instalments, there is an assumption that you can already knit (in-the-round, this time) and that you have worked through earlier posts before moving onto this one. 

It's easier if the colours have a high level of contrast. I chose a bright yellow Soft Fun Denim and the (NEW) Soft Fun Aquarel in 'fantasyscape'. They have the same base but the Aquarel knits up to look like a wash of watercolour, which I absolutely love, and this makes the yellow 'pop'. Oh, I should also mention that I used purple on purpose, so I'd remember to 'purl with purple' - how's that for alliteration? 

A swatch is your chance to try things out - use it to experiment without worrying about the outcome. I switched from wooden double pointed needles (DPNs) to metal circulars half way through mine, and you can probably see from images above, my tension changed quite a lot when I changed needles. I noted that my stitches were tighter and neater with the DPNs, but I didn't enjoy working with them at all! Next time I'll try wooden circulars to see how they compare.
    Soft Fun Aquarel and Denim  50g = 140m 60% Cotton / 40% Acrylic, project bag handmade by my friend Gilly


    • Soft Fun Denim in colour 518 (C1)
    • Soft Fun Aquarel in colour 809 (C2) 
    • 4mm needles for knitting in the round
    • 3.5mm needles for knitting in the round
    • Optional - stitch marker


    • Using 4mm needles and C1, cast on an even number of stitches (I used 36, but 30 would have actually been enough for this little jar, which I found after I'd cast on)
    • Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist
    • Work in garter stitch (knit one round, purl the next) for four rounds
    • Switch to 3.5mm needles, then set-up as follows
      • Set-up A:  *Sl1yo, p; repeat from * to end of round, then leave C1 at the front of the work 
      • Set-up B: Using C2 *brk, sl1yo; rep from * to end of round, then leave C2 to the back of the work
      • Round 1: Using C1 *sl1yo, brp; rep from *  to end, leaving C1 to the front
      • Round 2: Using C2 *brk, sl1yo; rep from * to end, leaving C2 to the back
      • Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until the work measures 8 cm or is to the desired size
    • Switch back to 4 mm needles and MC to work garter stitch for four rounds (remember that the 'sl1yo pairs' count as a single stitch!)
    • Bind off loosely
    It's reversible!  

    Further Project Ideas

    By changing the number of stitches, you can use these basic instructions to make any tubular item such as a cowl, an earwarmer or headband, or how about boot toppers, armwarmers or legwarmers. Use your swatch to work out the gauge and then use that, and a measuring tape, to calculate the number of stitches you'd need to cast on for your chosen item. Remember that this fabric is very stretchy so you will need to account for that too.

    If you were in any doubt about why brioche is such hot property right now, check out the latest collection from Stephen West! I am completely in love with the patterns that have been released so far and can't wait to cast on.

    COMING SOON: Two colour brioche worked flat (back and forth) and then we can move onto shaping... once I've practiced that a bit more! Oh and if you like trying new things, be sure to also check out my previous post

    § My thanks to Scheepjes for supporting this 'Brioche Basics' series - in the UK, Scheepjes yarns are stocked by Deramores and Wool Warehouse, who also post internationally. Find a full list of international stockists here


    1. I really enjoy brioche knitting but still find it tricky at times. Especially correcting mistakes. But I do like working it with two colours, since you're really working with just one colour at a time anyway. I love the little jar cover! The colours look gorgeous together...


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