Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BRIOCHE DISHCLOTH MADNESS
Brioche stitch has always been one of my favorites. I suspect my infatuation with it began when I figured out that I could make deep, tidy ribbing without purling (see my previous post on PRIME RIB). I never cared much for purling. Another benefit of Brioche stitch is the fun easy rhythm of that "yarnover, slip, knit two together". A certain child of mine, who shall remain nameless lest he be embarrassed, set this little mantra to the tune of "One little two little three little Indians"!
I love to experiment with Brioche stitch. Making dishcloths is the perfect way to do it! The stripey violet cloth at above left is plain Prime Rib in two colors. Below are two variants made by beginning in the middle, and adding new ribs to the outer edge:
If you work the Brioche stitch on one side of the fabric only, and just knit the other side (but not the yarnovers, which are just slipped), you get what Barbara Walker refers to as "Double Brioche stitch". (Seems illogical to me- it should be named "Half Brioche stitch" in my opinion). In Nancy Marchant's new book on Brioche stitch, she refers to this stitch as "Honycomb Brioche". Whatever you call it, this is my favorite one to play with. Below left is simple Honeycomb Brioche, which is the basis for my "Colorwave" dishcloth pattern. Below right is what you get by giving alternate rows of yarnovers a simple twist. The difference is amazing, isn't it???
What happens if you knit every third row, and twist the relative positions of the yarnovers? You get this, below left. If you twist every other row, instead of every third row, you get this below right! (click to enlarge) Absolutely incredible!!
I have used Honeycomb Brioche to make numerous hats, mittens, scarves, and even sweaters, but have been handicapped by the relative difficulty of shaping the garments. Adding or removing stitches with Brioche is rather complicated. So I am very pleased to have recently discovered, thanks to the dishcloth experiments, a way to make the fabric wider or narrower. I worked these shapings into a dishcloth with a charming ripple pattern-- TA DA! This is the photo at the top! You will find the pattern HERE.
Perfect cotton yarn for making lots of dishcloths, as well as free patterns for same, is available on my website: click the link below!