This cowl is ideal for people who are new to two-color brioche. It starts off with a provisional cast on and a two-color textured section before starting with the “intimidating” part. If you breathe deeply and take a little time, this might be just the project where you actually master it. With just a few stitches on the needles, every row goes by in a blur and before you know it you will be done. By the way, benri means “useful” in Japanese; I hope this cowl will be useful for you, too!
MC: The Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet (4ply/Fingering weight; 90% merino, 10% nylon; 425 yds/389 m per 4 oz./115 g skein), 1 skein
CC: Quince & Co. Piper (Lace weight; 50% merino, 50% mohair; 305 yds/279 m per 50g skein), 1 skein
Size US 5/3.75mm circular needles, at least 24“ / 60cm long or needle size to obtain gauge
Short length of waste yarn (e.g. sock yarn) to cast on provisionally
22 sts and 25 rows = 10cm in two-color brioche, unblocked
55 ⅛” around by 6” wide / 140cm around by 15cm wideAbbreviations
See our standard abbreviations.
brk – brioche knit; knit the stitch and its corresponding yo
brkyobrk – brioche knit, yo, brioche knit into the same st (2 sts increased)
brLsl dec – Left-slanting brioche decrease; slip the first stitch knitwise, brk the following two sts together, pass the slipped st over (2 sts decreased)
brp – brioche purl; purl the stitch and its corresponding yo
sl1yo – Slip one st purlwise while also making a yo. The st and its yo are treated as a single st
All sts and its corresponding yo are counted as a single st. St count remains the same throughout the piece.
CO 51 sts using a provisional cast on and MC. Join CC in Row 1.
Section 1: Textured Stitch
For this textured section, you are basically working corrugated ribbing, flat. On WS rows, carry floats on back side of fabric. At the end of WS rows, let CC end hang off in front of your work. Do not twist yarns at the end of each row. On RS rows, carry only floats of MC on front side of work.
Row 1 (WS): Sl1, *k1 CC, put CC yarn to front of work, p1 MC, rep from * to last 2 sts, k1 CC, k1 MC.
Row 2 (RS): Sl1, *p1 CC, bring CC yarn to back of work, k1 MC, rep from * to last 2 sts, p1 CC, k1 MC.
Rep Rows 1 – 2 until work measures 4” / 10 cm.
Section 2: Two-color Brioche
Row 1 (RS): Using MC, sl1, *sl1yo, brk, rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 2 (RS): Using CC, sl1, *brp, sl1yo, rep from * to last 2 sts, brp, sl1.
Row 3 (WS): Using MC, sl1, *sl1yo, brp, rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 4 (WS): Using CC, sl1, *brk, sl1yo, rep from * to last 2 sts, brk, sl1.
Rep these four rows 11 more times or until work measures about 8” / 20 cm, unstretched and measured from CO.
Section 3: Wave Brioche
Next row (RS): Using MC, sl1, work 19 sts in established brioche patt, brkyobrk, work 15 sts in established brioche patt, brLsldec, work patt to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1.
Rows 2-4: Work as Rows 2-4 above.
Row 5: Using MC, sl1, work 21 sts in patt, brkyobrk, work 13 sts in patt, brLsldec, work patt to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1
Rows 6-8: Work as Rows 2-4 above.
Row 9: Using MC, sl1, work 23 sts in patt, brkyobrk, work 11 sts in patt, brLsldec, work patt to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1
Rows 10-12: Work as Rows 2-4 above.
Row 13: Using MC, sl1, work 25 sts in patt, brkyobrk, work 9 sts in patt, brLsldec, work patt to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1
Row 14-16: Work as Rows 2-4 above.
Row 17: Using MC, sl1, work 27 sts in patt, brkyobrk, work 7 sts in patt, brLsldec, work patt to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1
Rows 18-20: Work as Rows 2-4 above.
Continue working 20 rows in brioche patt from setup.
Rep these 40 rows 8 more times. Work should measure about 39 ½”/100 cm.
Section 4: Two-color Brioche
Repeat Rows 1-4 as in Section 2 until work measures 47 ¼”/120 cm.
Cut both yarns but leave a MC tail that is at least three times the length of your last row. Weave a thread of waste yarn through live sts and wet-block your piece. Note: You can also block your cowl after grafting but keep in mind that it will take longer to dry.
When it is fully dried, undo the provisional cast-on and put sts on your needle. There will only be 50 sts to pick up. Put live sts from section 4 on your needle as well and using the long tail from bind off, graft them together, remembering that a st and its yo are counted as a single st. Alternatively, use a three needle bind-off to join ends.
About the Designer: Sarah Brunenberg
Sarah lives and knits in a small town near Cologne, Germany. She started knitting during her university studies to busy her fingers. Her mother showed her the basics and she soon found herself alternating patterns to fit. When she is not knitting, she scurries between the shelves of a Japanese bookstore.