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Brioche book–A Must

Nancy Marchant is the queen of brioche stitch.  It says so right on her website.  I discovered her some years ago and read the website and made a shawl in a simple two color brioche.  What I loved about the stitch even more than the bounciness of it or the way it mixes colors was the rhythm of knitting it.  Nancy and I share a mutual friend–the amazing camp roommate Gay.  Gay told me about this book before it was published and I stalked it.

It is a treasure.  Nancy takes you by the hand, and with clear text and gorgeous, large photos, she teaches you an enormous amount of stitch techniques that blend two or more yarns into fascinating textures.  Yes, you can just use one yarn (see), but I found it was easier for me to learn this stitch using two colors. It made it easier to see what to knit and what to slip.  Anyway, I can truthfully say that the teaching part of this book is the best I’ve read since Sally Melville’s The Knit Stitch and you know teaching is what I am all about.

The patterns in the back are beautiful, but even they have a teaching quality.  Knit a few and you will be comfortable designing your own.  Nancy seems to be all about teaching as well.  More pics of the patterns here.

I have knit one of the patterns.  Steve needed a softer scarf, so it was  perfect timing.  The yarn is Prairie Silk from Brown Sheep. It’s a worsted mix of wool, mohair and silk and I think they have discontinued it.  I bought mine at knitting camp directly from Peggy Wells who runs the company.  Seems like she sold it to us because they were discontinuing it.

I learned the Italian cast on Nancy recommends and it looks lovely.  I had to fiddle a bit to get the edges the way I like them, so I only photographed the good edges.  (Hey, it’s my blog and you know I love to cheat.)  She has clear directions, but I just like to fiddle.

I’ve never been a big fan of double knitting before.  Maybe I didn’t like the idea of knitting twice as many rows just to get thickness or pattern.  However, seeing how these little bits of double knit shape and enhance the scarf has really intrigued me.  Nancy includes a chart which shows multiple ways of placing the double knit squares and how they can effect shape.  Guess several more folks will get a new scarf.

Take time to look this up at your LYS.  It is a remarkable book with so much to teach and share.  If you can’t find it, at least visit the website.  I really believe Nancy’s aim is more to share her love of the stitch and all its possibilities than merely to sell a book.


One Response

  1. Ohh, this might get me to make a scarf again– it’s very cool. Guess I’ll have to find the book at my LYS here — heavier wt/thickness works for Boston!

    Keep warm!


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