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Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch [Paperback]

Nancy Marchant
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 33.99
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Book Description

Jan. 13 2010
Hungry for new knitting techniques? Try knitting brioche!

Knitting Brioche is the first and only knitting book devoted exclusively to brioche stitch, a knitting technique that creates a double-sided fabric. This complete guide will take you from your first brioche stitches to your first (or hundredth) project, and even to designing with brioche stitch, if you desire. Whether you're new to brioche knitting or experienced at "brioching," author Nancy Marchant provides the information and inspiration you need.

Inside Knitting Brioche, you'll find:

  • Detailed instructions and step-by-step photos that will guide you through all of the techniques you'll need for brioche knitting.
  • A stitch dictionary including 60 beautiful stitch patterns with many multicolor options.
  • 25 patterns for garments and accessories, all made with brioche stitches, some combined with other design elements including cables, lace, intarsia and more!
Grab your needles and yarn and take a bite out of brioche knitting.

Frequently Bought Together

Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch + Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting + Vogue® Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book: History * Technique * Design
Price For All Three: CDN$ 58.85

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Nancy Marchant first discovered the brioche stitch when she moved to the Netherlands in 1976. She became fascinated with brioche knitting and wrote about it in Vogue Knitting Magazine, as well as in a number of other knitting magazines. She maintains a Web site on the subject at and teaches brioche knitting both locally and at large yarn shows.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Hayley Cann TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is the best book on any type of stitch made by picking up stitches on the row below or slipping stitches with yarn overs. Call it brioche if you want, but that's not what people in Europe call it, and it is somewhat of a misnomer, even if Weldon's called it such. Actually, the book is so well researched and written, with a genuine pleasure in explaining the origins of this stitch that is extensively used in Europe, that the author includes a passage on the origin of the name brioche stitch.

The author has the modesty not to claim the discovery of this stitch for herself and provides a delightful introduction to it. What she can claim for herself is the huge amount of technical information and explanations that come in the first part of the book. She explains the best cast-ons for different types of striped brioche knitting, in as much details as providing three types of two-colour cast-ons, different types of selvedge stitches, different types of stitches with diagrams, with short-hand instructions, on even and odd numbered amounts of stitches, different types of increases, different types of decreases that are appropriate for the stitches. How to knit the brioche stitches american style, continental style, eastern style. Really I get the feeling that Marchant is bending over backwards to be of use to any type of knitter. And not only is the amount of information she provides accurate and useful, but it is presented with a lot of clear pictures, precise written instructions. In some places, you have extra pictures that not only show you the result of a stitch but also the wrong side of the work, so you understand the stitch construction better. Even her texts are written in an interesting tone. Truly an awesome editing effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting technique. got me hooked May 3 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am now hooked on the brioche knitting. I found the instructions confusing, though. But I managed to figure them out eventually through much trial and error. Sometimes, i even had to try someone else's technique before these instructions made sense. Now i recognize the pattern from where i am in the knitting just by looking at the stitch pattern.
I guess it was the row by row instructions that sometimes threw me. Then i started knitting lots of dishcloths until the pattern came clear. My mind is teeming with possibilities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and easy technique May 22 2012
By Heather TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting, easy to learn technique that allows me to whip up something in more than one colour without much problem. It's a useful reference book that I'll be keeping handy once the winter knitting for charity season is upon us.
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By Brenda
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book it totally worth the money! Brioche is gorgeous but does take some training and explanation! Love the book and the condition it came in was perfect!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  84 reviews
235 of 245 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for content and achievement, but format is not ideal Dec 22 2009
By JulyGirl - Published on
I have long admired Nancy's work on her website, and I'm grateful to be able to work from printed instructions now, rather than having to use a computer screen while trying to knit. The content is SO amazing that I cannot understand some of the choices that were made by the publisher and or book designer.

Most importantly, a book that requires that the knitter work very carefully, line by line, with brand new, very detailed terminology and symbols should be presented in an enclosed spiral binding format or at least in a hardcover format. This paperback is $27.99 at full retail price, and for a few dollars more, the publisher could have created a much more durable book that stays open on its own, hands-free (this one will not stay open unless one breaks the binding). Secondly, the graphic designer did a reasonably good job, expanding the size of the typeface, and the leading, on pages with less total content (making it easier to read), but pages such as the symbol definition page (p. 13) are much too compressed (the designer should have made the symbols twice as large and dedicated two pages for the purpose of symbol definition...especially given how large all of the instructional photos are on neighboring pages). Many other instructional pages in the book not only have a small typeface but are printed on colored backgrounds (such as saturated lavender) rather than on white or another light color. While this makes for a very "pretty" book in which different sections of the book can be identified quickly by their background color, the first goal of an instructional/reference book on a challenging subject should be to make it as easy to read/see as possible. I'm definitely going to have eye strain as a result of the poor contrast between some of the type and the background upon which it is set. This is a mistake that Interweave Knits also has just made in recently redesigning its magazine, and I'm very surprised that so many graphic designers and knitting book editors are sacrificing function for the sake of form. Books that are primarily meant to teach should prioritize function over form, but I see no reason why both goals cannot be achieved.

I share the opinion of the other reviewer who commented upon the photos. For some reason, we are given gorgeous, artful, close-up views of SECTIONS of various projects, but in many cases we're not given a full-view of the item. Even some of the sweaters are only partially shown, and many are lacking views from alternate angles. While there are graphic representations (rather small, too) of what a potential scarf design might be (in the design chapter), the actual scarf patterns themselves do not have either a detailed graphic representation or a full-view photo. Given the incredible attention that the author paid to super-detailed notes for each pattern, and given the totally innovative nature of these projects, the lack of a reliable visual reference for many of the longer projects (such as scarves) is surprising and will force knitters to rely on each other's Ravelry photos for points of reference.

The design elements chapter is wonderful, but I wish it had been twice as long, with many more examples and a "how to do it yourself" section with concrete steps rather than vague suggestions as to what one might, in theory, do if one were already a master at these techniques. A page of blank graphing paper set up specifically for multicolor brioche designs would have been very helpful indeed, just as intarsia knitting books often provide a few pages of knitter's graph paper.

The only other disappointment is that, as is common with European sizing, many of the sweaters have a minimum size that is much too large for this knitter. The most creative sweater (the Haarlem Jacket) in the book begins with a size medium and a chest size of 39" as the minimum size. It is a gorgeous project, and I regret that I will not be able to make it; the style would flatter me if offered in a smaller size. Many of the patterns don't have a wide size range. I imagine that re-sizing is very challenging in brioche stitch, which is all the more reason for the author, who is an expert, to have done this work for us.

Given the complexity of the written instructions, I pray that the book doesn't have errata. This book is a completely masterful achievement, and my main wish, probably in vain, is that the publishers will consider releasing a second edition in a hardcover with an enclosed spiral binding, and additional photos, or at least a reference to additional project photos which could be provided online at the author's website.
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough book on a little known knitting technique Dec 14 2009
By A. Bish - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hats off to Nancy Marchant. She has written an excellent book. The directions and illustrations are very clear and easy to follow. There are more pages devoted to brioche stitch techniques than patterns, which is what a book about the brioche stitch needs. The patterns include cardigans, pullovers and vest for men and women,scarves, hats, snoods, and various odd items like boot cuffs, and wristlets. I can't wait to see other people finish some of these items and post better pictures on Ravelry. That is my only gripe with this book... I wish there were more pictures of the finished projects in this book. The pictures are adequate, but not inspiring. Only because I've done brioche patterns before, do I know that in person these projects are probably more amazing than the photo shows.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brioche is addicting! May 2 2010
By Marie Biancuzzo - Published on
Once you have tried even the simplest few rows of knitting brioche, you'll be addicted. You'll also be amazed, perplexed, and sometimes you'll be cussing a blue streak, but you won't be able to walk away from it. I've been knitting for decades, but this brioche thing is unlike anything I've ever attempted.

The book is beautifully illustrated with full-color pictures; arrows point to the stitch being discussed in the technique, and all shots are fairly close up. Each technique is described in terms of when the technique might be useful (e.g., "great if you want a firmer fabric") and other hints, such as using a smaller needle than what you might usually use with a particular yarn. A full set of symbols are provided, and there are mini-diagrams for each technique to show which row has what, and whether it's a right-side or wrong-side row. The book starts with basic techniques, moves to move complicated techniques, and ends with 25 patterns which are much too difficult for me to attempt just yet. The book says it has an appendix, but I'm unable to find the appendix in my copy.

I disagree with the directive to start with one color. Luckily, I started with one solid color and one variegated color, and the differing colors was the only thing that helped me to "read" the stitches.

Luckily, the author's web site [...] has a few simpler (and free!) patterns, and a few very short video tutorials. The author is also amazingly prompt and responsive to e-mail inquiries.

To me, this book's biggest weakness is that there is virtually no instruction on how to fix mistakes. There are a few brief paragraphs suggesting that the key is pulling out one column of knitting but since there is little text description and no photos whatsoever, I end up pulling out entire rows because, after about 50 attempts (no exaggeration!) I am still unable to figure out how to rip out just one column. I am hoping that an accompanying dvd will be created to enhance this book's usefulness. I've never needed a tutorial for knitting, but I sure could use one for brioche!

If you want to knit something exceptionally warm, beautiful and unusual, buy this book and learn brioche from the master!
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tons to learn in this book! Dec 14 2009
By galleylama - Published on
I had the opportunity to take a class on Estonian Patent Steeks, which is brioche knitting...I was amazed how beautiful the knitting fabric was. Today I opened this book and was totally mesmerized...the knit items are gorgeous and the tutorials for the stitches are clear, detailed and accompanied by beautiful pictures. This book makes you want to knit everything in it. There is so much to learn in this book! Buy it you won't regret it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Treatment of Brioche Technique Jan. 24 2010
By Joyce Owens - Published on
I am not an advanced knitter, but find that the instructions in this book are so clear and defined that within twenty minutes, I already had a swatch going in the basic stitch. I think many of the stitches shown are within my reach. I love the interplay of colors possible and I really love and plan to make at least five of the projects. There are enough different techniques and stitches shown here to keep me from being bored for quite some time. I especially love the hedera jacket. There is a good range of sizes on the jackets and there are many smaller projects as well. I love that in the stitch dictionary the reverse side is shown because I like many of the "wrong" side patterns as well or better than the right side! I agree with the reviewers that would like better pictures of the projects. I would really love to see the scarves especially for the entire length. I really did not want to decrease the rating because of this since I am so entirely happy with the rest of the book. Bravo to this author for her wonderful innovative treatment of the subject of brioche knitting!
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