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.
The table of contents goes like this: Introduction, Working Brioche Stitch with One Colour, Working Brioche Stitch Using More than One Colour, Brioche Stitchionary, Design Elements of Brioche Stitch, Projects. There are 25 patterns, so it is a little less pattern intensive than Knit One Below, but technically this book leaves K1B in the dust. Also, there are projects I didn't really like, but they are more than made up by some truly classically gorgeous pieces that are also elegant and stylish in a way multicoloured projects sometimes are not able to match. Favourites are Haarlem Jacket (names are from the Netherlands), Vlinder Shawl, Leiden look Vest, and New Amsterdam Cardigan. All in all the patterns include a nice mix of accessories and sweaters/cardigans. I didn't care all that much for Herfst Avond Wrist cuffs (they look a little awkward...) but others might find them neat. In any case they are rather original, as most of the patterns in the book. For sure it would be difficult to complain about those patterns looking the same as all the others out there.
A great book, Marchant's professionalism is humbling but I am very glad she wrote that book.
on May 3, 2013
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.