By JC | May 29, 2012
Lately, I haven’t been able to commit to any long-term projects. Shoot, I haven’t been able to commit to anything bigger than a swatch. But that’s okay. I like swatching.
Case in point: along with a number of my fellow Stitches teachers, I volunteered to create swatches for the Great Wall of Yarn at next month’s TNNA, the trade show where yarn shop owners go shopping. For shop owners, the GWOY is a chance to see how featured yarns behave when worked up into fabric. For us swatchers, it’s a fun chance to play with new yarns.
Living up to its name, this yarn is really skinny. And for a yarn this fine, the knee-jerk reaction is to knit lace. But something about its delicate hand convinced me to go in another direction: softly textured brioche. After some fits and starts, I settled on a pattern inspired by the Half Brioche Feather Stitch in Nancy Marchant’s Knitting Brioche… but to create a reversible fabric, I went with a full brioche version:
If you’re into brioche fabric, Nancy’s book is a fabulous resource. In the process of knitting this swatch, I tried a number of the increases and decreases it describes before finally picking my favorites. And I discovered a new favorite selvedge for brioche fabric:
Sweet, isn’t it? And it matches the row gauge of the brioche fabric perfectly. Yet it’s so simple: essentially, you work 3 I-cord stitches at each edge. Nancy’s original instructions called for working “slip 1 wyif, k1, slip 1 wyif” at the beginning and end of WS rows, and “k1, slip 1 wyif, k1” at the beginning and end of RS rows. But because I didn’t want to keep track of RS vs. WS rows, I chose to work “slip 1 wyif, k1, slip 1 wyif” at the beginning and “k1, slip 1 wyif, k1” at the end of every row; this was easier for me to keep track of. Either way, the result is the same: because every stitch is worked only every other row – just as in brioche rib – the row gauges match and the selvedge is perfectly smooth, without any ruffling or puckering. Love. It.