Brioche, fisherman’s rib, half-brioche, English rib … these are all names for what looks a lot like the same super-squishy ribbed fabric, except the method of getting there is slightly different. Or maybe they’re all different names for the same fabric and the methods of achieving it are interchangeable? I can’t figure it out — some people use the names interchangeably and others seem to have fixed ideas about underlying distinctions thereof. I don’t know! As far as I can tell, the latter three are all some version of a knit-1-below technique whereas brioche involves working paired yarnovers together with adjacent stitches. (Am I right about that much, anyone?) Whether that leads to a molecularly different fabric or is just an alternate path to the same fabric, I’ve never done it and would love to try it someday. (I have done the knit-1-below version, and love it.) I’m into this little Lang sweater pattern, 242-41, but if it is in fact brioche — as I’m defining it here —I’d want to try the technique on a smaller canvas before diving into a whole sweater. Kirsten Johnstone’s Shinko Hat is a gem, with shifting bands of brioche. And then there’s Purl Soho’s wildly appealing Fluffy Brioche Hat (free pattern), which is sort of a seed-stitch equivalent in brioche.
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