• What is Brioche Stitch?

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    If you're looking to make something extremely warm and cozy while also learning a new technique, brioche stitch is a great choice. The stitch is made by working yarn overs and slipped stitches, and knitting (or purling) them together to create what looks like an extremely puffy one-by-one rib. Confused? That's OK, it makes more sense when you try it.

    Brioche is a little complicated and confusing when you first set out to try it, but starts to make more sense when you get into it. If you try to read a brioche pattern without working it, your eyes will probably glaze over and cross, but I promise -- it's not so bad once you learn the terminology and get a feel for the stitches. In fact, it's addictive -- you'll be cranking out lofty, toasty pieces in one color and two color brioche, worked flat and in the round, and so on.

    You have to start with a set-up row, and you have to know what the terms are. Yes, it has its own terms -- and its own website, which is where the following terms came from:

    BRK -- brioche knit, or "bark" -- knit the slipped stitch from the previous row together with the YO next to it

    BRP -- brioche purl, or "burp" -- purl the slipped stitch from the previous row together with the YO next to it

    sl1yo -- this is where the brioche stitch gets its puff, and it's done differently depending on whether you're working a "bark" or "burp" row. When it follows a knit or BRK stitch, it goes as follows: bring the yarn UNDER the needle to the front, slip the next stitch, then move the yarn OVER the needle to the back. When it follows a purl or BRP, you slip the stitch THEN move the yarn over the needle to the back, around the slipped stitch, and back to the front.

    If you're working a flat piece, you only need two rows: the set-up row and the BRK row. To do that, you'll cast on an even number of stitches. Then work the set-up row as follows: *sl1yo, k1* across. Every row after that will be: *sl1yo, BRK* across.

    You'll need the BRP row if you decide to work brioche in the round (which you should -- a brioche cowl is just about the most luxurious thing to wear when it's bitterly cold out). You'll cast on an even number of stitches again, and, working in the round, do the same set-up row: *sl1yo, k1* around. Then you will alternate between two rows. Row 1 is * sl1yo, brk1* around. Row 2 is *brp1, sl1yo* around.

    You can also work brioche with two colors, which gives a garment a beautiful depth. You can read about that here, but wait until you've got the hang of single color first. As you can see below in the Triple Ruff pattern, two-color brioche looks fantastic and rich.

    Don't be scared to try brioche stitch! It looks complicated, but you'll get the hang of it really fast, and then you'll have a pretty new technique in your repertoire. The best way to learn it is to just do it. Work the stitches as you read about them, so you can see and feel what they are.

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  • Great Projects for Variegated Yarns

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    Variegated yarns, like our Shawl in a Ball®, Scarfie, and Color Waves, can make stunning pieces with stripes (sometimes they're called self-striping) or splashes of color. But they can also be tricky -- what project is best for them? How can you show off the yarn while still making something interesting?

    In the case of these yarns, simpler is generally better. While lace, cables, and texture are wonderful, they can sometimes detract from the beauty of variegated yarns. Using a basic stitch, like stockinette if you're knitting, is generally best. It allows the hues of the yarn to truly shine through and be the star of the project. We've gathered a handful of patterns -- including a couple of our super scarves -- that call for variegated yarns.

     

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  • The Curvy Girl KAL Starts This Week - Get Your Supplies Now!

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    This is not a drill -- the Curvy Girl Knit-Along starts this Friday! In case you missed it, we did a Facebook Live video yesterday where we shared some exciting news: the coupon for your Heartland® yarn has been extended, and it's now good through September 30. The code gets you 20% off if you buy 6 or more balls of Heartland® -- just enter Heartland2016 at checkout. We're making the Curvy Girl Cabled Cardigan, which takes 6, 7, or 8 balls depending on size.

    Knit-Pattern-Curvy-Girl-Cabled-Cardigan-L50109

     

    Now's the chance to get your supplies and join in the KAL. You'll need:

     

    The KAL officially begins this Friday, September 23, but you can join in at any time after that, so don't fret if you get your supplies later or don't have time to start this week. We'll be updating weekly to talk about progress, answer your questions, share photos, and just generally talk about this fun project! If you're making it along with me, please feel free to comment about how your project is going!

    If you're a crocheter, there's a crochet version of this cardigan as well. The Curvy Girl Crochet Cabled Cardigan also uses Heartland® yarn, so you can use the Heartland2016 discount for that project -- just buy six or more skeins. Feel free to make it alongside us knitters, and if you do, we'd love to see your progress too!

    If you want to see the original Curvy Girl Collection designs (including the knit cabled cardigan), check out this behind-the-scenes video below.

    Trouble viewing? Click here.

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