Friday, August 5, 2011

New Pattern - Brioche Nine Patch Reversible Blanket

I had the pleasure of teaching a brioche class at one of my local yarn stores a month ago (Broad Ripple Knits - a wonderful shop).  The class was intended to be an introduction to brioche techniques to be conducted over 3, 2-hour sessions.  I wanted a sampler-type project that could be used to teach several different techniques.

I settled on a crib blanket for a couple of different reasons.  First, a blanket is just the kind of item that takes advantage of brioche's reversibility.  Brioche also creates wonderful, rich texture that can only be described as squishy.  Again, just perfect for a small crib blanket. 

I wanted the construction to be somewhat portable, incorporating small sections that could hopefully be finished before the next class session.  So I came up with a design that is worked in 3 strips of 3 squares each.  Each strip is knit in one piece, changing the design within the strip so that seaming is minimized. 

Here is the result.  The crib size (30"x30") uses 3, 100g skeins of worsted weight.  I used Cascade 220 Superwash.  I actually only used 2 skeins of the contrast color (tan) but I recommend buying an extra as it gives more flexibility to switch the colors around in the blocks. 

Several students used Berrocco Ultra (an alpaca blend) and the results were really stunning - creating  a true heirloom piece.
And here is the reverse side.   The pattern is available for purchase in my ravelry store or through the link on My Designs.  The stitches used include 2-color brioche rib, 2-color brioche honeycomb, and cascade stitch.   I also include the Italian method for creating a tubular cast on and bind off.  I love this technique because it is quick (once you get the hang of the needle movement) and creates beautiful, stretchy edges where the cast on and bind off match exactly.  I've developed some video tutorials to help with each technique.  
As with all of my brioche work, I've used the terminology that Nancy Marchant has standardized in her book Knitting Brioche.  I can't say enough great things about this book, it changed my knitting life.

If you try this pattern, I hope you find as much joy in creating brioche stitches as I do.

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