Brioche Stitch

Brioche Stitch creates a wonderfully lofty, widely ribbed fabric. People often find it intimidating. Perhaps due to the yarn overs or maybe because of the abbreviations used in the pattern. Below is a step-by-step explaination of this surprisingly easy stitch, along with a few helpful notes to keep in mind. (Pictured above is our Brioche Scarf)


Slip all slipped stitches purlwise unless indicated otherwise.

When counting stitches in Brioche Stitch, yarnovers are not included in the stitch count; they are paired with a knit stitch, and the pair of knit/yarnover are counted as a single stitch. The stitch pattern will produce a very pronounced rib; count only the purl and knit columns when counting stitches.

The most basic version of Brioche Stitch is worked over an even number of stitches. This creates an asymmetrical fabric. To create a symmetrical Brioche Stitch fabric, one or more edge, or selvedge, stitches can be added. Below, you can find step-by-step instructions for the basic principals of Brioche Stitch.

Abbreviations + Terms

bk2tog [brioche knit 2 together]: knit next knit stitch together with its paired yarnover

YOS [yarn over slip]: bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn over right needle

The Pattern

Loosely cast on an even number of stitches.

Set Up Row: *YOS, k1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 1: *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Row 1.

And now, the above instructions broken down, step-by-step...

Loosely cast on an even number of stitches.

Then, work one Set-Up Row.

Set-Up Row: *Bring yarn forward, slip one purlwise...

bring yarn over right needle...

knit one...

repeat from * to end of row.

Then, work Row 1.

Row 1: *Bring yarn forward, slip one purlwise...

bring yarn over right needle...

knit the next stitch together with its paired yarnover, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Row 1.

NOTE: It takes several rows for the rib to take shape.

(Pictured above is our Brioche Vest)

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9 Responses to Brioche Stitch

  1. margo says:

    Question: on the first three selvedge stitches, when you slip 1 wyif, do you keep the yarn in front when you knit the next stitch (creating a yarn over) or do you put the yarn at the back before knitting the stitch?

  2. marjoriejoy says:

    did Margo receive an answer, and if so may I ask what that answer is

  3. purl bee says:

    Hi Margo,
    I am so sorry I haven't responded until now! I did not see this comment come in. My apologies.

    Thank you so much for following up.

    For the basic Brioche Stitch above, there are no selvedge stitches.

    For the Brioche Vest and the Brioche Scarf, there are selvedge stitches.

    In the selvedge stitches of both of those projects, you do NOT keep the yarn in front with you knit the next stitch, you put the yarn in back before knitting. This is a great question. Again, apologies on the delayed response, Margo.

    Please let me know if you have more questions.

  4. Lilop says:

    So I only knit row 1.
    How simple!

  5. yashira says:

    I really love all the things you've made, everything is just beautiful but I wish you would post videos of you in the process of making it for the more visual people like me (:

  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Yashira-

    Thank you for writing in about this. We will definitely consider doing a Brioche Stitch video in the future. In the meantime- if you have any specific questions we'd be happy to help you!



  7. Renee says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for your response however I am still confused. The yarn over comes from the front and to the back so will I be pearling the first stitch in the bundle and knitting the second with the yarn over?

    Thank you

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Renee,
    I am so sorry. I totally see why the pattern has you confused. There is an error!
    You should either repeat Row 1 once more before "Next Row" and then start with a knit row in the final stockinette portion.
    Next Row should read "…*p1, bk2tog, repeat from * to last four stitches…"
    I am going to correct the pattern right now.
    Thank you for taking the time to write in and pointing this out! Thank you. Thank you.

  9. Isa says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and the instruction is superb. Fantastic.

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