Rooted in my days of wearing school uniforms, my longtime adoration of vests is based in their practicality. Well, at least that was the case before this one… for a vest in brioche stitch is no longer just for logistical layering.

Brioche stitch has as decadent a feel as its namesake has flavor. Deep ridges and valleys give it a rich textural appeal, while wide, airy ribbing provides an unexpected loftiness. Plus, it begs for shaping details; even minimal decreases (like I did here) add a beautiful curve up and around an otherwise linear fabric.

Knit in Purl Soho’s sumptuous Worsted Twist, these soft ribs will hug your core toasty warm all fall, winter and into spring. There will be few times you won’t find an excuse to wear your Brioche Vest!

Even with its multi-seasonal layer-ability, I think the luxurious feel of cuddling into this generously turtlenecked vest trumps issues of practicality?!? Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I should keep testing it out to be sure… -Laura

Materials

Gauge

3 3/4 stitches and 5 rows = 1 inch in Brioche Stitch (see Pattern Notes), on largest needle

Sizes

Women's XSmall (Small, Medium, Large, XLarge)
  • Finished Chest Circumference: 29 1/2 (33 1/2, 38, 42, 46 1/2) inches
  • Length from Shoulder to Bottom Edge: 21 3/4 (22 1/4, 22 3/4, 23 1/4, 23 1/4) inches
  • Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 13 inches (with instructions to lengthen)

Notes

Abbreviations

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

bk3tog [right leaning brioche decrease]: to make a right leaning decrease in brioche stitch, work up to the knit column  before the marked knit column you'd like to slant; it will have a yarnover paired with it. K2tog (the next knit stitch with its paired yarnover, and the following purl stitch), slip the resulting stitch back to the left needle, pass the following stitch (a knit stitch and its paired yarnover) over the first stitch on the left needle and off the left needle, move the resulting stitch back to the right needle. (2 stitches decreased) Click here for a photo tutorial.

bp2tog: purl next purl stitch together with its paired yarnover.

bsk2p [left leaning brioche decrease]: to make a left leaning decrease in brioche stitch, work up to the marked knit column that you'd like to slant; it will have a yarnover paired with it. Slip this stitch and its yarnover together knitwise, k2tog (a purl stitch followed by a knit stitch and its paired yarnover), pass the slipped stitch and its yarnover together over and off the right needle. (2 stitches decreased) Click here for a photo tutorial.

yon: bring yarn over right needle.

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

wyib: with yarn in back.

wyif: with yarn in front.

Brioche Stitch

This Brioche Stitch pattern includes selvedge stitches. Click here for a photo tutorial explaining the basic principals of Brioche Stitch. Also, please see the Pattern Notes section (below) for more details!

(odd number of stitches)

Set-Up Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, p1, yon, k1, *YOS, k1, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2.

Row 1: Slip 1 wyib, k1, *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: Slip 1 wyif, p1, yon, k2tog, *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for Brioche Stitch.

Additional Notes

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 or purl stitch (only when working in the round), and the pair of knit/yarnover or purl/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.

When working decreases, you will always be decreasing two stitches at a time in order to preserve the rib pattern.

Pattern

Front

Note: Slip all slipped stitches purlwise unless indicated otherwise.

Cast 55 (63, 71, 79, 87) stitches on to the smallest needle.

Begin Brioche Stitch; work even until piece measures 1 inch from the cast-on edge.

Change to the middle size needle; work even until piece measures 4 inches from the cast-on edge.

Change to the largest size needle; work even until piece measures 13 inches from the cast-on edge, or to desired length from cast-on edge to underarm.

Place removable stitch marker on 6th st in from each edge; this will be a knit column. Do not move these markers up as you go; leave them in place to mark the beginning of the armholes.

Shape Armholes

Decrease Row (right side): Work in established pattern to marked stitch and its paired yarnover, bsk2p, continue in established pattern to 2 stitches (a knit stitch and its paired yarnover, and the following purl stitch) before next marked stitch and its yarnover, bk3tog, work to end of row in established pattern. (4 stitches decreased)

Next Row: Work even.

Repeat previous two rows two (three, four, five, six) more times. [43 (47, 51, 55, 59) stitches remain]

Work even until piece measures 6 1/2 (7, 7 1/2, 8, 8) inches from marked stitch, ending with a wrong side row.

Dividing Front Left and Front Right

Next Row (right side): Working in established pattern, work 13 (15, 17, 17, 19) stitches (ending with a YOS) and place on stitch holder or waste yarn for Front Left (including the last yarnover from the YOS), work 17 (17, 17, 21, 21) stitches and place on a separate holder for Collar, work to end. [13 (15, 17, 17, 19) stitches remain on needle for Front Right]

Front Right

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, p1, yon, k2tog, *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to end.

Next Row (decrease row): Place removable stitch marker on 8th (10, 12, 12, 14th) stitch from right edge; this will be a knit column. [Bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bk2tog] twice, bring yarn forward, slip 1, bsk2p, work to end. (2 stitches decreased)

Repeat previous 2 rows two more times. [7 (9, 11, 11, 13) stitches remain]

Front Right Shoulder

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, *p1, bk2tog, repeat from * to end.

Next Row: *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off 2 (3, 4, 4, 4) stitches in pattern, work to end of row. [5 (6, 7, 7, 9) stitches remain]

Next Row: Work even.

Repeat previous 2 rows once. [3 (3, 3, 3, 5) stitches remain]

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off remaining stitches in pattern. Cut yarn, leaving 10-inch tail for sewing shoulders together later.

Front Left

With wrong side facing, join yarn to work 13 (15, 17, 17, 19) Front Left stitches.

Next Row (wrong side): K2tog, *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2.

Next Row (decrease row): Place removable stitch marker on 8th (10, 12, 12, 14th) stitch from right edge; this will be a knit column. Work to 2 stitches before marked stitch and its yarnover, bk3tog, *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, YOS. (2 stitches decreased)

Repeat previous 2 rows two more times. [7 (9, 11, 11, 13 stitches remain]

Front Left Shoulder

Next Row (wrong side): *Bk2tog, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off 2 (3, 4, 4, 4) stitches in pattern, work to end of row. [5 (6, 7, 7, 9) stitches remain]

Next Row: Work even.

Repeat previous 2 rows once. [3 (3, 3, 3, 5) stitches remain]

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off remaining stitches in pattern. Cut yarn, leaving 10-inch tail for sewing shoulders together later.

Back

Follow pattern for FRONT through Shape Armholes section. [43 (47, 51, 55, 59) stitches remain]

Work even in established pattern until piece measures 8 (8 1/2, 9, 9 1/2, 9 1/2) inches from marked stitch, ending with a wrong side row.

Back Shoulders

Next Row (right side): Work in established pattern to last 7 (9, 11, 11, 13) stitches, *p1, k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off 2 (3, 4, 4, 4) stitches in pattern, work in established patterns to last 7 (9, 11, 11, 13) stitches, *k2tog, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1. [41 (44, 47, 51, 55) stitches remain]

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off 2 (3, 4, 4, 4) stitches in pattern, work to end. [39 (41, 43, 47, 51) stitches remain]

Repeat previous row twice. [35 (35, 35, 39, 43) stitches remain]

Next Row (decrease row): Bind off 3 (3, 3, 3, 5) stitches in pattern, work to end. [32 (32, 32, 36, 38) stitches remain]

Repeat previous row once. [29 (29, 29, 33, 33) stitches remain]

Do not cut yarn; keep ball attached and set aside.

Shoulders

Sew together the shoulders. I used a whip-stitch technique going under each V of the bind-off edges with right sides facing one another.

Collar

With right side facing, you will now pick up stitches along the Front Left Neckline, work across the Front stitches on hold, pick up stitches along the Front Right Neckline, then work across the Back stitches, and place marker and join for working in the round. Here is how…

With largest needle, pick up 9 stitches along Front Left neckline in the following fashion: *pick up 1 stitch, bring yarn to front, yon and pick up 1 stitch, repeat from * four times, pick up 1 stitch. Now work across the 17 (17, 17, 21, 21) Front Center stitches on hold in the following fashion: *slip 1 purlwise wyif, yon to front again, bp2tog, repeat from * to last stitch on hold, slip 1 purlwise wyif, yon to back. Pick up 9 stitches along Front Left neckline in the following fashion: *pick up 1 stitch, bring yarn to front, yon and pick up 1 stitch, repeat from * four times, pick up 1 stitch. Now work across the 29 (29, 29, 33, 33) Back stitches in the following fashion: *slip 1 purlwise wyif, yon to front again, bp2tog, repeat from * to last stitch on hold, slip 1 purlwise wyif, yon. [64 (64, 64, 72, 72) stitches]

Place marker and join for working in the round.

Round 1: *YOS, Bk2tog, repeat from * to end.

Round 2: *BP2tog, slip 1 wyif, yon to front again, repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until Collar measures 5 1/4 inches, or desired height.

Next Round: *Slip 1 wyif, k2tog, repeat from * to end.

Bind off loosely in rib pattern.

Finish

Side Seams

With a threaded tapestry needle, beginning at the height of the marked armhole stitch, and working towards the cast-on edge, use mattress stitch to sew together the sides. This vest was sewn together for 7 inches, leaving a 6-inch split seam.

Armhole Edging

With right side facing, using larger circular needle, beginning at center underarm, and picking up loosely, pick up a stitch from each edge “v” around entire armhole edge, binding off stitches as you go.

Last but not Least

Remove removable stitch markers, sew in your ends and block gently as desired and you are finished!