Before you look at a two-color brioche swatch and think, I could never do that! — think again. Most knitters find two-color brioche to be easier to knit than one-color brioche because it’s easier to see where you are in the row.
One of the most basic two-color brioche stitches is the brioche rib. This stitch can be worked in the round or flat — but knitting flat can actually be a little trickier, so that’s what we’re using for this tutorial.
Here’s the pattern for a basic two-color brioche rib
Don’t worry, we’ll walk through each row in detail below. This is just for your reference later.
CA = Color A
CB = Color B
Set-up Row A (Wrong Side): With CA, sl1, * p1, sl1yo; repeat from * to last 2 sts, p2.
Set-up Row B (Wrong Side): With CB, sl1, * sl1yo, brk1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl1yo, p1.
Row 1 A (Right Side): With CA, sl1, *brk1, sl1yo; repeat from * to last 2 sts, brk1, k1.
Row 1 B (Right Side): With CB, sl1, * sl1yo, brp1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl1yo, k1.
Row 2 A (Wrong Side): With CA, sl1, * brp1, sl1yo; repeat from * to last 2 sts, brp1, p1.
Row 2 B (Wrong Side): With CB, sl1, * sl1yo, brk1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl1yo, p1.
Repeat Rows 1 A – 2 B for the rib pattern.
Set-up Row A
This row will only be worked one time at the beginning of the rib.
1. Using a circular needle, cast on an odd number of stitches plus 2 additional stitches for the selvedge on both ends with Color A. (My Color A is the blue-green yarn.)
2. Slip the first stitch to create a selvedge. We’ll be using Color A throughout this row, so purl the next stitch with Color A.
3. To make a sl1yo: hold the working yarn in front.
4. Slip the next stitch purlwise. As you’re slipping the stitch from the left needle to the right needle, wrap the yarn over the needle and to the back.
5. Repeat these stitches across the row (purl and sl1yo) until you reach the last 2 stitches.
6. Purl the last 2 stitches.
7. Normally, here we’d turn our work. But since this is brioche, we’re going to slide the work across the needle without turning it so that we’re ready to work the next color across. Now you’ll start knitting the next row on the end where the cast-on tail is.
Set-up Row B
1. Slip the first stitch. Using Color B, sl1yo just as we did in Steps 3-4 of Set-Up Row A. This can be a little tricky since you’re attaching the new yarn, so just fold the yarn over the needle, then make sure it doesn’t slide off as you work the next stitch.
2. To make a brk1: Hold the working yarn to the back of the work.
3. Insert the needle knitwise into the next stitch and the yarn over, as if to knit. (Remember that the slipped stitch and yarn over count as a single stitch.)
4. Knit the stitch and yarn over together.
5. Repeat these two stitches (sl1yo, brk1) across the row to the last 2 sts. Sl1yo, then purl the final stitch.
6. Now you can turn the work!
Row 1 A
1. With Color A, slip the first stitch.
2. Work *brk1, sl1yo* across the row until you reach the last 2 sts. Brk1, then knit the last stitch.
3. Slide those stitches over (because remember, we work on the same side of the work twice before turning the work).
Row 1 B
1. Still on the right side of the work, slip the first stitch.
2. Using Color B, work a sl1yo.
3. Now we’re going to introduce a new brioche stitch: brp1. To make a brp1: Bring the working yarn to the front of the work.
4. Insert the needle purlwise into the next stitch and the yarn over, as if to purl. (Remember that thes sl1yo counts as a single stitch.)
5. Purl the stitch and yarn over together as one stitch.
6. Continue working *sl1yo, brp1* across the row to the last 2 sts. Sl1yo, knit the last stitch.
7. Since this is Row B, it’s time to turn the work.
Rows 2 A and 2 B
These rows involve the same stitches from Rows 1 A and 1 B, so follow the pattern at the top of the tutorial to complete your rib.
Repeat Rows 1 A – 2 B for the two-color brioche rib.