How to Knit a Two-Color Brioche Stitch

  • 01 of 08

    Starting Two-Color Brioche

    How to Work 2-Color Brioche Knitting
    Mollie Johanson

    Brioche stitch is a fun way to add two-sided texture to a knitting project. It's super warm and springy, and lots of fun to knit, too. After knitting a few basic projects in a single color, you might be ready to move on to something a little more challenging. That's when two-color brioche comes in.

    What Is Two-Color Brioche?

    In its basic form, two-color brioche looks like ribbing, with the dominant knit stitches showing in one color on each side. It's perfect for scarves, hats, hot pads or anything that you want to give a different look and a lot of warmth.

    This tutorial shows how to knit two-color brioche stitch with a selvage edge. It works on any odd number of stitches and includes two setup rows, one for each color.

    • Work each "row" twice—once in each color. Though there are four steps that repeat, they're considered two rows.
    • This method requires a circular needle or double-pointed needles so you can work the row again without turning the work.

    In her book, "Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch," Nancy Marchart outlines this method, among many others. It's a helpful resource for exploring the mysteries of brioche.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Setup Row in Color A

    2-Color Brioche Setup Row in Color A
    Mollie Johanson

    This tutorial uses a dark color (color A) and a light color (color B). For your first few practice pieces, it's not a bad way to go because the contrast makes it easier to see what's going on.

    • Cast on an odd number of stitches with color A.
    • Keep in mind that stitches are always slipped as if to purl.

    Work the foundation row for color A as follows:

    • *Purl 1, slip 1, wrap the yarn from the front around the right-hand needle and back to the front. Repeat from * to the last stitch. Purl 1.
    • Slide the stitches to the other side of the needle without turning the work. 
    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Setup Row in Color B

    2-Color Brioche Setup Row in Color B
    Mollie Johanson

    Work the foundation row for color B as follows:

    • Attach the light color yarn with the yarn in front.
    • Slip 1, bring the yarn to the back.
    • *Knit 1 stitch along with its yarn over (a k2tog, pictured above), bring the yarn forward, slip 1. Repeat from * to the last 2 stitches. Knit the stitch with its yarn over, bring the yarn forward, and slip the last stitch.
    • Turn the work.

    Both of your working yarns are now at the same end, which is always a sign that you should work with the color A next.

    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Row 1 in Color A

    2-Color Brioche Row One in Color A
    Mollie Johanson

    With the setup rows finished, it's time to start the rows that repeat throughout a project. Work Row 1 in color A as follows:

    • Knit 1. *Yarn forward, slip 1, knit the next stitch with its yarn over. Repeat from * to last 2 stitches. Yarn forward, slip 1, knit 1.
    • Slide the knitting to the other end of the needle without turning the work.
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Row 1 in Color B

    2-Color Brioche Row One in Color B
    Mollie Johanson

    When there's one yarn at each end of your work, it's time to work with color B, working across the same side you just knit. Work Row 1 in color B as follows:

    • With color A in the back, slip 1. Bring the yarn forward.
    • *Purl the stitch together with its yarn over, slip 1, wrap yarn around the right-hand needle back to the front (pictured above). Repeat from * to the last 2 stitches. Purl the stitch with its yarn over, wrap the yarn to the back, slip the last stitch.
    • Turn the work. 
    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Row 2 in Color A

    2-Color Brioche Row Two in Color A
    Mollie Johanson

    Both yarns should be on the same side again, at the front of the work. Work Row 2 in color A as follows:

    • Purl 1. *Slip 1, wrap yarn around, purl 1 together with its yarn over. Repeat from * across to the last 2 stitches. Slip 1, wrap yarn around, purl 1.
    • Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle without turning the work.
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Row 2 in Color B

    2-Color Brioche Row Two in Color B
    Mollie Johanson

    To finish the second row, work across the same side you just purled. Work Row 2 in color B as follows:

    • With color B yarn in front, slip 1. Bring yarn to back. *Knit the stitch together with its yarn over, yarn forward, slip 1. Repeat from * to last 2 stitches. Knit the stitch with its yarn over, yarn forward, slip the last stitch.
    • Turn the work. 
    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Continue Knitting the Brioche Stitch

    2-Color Brioche Sample on Color B Side
    Mollie Johanson

    Repeat the two rows in colors A and B (steps 4 through 7) to continue the pattern.

    It may seem awkward and hard to remember where you are at first and it helps to keep these instructions handy for reference. In time, you'll get the hang of it and won't even have to look at the directions or give it much thought.

    Updated by Mollie Johanson