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Knitting the Brioche Stitch in the Round

As we learned before on the Craftsy knitting blog, the brioche stitch creates a double thick fabric. It has amazing texture and provides a lofty feel. It is worked with only two pattern rows, each containing a wrap and a brioche stitch (brioche knit or brioche purl). Adapting brioche to work in the round is not very difficult. below you will find a photo tutorial to guide you through the process.

Circular Scarf on Knitting Needles, Text Reading "Knitting brioche stitch in the round"

Brioche in the round tutorial

Note: Remember for the brioche stitch, stitches must be slipped purl-wise with yarn in front.

Prep round

First, cast on an even number of stitches (use a stretchy CO). Place a marker for the beginning of the round and work this prep round once:

*K1, yf sl1yo; Rep from * around.

Explained: *knit 1, bring yarn under the right needle to the front, slip the next stitch purl-wise, then bring the yarn over the needle and across the slipped stitch to the back of the needle. Repeat from * around.

Round 1
Brioche in the round Visual Steps

*yf sl1yo, brk; rep from * around.

Explained: *bring yarn under the right needle to the front, slip the next stitch purl-wise, then bring the yarn over the needle and across the slipped stitch to the back of the needle. Knit the next stitch with its YO (brk). Repeat from * around.

Round 2
Continuing Brioche in the round, Visual Steps

*brp, sl1yof; rep from * around.

Explained: *Purl the first stitch and its YO (a brp), leave the working yarn in front, slip the next stitch purl-wise, then bring the yarn over and across the stitch, then back to the front, ready for the next brp.

Make something!

I know two-color brioche gets most of the fame, but solid brioche is actually really quite beautiful. If you want a project to practice with, I suggest something simple like a cowl.

Brioche in the round Grey cowl on Knitting Needles
Brioche Cowl image via goodknits

For this one, I used a 5.5mm 16″ circular and some Vanna’s Choice yarn (two skeins in the MC and one in a CC). I CO 108 stitches and worked about 12″ of the brioche stitch in the round. When you are ready to finish, work one row of knit 1, purl 1 rib (substituting a brk or brp where necessary), then chose the i-cord bind off in a CC. 108 is quite a roomy cowl, if you don’t mind the snug feel, you can cast on as little as 84 stitches for this cowl. I like the extra weight of 108 stitches!

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knitting in the round

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Have you given brioche knitting a try? What projects have you made?



Looks cool. Totally confused. Guess a class video would be better.


are you suppose tohave one stitch left at the end??? a yarn over and a slip.


yes, at the end of the set up row and the end of round 2 it’s always [yf sl1yo]

Mary Pont

I can manage all the way round until the end of the round when I have a stitch left but not a y.o. Or sometimes have a y.o, and don’t know whether to use it as the last stitch is not the one needing it i.e if I am on the round with k next st and y.o tog and last stitch is a purl. The next round is purl st tog with the y.o but I need to do that stitch on the next round. I have the right number of sts on. But if I try knitting without the pattern I can never remember which row I am on and there is only two rows. I must be losing my marbles. When I finish for a break I always leave it in the round not at the end then I can see whether pattern is on a k or a p whether I slip or work the k or p sts.

Pam Zurcher

I have the same kind of problems.

First I love this stitch. Its gorgeous in plain flat one color and beautiful in plain flat two colors. Two colors looks better for me in two yarns of the same weight. I wound up with two yarns with different enough weight to affect the good looks of a scarf even with Red Heart worsted (same label). It came out okay but not exactly what I wanted. Just my opinion.

But I have tried this in the round several different times and have the same problems with it that you are having Mary. I can get round 1 done right and round 2 done right but it doesn’t work going from round 2 back to round 1. The two stitches next to each other from round 1 going into round 2 become what? Following the directions these should be done as yf sl1yo followed by yf sl1yo. I can’t. The first yf sl1yo leaves me with an unanchored yo that I’m supposed to yf but it already is forward. I tried just going with that…ok it’s forward just sl1 and get on with it already. Ok. I do that then work round one to the last bundled stitch (the slipped stitch and it’s hood the yo to work as the brp then the next bundled stitch to work as a brk. How? Do I take the yarn from the front brp move it to the back for the brk or do I take the yarn from the brp OVER the needle to work the brk thus making a yo (that I don’t want). If I do it wrong and make the unwanted yo when I get back to it after working the rest of the round I have what looks like a stitch bundle waiting for a…what…..slip it? (huh?) brk? brp? realize I goofed and just drop the extra yo off the needle? I have done all of these once or twice or so. Each one creates more confusion but I try. Then try to fix it later when I discover it isn’t right. All this is further confused by let’s see what row was that? Are two rows really one row or is it one row is two rows? I can’t put a marker in the right place as I’m used to doing when I work in the round because if I do it’s in the wrong place when I go to make a stitch on top of it. A spirit must have moved it…..??? What was I thinking?

By that time I’m a blithering drooling fool. I yell at dogs. Etc.

What I have started trying is this. I gave up and go out of pattern to begin and end the rounds, either all knit or just begin and end the series with a k stitch or all something else recognizable. With a marker to set off these round changing stitches. This has worked out pretty well so far. I either sl1yof or brp the first stitch of the new round and end with either sl1yof or brp the last stitch.

If I have any more eureka moments or other somewhat enlightening jumping horses I will post.


Pam Zurcher

Wait…I mean end with brk…

Miranda Jeffries

I think you and I are related.. talk about confusing,. But I’ll keep trying,..

Pam Zurcher

I started another circular cowl with one color brioche with 101 stitches and what I am doing is marking off three stitches at the beginning of the round and working them with this two row pattern: Set up row (at the beginning of the first row where we set up for the brioche stitch): knit, knit, knit. Row 1: purl, knit in the row below, purl. Row 2: purl in the row below, knit, then purl in the row below.

I have about dozen rows done. This is the same stitch, it looks exactly the same. And it isn’t confusing. I have started thinking of the brioche stitch, as opposed to the pattern I’m using at the beginning of the row, as a series of stitch pairs instead of individual stitches. The slipped stitch and it’s partner brk or brp.

So far so good. My dogs are happier. We have five pit bull/bull dog mix dogs. The momma dog is five years old and the other four are her first, and only, litter. They are three years old. She had five puppies but we could only find a (good) home for one. So we kept the rest. They are some of the sweetest most loving dogs I have ever had.


Pam Zurcher

This isnt right either exactly. Thinkng and still experimenting.


Your description of how frustrating it is to not recognize the stitches or be able to get back on track- blithering is the perfect word. I took a brioche class to make that gorgeous leaf pattern on a cowl. I’ve started over because trying to fix mistakes just makes it worse. Now that I thought I was getting it, I see that I twisted my original cast on so it is a möbius scarf. Do I keep going or rip & restart AGAIN?

Lise Ranger

I am reading you carefully as I encountered the same difficulties trying to knit a brioche stitch cowl on a circular needle. I did not solve my problems yet. I am also feeling close to losing my marbles, ha ha! In French, the côtes anglaises stitch is similar to the brioche stitch. Even number of stitches. One row is a knit row, i.e. knitting the first stich and knitting in the row below for the second stitch, the second row alternates purl stich, and purling in the row below. “Joueuse de pelotes” (You tube) in a video dealing with repairs in the côtes anglaises, has inserted at the end, some images of the making of the côtes anglaise in the round. The video is explicit. But the explanations are all in French.


OMG so comforting to read all these comments about brioche knitting I the round. I could have writtten everyone of them. I have started and ripped out at least a dozen times. I’m so happy to see I’m not “loosing my marbles”. Has anyone found out why this problem is happening, though?


Thanks, Lisa! Your photos & article finally made brioche in the round click for me.

Brenda Vance

Confused about whether you or on a knit or a purl row? If the brioche stitch is over a ridge and the single slip stitch is over a valley, it is a knit row. If the brioche stitch is over the valley and the single slip stitch is over the ridge, it is a purl row. Hope this helps.


I’ve tried several times to do this stitch, but it’s impossible. The instructions here are confusing, and I’ll stick with fisherman’s rib. Similar look, and can be a bit tricky, but easier to understand than the brioche stitch.


Sad to say that this “instruction” is not helpful.
I am so exasperated. Someone suggested a video would be helpful and it would.
However, there are videos on youtube, but there is nothing continuous so that a person can work along. A step by step video would definitely help.
This is not a complicated stitch. Why do so many who try to teach fail at it.
See my very sad face. Craftsy I expected so much more from you.


Hi ladies I am having a bit of the same problem. I took out three rows and I am going to try again.
But good news Brioche flat is great and really lovely to do. Marly Bird has a great tutorial with two colours, so try that as it is so much fun.


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