swatching for Green Brioche stylish leafy wrap shawl thingie

I’ve been swatching.
Trying out different kinds of Brioche stitches so I can make that Wollmeise Slipped Stitches Shawl I had in my mind in Brioche.

I started off in stockinette stitch brioche, a stitch I did not know existed. You just knit all the stitches in k from the right side. It’s so evident that I feel a bit silly for not having thought of it myself. Discovering it freed up my mind to play around with brioche.

So that’s what I started with, at the bottom. It does have a tendency to curl so it would have to feature in a section that has a border that counters that tendency. Love the crispy look!

Then I tried different kinds of increasings to create leaf patterns. I taught me to think about what kind of increase stitches to chose. And think about how the shape expands over neighbouring columns: cable or k2tog/ssk?

Thirdly I noticed that the stripey background of the st. st. brioche needs to be colour treated so that the contour of the leaf gets more pronounced. Frost on Leaves hat shows a good example, where the light green vertical stripes stop before the light green leaf shape feathers out.
She knits a k st together with a p stitch. One could also just alternate the colour and put a k st in the p st colour, this would leave the tip of the column vertical.


Frost on Leaves, pattern by Midori Hirose

I did a bit of regular brioche to gather my thoughts about these things and play with my tension so leading yarn and following yarn would have the same, creating true Brioche instead of that bulging white “coral” I made in my hat/cowl/mitts.

Then I played a bit with gathering stitches, to learn about how I could fill in the leaf shapes:

From right to left: slip stitch brioche (only on the right sight/blue yarn); Double Knitting (DK); stranded knitting (str.kn.).

The stranded knitting really draws in! And the DK too. I will need to compensate for that in stitch numbers if I chose one of these for the leaf interior.

The slipped knits bring nothing interesting to the table. I was hoping to use the elaborate line elements slipped stitches form on regular knitting (st.st. or garter) but that’s not going to work here.

Elaborate lines in slipped stitches on regular knitting (could be st.st. or garter):

This is pattern Summer Travels by Cindy Garland

Above the gathering stitches I went into regular brioche once more. Changing the colours (called syncopating, where blue stitches get white on top of them and vice versa). I did so because in regular knitting slipped stitch patterns need horizontal stripes to work and I was thinking to try this in Brioche.
But fiddling around the colours and the yarns around like this was too much for my brain. On the right you see some …thing… where I lost the plot and also alternated k and p stitches.

Alternating k and p stitches on top of each other is a good way to Brioche. Nancy Marchant shows multiple variations over on Briochestitch.com
For example Moss Brioche Stitch:

But I don’t want that. My Brioche knitting always looks a bit sloppy. Even with these round yarns (and the Wollmeise yarns are beautiful round too).
To be honest, “sloppy” is not what I want from my Wollmeise shawl. I want crisp. Clear lines. Clear blocks.

But I also want to knit the shawl now. And my shoulder does not tolerate regular knitting, it has to be Brioche. (the stress with the cat has made me hunch over and hurt my shoulder a couple of times. Recovery has been set back a bit.)

So I’m going to compensate on the crips outlook of the shawl but not too much: st. st. brioche it is. And if I don’t like the shawl in a couple of months I can always frog it and reuse the yarn.

The last leg of the swatch:

Stockinette Stitch Brioche and three ways of making the stems of the leafs. From right to left: 2 st DK, 1/2/3 st stranded and 2 stitches cabling with the white stranding behind.

I had thought the stranded knitting would draw in, making the blue stitches bulge up. Almost like an i-cord. But it doesn’t (because the rest of the fabric is so loose, the white brioche stitches have yarn to spare to share with the back of the stranded stitches?).

The cabled stem looks promising. I would love to have it more distinct from the background though. Perhaps 2×2 st cable?

I also remembered to put in a white stitch before starting a blue stem in a blue column. I had to think about how that one blue stitch transfers into the multiple blue stitches needed for a stem.
If I go for a 2×2 cabled stem I’ll need to make 4 stitches out of 1 and I don’t know a pretty way to do that of the top of my head. There probably needs to be another swatch…

At the top I killed off the middle stem and made the other two into leafs. I paid attention to the neighbouring columns, switched colours around so the leaf contours would not cross blue columns.

I played around with ways of increasing, differing the rows in which the increases are from the rows in which the cable/k2tog is that makes the contour feather out.

And I remembered in time that I wanted to make the leafs a different colour from the contour, just like the leafs in Catkin:

The right leaf is done in DK, the white leaf is stranded.
The good thing about double knitting is that it’s reversible, just like Brioche is. You’ll get two shawls for the effort of one!

But then I couldn’t do the st. st. brioche…. or I could just accept the way the back of st.st. brioche looks.
But then I need to think of another stem because the cabled stem doesn’t turn up on the back…
It seems I need to make another swatch. And I ran out of white yarn. And I need a good name for this shawl… any ideas?

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