Sunday, July 12, 2015

My First Brioche Project

Trying to be a knitter that creates current styles with a vintage feel is my goal. To achieve that goal is a constant journey. My never-ending story!
This year I had a definite plan... (wait a minute, my dog Maxy wants a treat, ok, done)
As a knitwear designer Vogue Knitting is a must read. 

Usually the Vogue Knitting Live events are in cold weather states, but this year Vogue Knitting decided to come to Pasadena, CA. Close enough for me to travel there. I did more than that though. I signed-up for some knitting classes. The event was well organized, and not too busy to be lost in the crowd.
 I could see that my designs can stand up to the professionals. I am wearing my newest design "Valace" and it is just as current and relevant.

My main learning objective for that convention was to master the Brioche stitch. I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend a class from THE master brioche knitter, Nancy Marchant. I was prepared and spent a few weeks before the event testing out some one color brioche knitting. Then graduated to some 2-color brioche knitting. Tried some color reversals and also read as many articles as I could find about the brioche stitch in other knitting magazines. Some articles presented comparisons to the Fisherman's stitch. They referred to 1-row, 2-row or even 3-row increases and decreases. 
By the time the convention began I was pretty much confused and sort of disillusioned. 

Nancy Marchant, you are my brioche idol. Not only did your one class "Fresh Brioche" teach me enough basics to venture out and design my first shawl. You also made the entire experience fun.
I have searched for a while now and finally found the yarn for my first Brioche design. When all else fails, Rowan usually has what I need. Rowan finest is a mix of extra fine merino, cashmere, and royal alpaca. It is so unbelievably soft, truly a luxurious experience. It also knits well.

Today my shawl knitting project reached the 1/2 way point and I was shooting the first pictures.

Blocking this shawl will hopefully bring out the depth of the geometric pattern on both sides. Since it is fully reversible, the shawl can be worn as light colored or dark colored accessory. The yarns fiber combination will make it a warm choice for cool outdoors, or a dress-up accessory for evening attire. It could even be used wrapping your head in to provide the warm final touch for keeping the ice cold winter wind away.  Now I can't wait to finish it. I will have to find a perfect shawl pin for it. This design deserves a statement-making piece of jewelry, Right?
The name for this pattern is also decided:

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