Staggered Brioche Rib

Hi, I noticed a previous conversation about Brioche rib, but I have a different question. My knitting dictionary shows a very interesting pattern that they call Staggered Brioche Rib.

I’m a beginning knitter, but this stitch is labeled “easy”. Unfortunately, I am doing something wrong and I can’t figure it out. I spent an hour on the internet searching for Staggered Brioche and found nothing, so I hope you don’t mind my asking such a detailed question in this forum.

Here are the instructions:

multiple of 2 sts + 1

Row 1: k1, * K1B, k1, rep from * to end
Row 2-4: Rep the first row

Row 5: k2, K1B * k1, K1B; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 6-8: Repeat row 5.

I’m still on rows 1-4. The way I am interpreting these instructions, each K1B in rows 2, 3 and 4, is going into a stitch that was also a K1B in the prior row. But I am not finding a new stitch to go into “below”. I find only the hole I went through before. Any idea what I’ve done wrong?

Also, the stitch I remove from the left needle after I K1B seems to turn into a hole. Is that what is supposed to happen? The picture in my dictionary doesn’t show any holes.

Thank you in advance for any light that you can shed on this!

Jeanie F

Welcome! We actually prefer that you ask in the forum because the questions and answers can help others that way. :wink:

According to the abbreviations that Amy has here in the forum k1b can mean “knit through the back loop.” :thinking:

Try knitting through the back loop instead and see if that solves the problem. To do that you go down through the loop and knit. See the video at the link I posted. It’s below the k1b.

Does the pattern specify what K1B actually means?? I think it can very rarely mean to knit through back loop, usually that is K1tbl, so it’s likely that it means to knit stitch in row below. Did you take a look at the video for this stitch on the abbreviations page that Jan mentioned, just so you know that you’re doing it properly??

Thanks for your comments.

Well, the glossary of the dictionary says very clearly that K1B means knit one below.

Interesting, though, there is nothing in the glossary for knit one behind (through the back loop). Hmmm…

I did watch the video, but I’ll check it out again and try again on a small swatch.

Then I’ll try the knit one behind approach.

Then I’ll write you back and let you know what I discovered.

Of course, if anyone else has any other hints in the meantime, I’d be happy to try those too.

Thanks, everyone!


I wish I could send you a picture. I think some of you might recognize this stitch. If anyone has the Reader’s Digest “Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches” (2003), it is on page 66 in the chapter on textured patterns.

Thank you, thank you!

Jeanie F.

YES, I have that book and I actually found the very pattern you are talking about this morning. It is most definitely knit into stitch below and not knit into back of stitch. I don’t have anything else to work on at the moment so I’m going to try a swatch this afternoon and see what happens. Then we can compare notes.

BTW, don’t forget to do the ‘foundation row’, one row of knitting. Otherwise you won’t have a stitch to knit into below the first row instructions.

Oops. :oops: I was wrong, sorry!

Jeanie, I tried the stitch and I just couldn’t get it to look like the picture :?? . I found that because there are 4 rows one after the other with K1B into the same stitches on each of those rows, that things got a bit bunchy and didn’t really even out after going on for a few repeats. What are you hoping to use this stitch for?

Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for testing this out! All bunched up is exactly what I was experiencing. That’s bad news, of course, because I have to give up the pattern. But I’m thrilled to at least to “know”.

I’m working with a mulberry tweed worsted acrylic yarn that is a little “itchy”. (I’m allergic to wool and don’t like itchy – even though this one is acrylic, it bugs me.)

I bought enough yarn to do a pullover style sweater. So I have been experimenting with various swatch patterns to try to find an inspiration to get me beyond itchy. By accident, I discovered that a larger, bulkier stitch makes the resulting piece feel much softer, and when I saw the Staggered BR, I thought it might be perfect.


But doesn’t that stitch pattern look familiar? I feel as though I’ve seen it in Aran sweaters, so I think maybe it has a second name somewhere (and maybe different instructions to go with it!)

I emailed Readers’ Digest books today to see if they ever published a corrections listing – I’ve seen those for other publications.

I’ll keep you posted if I learn anything! Thanks to everyone!

Jeanie F.

Surprisingly, I just registered here and had earlier today studied Decorative Increases and Decreases - Doing a small sample of the Brioche (Honeycomb) Rib. The answer to your problem is in the book, The Principles of Knitting, Simon & Shuster, Author June Hemmons Hiatt, ISBN 0-671-55233-3; pg 85
The directions go like this:
"Preparation Row: Yns, sl1, k1, repeat from * to *. (Because the yarn is on the nearside when you knit, it will pass over the needle and across the slipped stitch, forming a Yarnover.)
All Subsequent Rows: Yns, sl1, k2tog, repeat from * to *. (The Knit Two Together will join the Slipped Stitch and the Yarnover.)
Final Row: K1, k2tog, repeat from * to *."
This is the basic stitch and it worked beautifully for me. I didn’t try to follow your instructions but it seems your Row 5 is staggering the Rib.
Hope this is a help to you, Thumpy
Afterthought: To knit in the back, you lift the nubbin.

thank you for the info from the June Hemmons Hiatt book.

Unfortunately, I’m too much of a beginner to really understand your message, but I will try to get the book from the library and check out what you found.

I do appreciate it!


I think there are different ways to do different brioche stitches. You just have to figure out which one works for what look you are going for.

Jeanie, I was just looking in that same book again, and on the same page there is one called ‘Rice Stitch’. I have used it for sock heels - it is nice and textured looking on the right side, and nice and smooth on the wrong side. It might help with your semi-itchy yarn. It was a very easy stitch to do, too.

I’ve actually done quite a bit of research on brioche stitch because I wanted to use it for a scarf and was confused about how to go about it. It turns out that there are many versions of it, but the one you’re talking about is based on a stitch that is pretty much synonymous with fisherman’s rib. You might want to look that up. The other type of brioche (which I really do like for scarves) is what is described in the Hiatt book, and what EZ calls prime rib. That version and it’s relatives use yarn overs and slipped stitches rather than knitting in the stitch below like fisherman’s rib. (Walker also has several iterations on the prime rib type brioche in her knitting treasuries.)

Although they do look similar, EZ describes the prime rib brioche as “fruitier” than the fisherman style. (I think that was the word she used. I remember thinking it was a strange description. I returned the book to the library so I can’t look it up.) I’ve never tried the fisherman version, but the prime rib type is indeed very plush and fluffy. Supremely squooshable.

You know, now that I think about it, I seem to remember that shaker rib is yet another similar stitch, related to fisherman. It’s all very confusing, isn’t it?

Anyway, here’s a description of how to do a few different versions of the prime rib type brioche (with pictures):

I had to do a lot of practicing before I finally figured out brioche rib, but once I got it, I found it to be pretty quick and easy. (You sort of get into a rhythm with it.)

I’ve seen a description of how to do circular prime rib somewhere on the web, but I haven’t tried it, and don’t seem to have it bookmarked. (EZ said it couldn’t be done, but apparently it can.) There is also a popular two-colored brioche that I have run into, but it looks pretty bulky. Might be good for very warm hats.

hi! I’ve been struggling with the staggered brioche rib from the Reader’s Digest book as well, and some google searching led me to this forum. :slight_smile:

has anyone figured out how to make this stitch work? I’ve been successful at creating a bunched-up set of stitches, nothing at all like the picture. I wonder if I’m supposed to tease out the previous stitch (a purl) and k1b in that instead of going through the stitch that has all the k1bs in it?

here’s a description of how to knit the prime rib brioche stitch circularly – I stumbled across it while looking for “brioche”!

Welcome to the forum, Nightbird!

I followed a hunch and think I actually figured out the problem. Go here and click on the picture to see a larger view. Ignore the stockinette in the middle and look at the border – it’s easier to see the stitch pattern if you try to find an area with a solid patch of color. Seems familiar, doesn’t it? The bee stitch pattern is not identical, but similar enough to the brioche for me to conjecture that the book has a little typo – like they forgot to add a row of knit stitches between the k1b rows. What do you think?

I make the shaker stitch, which is very similar, by doing k1, k1b, ending w/ k1, on all rows.


Hey wait a minute… that is almost identical, except for the staggered part, which doesn’t come into play until the 5th row. So how do you k1b right above another k1b? That’s the bit that seems to be stumping everyone. :wink:

Hey wait a minute… that is almost identical, except for the staggered part, which doesn’t come into play until the 5th row. So how do you k1b right above another k1b? That’s the bit that seems to be stumping everyone. ;)[/quote]

Because when you knit it flat, the k1 on one row becomes the k1b on the next row. For knitting in the round, I think I jiggered it one stitch off. Maybe - I just tried it on a practice piece and it’s been a coupla months.


Shucks, I guess it’s different then. The instructions are written for flat knitting, and have the k1b’s stacked up. :shrug: I looked for errata for the book, but couldn’t find any. (I’ve definitely seen other errors in it so they really ought to put out some corrections.)

Oh, I know! If anyone has the Harmony Guides, please see if you can find the stitch. All of the stitches in the RD book came out of the Guides. Maybe the book has an error that the original source doesn’t.