Fisherman’s Rib/Brioche Stitch

2 color knit brioche

Let’s Talk About the Knit Brioche Stitch

What does it mean to knit brioche? We’ve all seen beautiful 2-color brioche knit fabrics that we all would love to make. However, it looks so difficult and intimidating. Over the next few articles, we are going to unravel the mystery of brioche knitting.

Brioche knitting can be used with any type of pattern but will be twice as thick. Brioche knitting requires twice as much yarn as other stitches such as stockinette. It may be better to stay away from super soft yarns that will grow lengthwise.

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Both knit brioche stitch and fisherman’s stitch are called patentsteek in the Netherlands. The method is different but the end result is the same. The picture below is fisherman’s rib stitch. It’s so nice I absolutely loved knitting it and it feels so great. Stretchy and bouncy are good words for it.

Brioche or Fisherman's Rib Stitch

The knit brioche stitch creates a lofty reversible ribbed fabric much like a knit 1, purl 1 ribbing. It’s made by working one stitch and slipping the next. Because of its loftiness, it’s a good idea to go down 1 or 2 needle sizes for more control. This is a great stitch for loose-fitting items.

It’s also a good to cast on over 2 needles then remove one needle to knit. This will allow the fabric room to stretch. I think the Italian cast on looks the best with this stitch and the Italian bind off is also a great choice to allow for stretch.

The knit brioche fabric is a series of stitches involving tucks, yarn overs knit together with a slipped stitch from the row below. The fisherman’s rib is made by knitting in the row below (same as the slipped stitch) and dropping the stitch above off the needle (same as the yarn over).

This week’s square in our 52-week sampler afghan is the fisherman’s rib stitch. It’s a great beginning for learning brioche knitting. I’ve listed the brioche pattern below for you to try as well you can do one of each to see the difference between the two stitches. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive a free knitting chart each month. This month I did 2 one for St Patrick’s Day and one for Easter. Exclusive Members Only Knitting Charts!

Abbreviations you will need to know:

brk-brioche knit-Knit stitch knitted together with its yarn over from the previous row.

brp-brioche purl

yf-sl1yo: yarn front-slip one, yarn over. Which sets up the brk or brp stitches for the next row.

With brioche knitting, it takes two passes to complete a single row of knitting. Only half the stitches are knit each time. The other half are slipped. This is not a stitch for beginners not because it’s difficult to knit, but it’s a bit hard to read your fabric, rows and stitches.

It takes 8-10 rows before you can see the pattern develop so be patient.

Brioche Pattern

Cast on 30 sts

Row 1 (set up row): *with yarn in front (wyf) slip 1, yo, k1; repeat from * to end

Row 2: *wyf slip 1, k2 tog; repeat from * to end.

Repeat row 2 until desired length.

Bind off: *k1, k2tog, pass first k st over; repeat from * to end.

That’s a basic brioche knit stitch pattern. So make a washcloth, scarf, blankets whatever you can imagine.


  • After the slip stitch, you knit the next stitch without moving the yarn to the back. Creating the yarn over.
  • This is worked in multiples of two’s.
  • Cast on LOOSE!
  • Wet blocking will create a lot of stretch you may just want to use a dry block method
  • Have twice as much yarn for your pattern.

Well, that’s Part 1 of this series on brioche knitting and fisherman’s rib. Have fun please let me know which one you like best. Happy Knitting!

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