The most challenging part of Polwarth is the brioche triangle detail at the front neck. Because the sweater is worked top down seamlessly the detail is worked at the same time as short rows to shape the neck and raglan increases. If you’re an experienced briocher you shouldn’t encounter any problems diving straight in, but if not I strongly recommend swatching the triangle detail by itself before beginning. Brioche stitches aren’t hard to do but they’re a bit of a nightmare to describe in words so here’s a visual tutorial for exactly how to convert the pattern directions to a swatch of the detail and how to work the individual stitches. My apologies to anyone who has been waiting for this since the pattern was released — life very much got in the way (that’s the excuse for the sorry state of my nails too, we took these photos while I was in the midst of a lot of diy).
Working with a circular needle or two double pointed needles cast on 26 stitches. If you want to practice work a tubular cast on and follow the directions in the pattern for the first row. A tutorial for the long tail tubular cast on can be found here, but only the initial cast on should be worked without the following set up rows.
From now on the swatch will be worked entirely from the right side using the method shown in my Swift Swatching in the Round tutorial. Without turning slide the stitches just worked to the other end of the needle and carry the yarn behind.
Follow the directions in the pattern to set up your brioche stitch.
Work enough brioche stitch that you can see the pattern clearly, ending with rnd 3 (so on the final row the knit stitches are slipped):
Place markers for the triangle stitches.
Work the first 3 stitches: brk1, k1, brk1, pm,
Work the triangle stitches according to the “placing markers for yoke shaping” round: p1, (brk1, yfsl1yo) 8 times, brk1, p1.
You should have 4 stitches remaining. Place a 2nd marker and knit these 4 stitches (brk1 for the ones with yarn overs).
Next row k3, slmB, p1, (sl1yof, brp) 8 times, sl1yof, p1, slmB, k4
Beginning with row 1 continue to follow the pattern for the triangle between the markers and knit the stitches outside of the markers. The stitches used to shape the edges of the triangle are illustrated.
Brssk (when the stitches are a knit with a yarn over followed by a purl):
Brk2tog (when a purl stitch is followed by a knit with a yarn over):
Knit both stitches and any of their yarn overs together:
Brssk (when the stitches are both knit stitches sharing a yarn over):
Slip the first stitch by inserting the right needle tip into the stitch as if to knit. Slide the stitch, but not the yarn over off the left needle and bring the right needle to the front under the yarn over.
Brk2tog (when the stitches are both knit stitches sharing a yarn over):
The process for slipping the stitch in more detail:
Then knit the following 2 stitches and the yarn over together:
Increasing into the centre stitch on row 29:
Cables without a cable needle. BrkC2B:
The completed triangle swatch:
An alternating cable cast on is a useful, stretchy cast on for ribbing that’s less fussy to work than a tubular cast on. It’s worked like a regular cable cast on, but instead of casting on each stitch knitwise stitches are alternately cast on knitwise and purlwise.
This tutorial includes both step by step photos and videos so you can use whichever suits you better.
This post was originally in our newsletter last week and since then several subscribers have reached out with incredible kindness to say that they'll miss the club but want to keep supporting us. We appreciate that so much, and, although we obviously need purchases to keep the business going there are lots of other ways that you can support us. I've added a few notes at the end on ways that you can support our business and my design work without spending money. All of them apply to other small yarn businesses, and many of them to small businesses of all kinds.