I have never, and I mean NEVER, had a book cause such a stir of inspiration within my heart as this new(ish) book, Knitting Fresh Brioche, by Nancy Merchant. I mean it! Oh, I get great enjoyment, satisfaction, and pleasure from a multitude of books, videos, and patterns, but this one …. this one brought such a pitter-pat of heartfelt delight that all I want to do is master brioche the same way Nancy has.
“I figured it was time to give the brioche stitch some history …” – Nancy Merchant
It appears that brioche has been neglected in the history books, marked as an obsolete fabric in textile dictionaries and limited amongst the textile museum circuit. In this one volume, Nancy takes the unique, luscious stitch and moves it into a realm all its own, one that certainly cannot be ignored. The results are jaw-dropping, stunning … I literally gasped at quite a few of the patterns on the pages (because, you know, I am dramatic that way. Wink.).
Right from the start, Nancy guides the reader across a whole spectrum of tools and tricks to prepare us for the brioche stitch, with beautifully clear photos detailing every step, including a two-color Italian cast-on (I cannot WAIT to give this a try!!), the different techniques, working increases and decreases, all the way to the bind off and finishing. She lays out a foundation of chart reading, basic fabrics, and construction, reducing the knitter’s doubt completely. And then … and then the amazing collection of 75 stitch patterns to peruse and choose from. I mean, wow! The way a brain is able to put these stitches together into such amazing fabrics blows the mind. What creative power!
Nancy ends the book with 12 patterns to make, as well as more lesson notes for personal adjustments, whether you want to work with one color or in the round. The pattern instructions are clear and detailed, with the “romance” written in an easy, conversational tone as though Nancy is telling you about it in person. Sixth&Spring Books did a fantastic job with the photography, colors, and layout, too – it’s a book that draws the eye and delights in its clean simplicity.
Innovative. Unique. Masterful.
If ever I recommended a book for your shelf, it would be this one, hands down.