MKB Project 11: A Brioche (Pattern)

Please find below, my interpretation of the pattern for “A Brioche” (Miss Lambert, My Knitting Book, 1843, pp. 22-23):

A Brioche is a type of cushion that was popular in the 1840s. In other knitting manuals of the same era, this style of pillow was also called a Moorish or Turkish cushion. The cushion is knit flat with sixteen sets of alternating rectangular and triangular stripes. The triangular stripes decrease in width towards the top of the cushion. Once the knitting portion is finished, the piece is sewn up the side and assembled.

Completed Size: Diameter x height = 15.8”/40cm x 6”/15cm

Yarn: Worsted weight (4 colours). Sample used Paton’s Classic Wool (cream, grey, pink) and Cascade 220 (green).
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Other Materials: Tapestry needle, 8”/20.25cm diameter foil-covered cake board, spray adhesive, 8” square of felt in a coordinating colour, polyester filling, 2”/5cm button
Gauge (in brioche stitch): 17 sts x 22 rows = 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm)

• MC – main colour (cream)
• C1 – colour 1 (grey)
• C2 – colour 2 (green)
• C3 – colour 3 (pink)
• CO – cast on
• st(s) – stitch(es)
• yf – yarn forward
• sl1 – slip stitch
• k2tog – knit two together
• BO – bind off

Brioche Stitch
yf, sl1, k2tog
(Note that the k2tog st will be the slipped st on each return row)


Using C1 CO 90 sts.

Multicolour Section (Rectangular):
Using C1, work brioche stitch for 4 rows
Using C2, work brioche stitch for 6 rows
Using C1, work brioche stitch for 4 rows

Single Colour Section (Triangular): (Note that this section uses short rows to create the triangles)
Using MC, work brioche stitch 2 times, turn and work brioche stitch back to the bottom edge
Work brioche stitch 4 times, turn and work brioche stitch back to the bottom edge
Work brioche stitch 6 times, turn and work brioche stitch back to the bottom edge
Continue adding 2 additional brioche stitches you are 4 stitches from the end of the row (86 st in MC)

Repeat Multicolour Sections and Single Colour Sections until you have a total of 16 sets. BO loosely and sew in ends.

1. Spray cake plate with spray adhesive and gently press the felt on to the plate. Allow to dry.

2. Thread yarn through the wide end of the cone shape and pull the yarn snug but not too tight. There will be an approximately 3”/7.5cm hole in the bottom of the pillow.

3. Place the cake plate in the bottom of the pillow with the felt side down. The felt will show through the bottom of the pillow.

4. Fill the brioche with polyester fill.

5. Thread yarn through the top end of the cushion and draw the top together snugly. Fasten the ends.

6. Sew on the button to cover this area.


7. Using a needle and thread, stitch the pillow to the felt at the bottom.

And, last but not least, enjoy a piece of 1843 history in your living room!

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