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Ready to move beyond stockinette stitch? Ready to amaze yourself with your own cleverness?

We welcome back Jen Arnall-Culliford. Boost Your Knitting: Another Year of Techniques begins now with the first month’s project and a trio of free video tutorials that set us up for glory in knitting tuck stitches.

One look at the pattern featured is enough to entice me to try this technique.

It’s the Bramen Cowl by Nancy Marchant. Nancy is an absolute master at creating exquisite fabrics using all sorts of yarnovers and knits and purls. There are tons of tuck stitches, so this project is an excellent place to try out the technique. Nancy and Jen make this a perfect appetizer for everybody who is brioche curious yet feels a bit wobbly about jumping in.

In addition to the video tutorial above, there are two more technique videos that Jen teaches to go along with the Bramen Cowl.

Two-color Long-Tail Cast On. A great start for brioche and double knitting projects. Get that colorplay working from the get-go.

Sewn Cast Off. Developed by Elizabeth Zimmerman, this cast-off matches the two-color long-tail cast-on of Nancy Marchant’s Bramen Cowl. It creates a nice, stretchy edge.


  • I signed up for Boost Your Knitting and have already tucked in to Nancy’s cowl (get it? Tucked in? He he he…I crack myself up). The instructions are stellar, making the technique was a breeze to master. This is my first taste of Brioche knitting (see how hilarious I am?!?) and it’s delicious

  • I can’t wait to try this stitch! Saved the video with your handy-dandy saving thingie (yes, that’s the official name of it over here).

  • I’ve got some yarn in my stash that will be perfect! I am excited to try this cowl out.

  • I’ve done about 5 inches and it’s lovely and squishy as advertised.

  • I’m a little confused about this version of tuck stitch. It’s very different from the tuck stitch in the Titania pattern from Modern Lopi, which creates a rolled effect in the cowl vs. a more textured knit in this cowl. Both are beautiful, but I’m very confused.

    • There are many, many kinds of tuck stitches, each of which creates its own effect. The trick is just to do as the pattern tells us. This tuck stitch will likely look different from the Titania tuck stitch, but that’s OK.

      Good luck!

  • Jen’s Year of Techniques was a game changer for my knitting, l didn’t know I didn’t know so much! Have signed up for Boost your Knitting and can’t wait until my yarn arrives to start.

  • I am having a lot of fun with the first pattern, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year as well. Almost all the techniques are either new to me (like tuck stitches, brioche, dip stitches), or a variation or extension of a skill I haven’t done as much with (e.g. marlisle, intarsia in the round).

    I also really like the Schoppel gradient yarn sent with the spring kit, too. Any chance MDK will stock this yarn? The cowl is such a fun and quick knit that it might end up being a good gift knit for the holidays.

  • I am currently experimenting with various tuck stitches from Nancy Marchant’s new book and I have no problem with any of the directions for the stitches, exponents, etc. However, after sliding or turning, how is the FIRST sl11yo performed? The stitch, and the working yarn forms the first yo, but at the beginning of the row, how is the second yo created to slip or purl? I’ve looked all over the internet and read about the sl1yo (1,2,3 etc) but I’m not finding anything about the first stitch of the row (and many of the rows in the pattern stitches start out this way…

    Thank you so much for your help. I absolutely adore MDK (can’t wait for March Madness)!

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