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Dear Kay,

Oh, this Cushiest Cowl Knitalong has been a fast dash with a new technique. How’s everybody doing?

My Cushiest Cowl was cranking along, coming together really fast, and I felt pretty smug until I flipped it inside out and found multiple instances of . . .


These weirdies happened when I forgot a yarnover, when I switched colors all wrong, when I did some weird thing that involved knitting a stitch flat-out wrong.

I’m no perfectionist, but I did want to see if I could fix a stitch.

Our basic recommendation for fixing brioche mistakes is simple: tink your knitting back to the error, fix it, and knit as fast as you can back to where you were so you can forget it ever happened.

But when you see a simple mistake after the fact, it’s time for a bit of surgery.

This sad little white stitch is a yarnover that didn’t happen.

These happen usually on the back side of your brioche and therefore are hard to catch in the moment. Good news: it’s easy to drop down to put it back where it belongs.

Step 1: Go to the top stitch of the column where the offending stitch happened.

Step 2: Drop that stitch, but do not yank the stitch too hard. You’ll see that you can drop the stitches in the column without undoing all the “shawls” in the contrasting color—the yarn that drapes around a stitch. Here, it’s just the black stitches that are unhooking.

I used my crochet hook to slip under each stitch to unfasten it from the one below it. A little tug is all it takes.

Step 4: The repair. Move the sad little white stitch behind the black stitch it’s sitting on. Now the white stitch is a “shawl,” wrapped behind its black stitch just the way it’s supposed to be.

Step 5, with no photo because I got so excited that I just went for it: Reconnect all the loose black stitches, one by one, with your crochet hook. When you get to the top, be sure that the black stitch is hooked back onto your needle with the correct white “shawl” yarnover in place. Look at the adjacent stitches to make sure you’ve got the stitch back in place properly.

This was actually good fun to do. It took only a minute or two once I understood the anatomy of these stitches.

Some brioche errors are harder to fix than this one. Not gonna lie: at the end of a round there was some crazy thing with yarn going through a loop willynilly whatever, so I called it Character and moved on.




  • Good fix Ann! Gotta admit, I’d be tempted to grab a sharpie marker of the appropriate color and just dab a bit of color on that to camouflage it.

    • Work smarter, not harder. But her fix is pretty easy

  • Fixing errors in brioche is daunting! This is an excellent tip. And also why I never ever do brioche in just one color.

  • Thanks, for the tip about not undoing the stitches in the the contrasting color. It should be an easier fix for sure next time.

  • I have a few of these too. I did bind off already though so guess I have to keep this one for myself

    • Thanks for this, I’ll use the info for my next one as I’ve already bound off. My cowl has numerous ‘design elements’ with most of the wonkiness happening at the end/beginning of row. My very first experience with brioche was knitting it flat and it was very discouraging but knitting brioche in the round was a revelation ! Your brioche field guide has given me hope and inspiration. Thanks again MDK!

      • Oops, wrong comment placement.

  • OMG—that’s amazing. You get the Golden Fleece award of the year. You attempted to fix a mistake in brioche AND you succeeded!

  • So glad you showed us your fix. But I would need a video on this one! I’m sticking with a life line.

    • Agreed! Thanks for this – but video would be great!

  • Working on the honeycomb scarf has upped my carefulness. I review each row as i go so I don’t have to go back so far. Plus, you are working each side so the error show up fairly fast. It has been more fun than I thought it would be. There is a row in the scarf that I make more errors so I talk myself though those rows. Not that you all haven’t thought of these things already. Interesting, I notice that I am used to letting my hands do the work, but they haven’t caught on to brioche quite yet.

    • I have found that a recording (on my phone) of talking myself through errors works very well. Then I can concentrate on listening to an “expert” talk me through it. Hahahahah

  • Thanks for explaining the fix. Sometimes unknitting down a column of stitches helps me understand a stitch pattern that is new to me. Makes the next error easier to approach.

  • OMG, I think the person suggesting the sharpie is brilliant! Not sure I have the stamina for the tick back fix, could turn into a rippit!!

  • My brioche errors were a little too complicated for this fix, so I used my made-up brioche duplicate stitch. (Wish I’d thought of the Sharpie fix!). It looked better enough that I felt ok giving it to our neighborhood thrift shop. Because: after all that agonizing I didn’t even *like* the darn thing (possibly because of the agonizing.). But now what do I do with the Atlas yarn I bought with the original intention of a second cowl? (ha!). Not to mention the two Freia shawl balls I bought, intended for the Honeycomb Scarf, which was the pattern I really loved in the first place? (ha!ha!) Maybe a garter stitch scarf? 🙂

  • Wow, this is helpful! I have always prided myself on ‘climbing down the ladder’ successfully to fix all kinds of mistakes in complex knitting but my first (and so far last) brioche cardi led me to believe that brute force backing out and re-doing was the only way to address any whoopsies in brioche – I recognize this mistake and this fix would have saved some considerable wear and tear on my needles! Love your posts, I learn something from just about every one.

  • If you slip all those yarn overs onto a cable hook, they can’t get out of order and that makes it really easy to hook back up without worry! I made a video:

    • Your video was so helpful! I’ve fixed a lot of brioche stitches in the past and it never occurred to me to use a cable needle- genius!!

    • You’re brioche videos are amazing!

    • Brilliant! I saved your very helpful video. I haven’t started my cushy cowl yet, but this will come in handy…thanks!

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