Grab a strand of yarn, then pull on it. Did it move when you let go? If it sprung back into place, then it has good elasticity. If you pulled on it and nothing really happened, then it probably doesn’t have good elasticity.
There are a couple of reasons that you want to use a springy yarn with good elasticity:
- Brioche is a thicker knit that’s designed with a lot of structure. If we use a yarn that doesn’t spring back into place, that structure can quickly become muddy.
- Stitches shift without springing back into place, and that not only takes away from the way the stitches look, but it also affects how brioche accessories or garments fit. A sweater that’s 25″ long, for example, could quickly become a knee-length dress if the yarn doesn’t have enough elasticity.
The fiber known for having the best elasticity is wool. If you’re knitting brioche, consider a wool or wool blend, and be sure you test its elasticity before you commit. (More on testing elasticity later!)
If you’re knitting two-color brioche, you’ll also want to think about how the colors work together.
If you’re knitting two-color brioche and really want to show the difference between the two colors, be sure to choose colors that contrast each other. The Heartland Brioche Cowl you see above, for instance, uses a dark color and light color to really show off those faux cables.