Help please!

I’m swatching for a new sweater – Oshima by Jared Flood – and I’m trying to be good and swatch all the swatches. Below are my brioche stitch swatches. The bottom is the flat brioche stitch swatch, which has already been washed and blocked. The top is my start to swatching brioche in the round. The needle size is exactly the same. The only difference is that the yarn I’m using for the swatch in the round has been used and washed for a stockinette swatch, which I then ripped out to make this swatch. They are both from the same skein of yarn. Also, to knit the swatch in the round I’ve been bringing the yarn behind the swatch and starting the row from the right every row.


Does anyone know why the swatch in the round looks so awful and the flat swatch looks so nice and neat and beautiful?!?

Here’s a closer shot of brioche in the round. One round you purl and one round you knit and I know that lots of times a purl row can be looser thank your knit row but I have NEVER had that happen before.


Here ‘s my beautiful flat swatch that looks so beautiful and squishy! I’m so sad!!


I’m pretty sure I’m doing it right – I mean it looks the same as the flat swatch only ridiculously looser. I’ve also looked at Nancy Marchant’s site on the brioche stitch and have ordered her book.

I’m open to any and all suggestions! I ADORE this sweater and want to be wearing it yesterday. This is such a bummer!!

Thank you so much!!
L, C


  1. I think your tension/gauge is off because of the unraveled yarn you are using in the “in the round” swatch – it creates bumps, and unless you pull the yarn tight, it can look awful. The problem is you will have a hard time figuring out your “real” gauge with the kinked yarn.

    So, do a swatch with smoothed out yarn – either skein (with ties!), wet and hang dry the kinked yarn, or use some unused yarn, and see what it looks like.

  2. PICAdrienne says:

    What about going down a needle size or two for the purl side?

  3. Renee is right. You need to wet the yarn thoroughly. Or use new yarn.

  4. Never reuse yarn to swatch. I’d hesitate at even washing it only because the yarn itself may change a bit. Try again with new yarn. Hopefully that is the only problem. 🙂

  5. By accident, I had a similar issue a few days ago. I ripped something (it was crochet, but I don’t think it matters that much) and tried to start over with the yarn I just regained from ripping. I didn’t manage to get a decent start, it looked all wonky and awfull. Ripped again and started over with a new ball of yarn I had around, and it works perfectly! So I would agree with some before, get the yarn wet, let it dry so it’s back to it’s original state and use that. Or swatch with “new” yarn and use this for your sweater once it’s dry …

  6. Lynne Phelps says:

    You can also use steam to relax your used yarn. I have an electric kettle, I drape the yarn on a couple of long wooden spoons and hold it in the live steam. I just keep switching the kettle on to keep the steam going. A pot of boiling water works as well. It is magic to watch the yarn fall into smoothness before your eyes. Long spoons = burn prevention! It also dries quicker, as we knitters can be an impatient lot when eager to cast on something new! Lovely color for a great new pattern!

  7. That was my first thought too- kinky yarn = wonky stitches!