Sunday, October 11, 2015

Finally ... Brioche!

I have wanted to learn brioche knitting for a long time. I took a class last spring, but it just didn't take. Yesterday I took a class at the Knit Circus Retreat with master teacher Amy Detjen and I think I finally understand it
I'm very happy with the way this is coming out -- but then how could it fail to be fabulous with that yarn? I know I sound like a broken record, but do check out the Knit Circus web site; Jaala Spiro has an amazing color sense.

As a teacher myself, I couldn't help but analyze Amy's teaching style yesterday. She doesn't just teach you a serious of steps; she teaches you how the stitch works. As a result, you understand what you are supposed to do and why. I actually frogged the above because I decided I wanted a tighter gauge. The fact that I was able to restart it all by myself speaks volumes for Amy's teaching.

It's been a great weekend. On Friday evening, Keith and I drove my parents to Rockford, where my dad's cousin, Phyllis Bramson, has a 30-year retrospective show at the art museum. I love Phyllis's work, and this show just blew me away. Here is sample of her painting/collage work:
She gave a gallery walk that was fascinating. She talked about how "desire" is one of her main themes and recalled the "girlie" calendars her dad brought home from work. (Her grandfather opened the first auto parts store in Madison, and her father ran it for many years. My grandfather started his career at that store, but then opened his own 50 miles away in Beloit, where I grew up.) She talked about her process and how she's always on the lookout for bits and pieces to incorporate in her work. She even pokes around at Joanne Fabrics on occasion!

I realized that I have never asked her about any of this, which may seem odd since I am so interested in art and creating. The fact is that I have always been in awe of her.
Phyllis is a "real artist." She has made her living as an artist. She has sold works to top museums around the world. She has won a Guggenheim Grant and been a Fullbright Scholar. She has taught at the University of Illinois in Chicago and the Chicago Art Institute.

Despite all this, she is a warm and friendly person. Outspoken, intellectual, funny. Who wouldn't be a bit in awe?

And for those of you who live in Chicagoland, this exhibit will open at the Chicago Cultural Center in Summer 2016.


  1. Brioche! That's going to remain a mystery to me for a while. It does make me laugh that almost every time someone posts on Ravelry asking for a stitch to be identified it's almost always brioche! I do so admire the way you take workshops and learn new techniques! Maybe I'd better set that as a resolution for next year?!

  2. Anyone who can make a living being creative has my sincerest respect since the "real" world always wants to sneak in and steal your time away.
    Brioche is awesome but is still has me baffled as does entrelac. One day.....

  3. what a creative link in your genes! wow.
    Brioche is so so pretty in process. GOOD FOR YOU!

  4. Learning always TAKES much better if you know the WHY as well.

    Have fun with your brioche knitting! It looks beautiful!

  5. OMG....your brush with fame is a RELATIVE!!! How cool is that???

    The brioche is one of the few stitches I avoid like the plague. Wishing i had the chance to take that class!!!

  6. What a great opportunity to take a class with Amy Detjen, lucky you!

  7. Sounds like a fun weekend! Good work cracking the brioche code. Think I need to visit that yarn shop next time we're in's been a while.

  8. you are related to someone famous, which is cool :) Love your brioche!! Pretty colors!

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