If you are a knitter and one of your best friends is a renowned designer, you tend to believe that everything they come up with is extraordinary. But you see, with my friend it is different, because everything that woman touches turns to gold, she really IS a designer extraordinaire! Julie – true Colour Combo Magician and Queen of Brioche – is it even possible, but yes, I think she has outdone herself – again!

Meet Brioche O'Clock by Julie Knits in Paris! Is it a shawl? Is it a blanket? Maybe a shlanket? However you look at it, this is an item of pure beauty, meticulously constructed into a perfect PI. But let me tell you a secret, and I think this is one of Julie's most prominent skills, her designs might look intricate and impossible to achieve, but they are incredibly easy to knit. In fact, Julie is known for party proving her patterns, and we have actually tested this, can you work on them with a glass or two in your belly? If there are no mistakes when you wake up the next morning, the pattern is definitely party proved. The Brioche O'Clock is no different, the motif repeats are easy to remember, follow and to keep track of even without the help of stitch markers.

Brioche O'Clock PI shawl

It’s Brioche O’Clock! Leave everything behind and take all the time you need to enjoy this giant brioche clock-like shawl! It is worked in two colours, the original features a semi-solid Main Colour of 760m / 831yds in combination with a more speckled Contrast Colour of 720m / 787 yds for the background. Meterage requirements means that with most fingering/4ply you are at risk having to dip into a third hank. BUT as Julie mentions in her pattern notes, gauge is not crucial when working on two-dimensional projects, so if you are willing to loose a little bit of the size, going down a needle size might mean you'll be able to stay within the two hanks per colour.

Julie's Brioche O'Clock

Now as soon as I laid my eyes on the Brioche O'Clock I could not help myself from dreaming up my perfect colour / fibre combo – yes! I am so ready to cast on! What I came up with is a combination of two blends from another friend of mine, Hand-dyer Maqnifique Petra of Black Elephant. Recently she started doing her dyes on a wonderful Wensleydale base which I am completely in love with. I'm definitely going for this for my MC. Wendleydale is such a soft soft soft pure wool, but it is not possible to dye speckles on it as they will 'bleed out' and loose their crispiness, and since I'd like to follow Julie's lead on this shawl, I want the effect of speckles in my background – and so for this I have chosen the Black Elephant Merino Singles as my CC. Let me show you some of the colour combos I'm pondering on.

Dark and Stormy Brioche O'Clock Colours

I thought Dark & Stormy describes the mood of the four combos I put together here, from left to right:
Singles in Verdegris / Wensleydale in Overture, Singles in Firefly / Wensleydale in Tale of Woe, Singles in Aquarius / Wensleydale in Atrament, and Singles in Simulation / Wensleydale in Knit With Attitude.

Bright & Cheerful Brioche O'Clock

Or, what about something more Bright & Cheerful, from left to right:
Singles in Silver Lining / Wensleydale in Sage, Singles in Edelweiss / Wensleydale in Hello Yellow, and Singles in Reflections / Wensleydale in Lavandula.

With a potential yarn usage of 600g, there is no denying that the Brioche O'Clock is an investment, all though rewarded with hours and hours of knitting joy. I am absolutely aware that my choice above using the Black Elephant yarns for my version can be a bit steep for many, so if you are looking for a lower cost option I thought I should let you know what my runner up is. I do believe that any Brioche O' Clock made in Vivacious 4ply would turn out stunning! Vivacious 4ply is a plump but smoothly spun in a high twist yarn, handdyed in Peru for Fyberspates, and features subtle changes in colour, from delicate semi-solid shades to more two-, three at the most, toned variegations. And here are my current Brioche O'Clock Vivacious 4ply favourites.

Brioche O'Clock Vivacious Colours

From left to right: Strawberry 630 with Blush 623, Silver & Bronze 603 with Burnished 632 and Sea Glass 626 paired up with Smokey Joe 629.

Now I'm going to take a few days to make up my mind, but honestly I would have loved to do each and every single one, if only the higher powers of the Universe would grant me more hours in the day. What do you think, which one is your favourite? Do let me know below in the comments if you found this post inspiring and if you're planning to cast on I would love to know which one you would choose!

Julie's Brioche O'Clock