This is the time of year that I want to knit sweaters and accessories that are warm but not heavy. Heavy sweaters are for snowy days and we’re not there just yet. Enter a yarn such as Berroco Briza®, a super lofty yarn that’s light and airy.
Berroco Briza is a 51% mohair, 43% nylon, and 6% wool yarn with a unique construction. A thin thread of nylon is knit into a tube, like an I-cord chain, and the mohair and wool fibers are blown into the tube. If you ever knit with Berroco Elements, Briza is a similar construction—the outer nylon cage provides stability and drape while the loose fibers retain their airiness, making a really warm fabric without a lot of heft.
I’m pretty notorious in the office for being a huge fan of Berroco Elements—I was really sad when I found out it had been discontinued, so I bought enough to make two more sweaters (I’d already knit Sislana the moment it was published). Once I realized that Briza had a similar construction, I was excited to knit with it as well. It’s easy to knit with—when knitting with Elements, I’d occasionally catch the nylon cage with the needle tip, but I didn’t experience that once while knitting my Briza swatch. Briza is a little bit lighter weight, but because of the lofty fibers, it puffs up quite a bit. My swatch is knit on the recommended US size 7 (4.5 mm) needle and it yielded a consistent fabric that is fluid and moves well.
One of the things I especially like about Briza is the depth of colors. While there are only nine shades of Briza, they’re each slightly heathered. In the Santa Cruz color shown, you can see that there are spots of light blue, darker blue, and pink, that on their own could be a riot of color, but are muted and blended together by the dark nylon thread.
Being a mohair-blend yarn, I was a little concerned about how the yarn would feel against my skin—mohair is notorious for being a little on the itchier side unless it’s blended in certain ways or with certain fibers. While there are a lot of long fibers on the fabric, I found that the actual swatch was quite comfortable against my skin. I held it up to my neck for a few minutes and had no irritation. If you’re sensitive to fibers, you might want to check with your local yarn store to see if they have a swatch of this yarn knit up so you can test it against your skin.
This kind of yarn construction is really clever—it yields a nice flat fabric when worked it stockinette stitch, but can also be beautiful in highly textured stitches. Booklet 361 Berroco Briza features six patterns designed for this yarn that vary in texture and style, so there’s certainly something for everyone. Mori is a classic cabled cardigan that is softened ever so slightly by the yarn; Thornton is a crocheted shawl that shows off the versatility of this yarn in both treble crochet and a lacy crochet stitch at the edge.
Pine is the kind of knitted pullover you want to throw on whenever the temperatures drop—simple but eye-catching texture with a cozy, high cowl neck. Broderick is a super simple lace triangular shawl, knit from the point up.
Montgomery is a vintage-inspired, slightly cropped cardigan that’s knit in pieces and seamed together for stability. Cardenas is another cardigan, this one with open fronts and a long, slim silhouette. Finally, Pacific is a free sweater knitting pattern with a lacy look at the yoke and bottom hem.
Have you knit with Berroco Briza? What did you make? Let us know in the comments!