Learn something new: The Honeycomb Pattern (new and improved version!)

Dear Knitters: When this blog first appeared, the wrong photo was shown next to the directions for the Honeycomb Stitch. It’s fixed now; I’ve put in the correct photo and added directions for the original swatch shown. So now you get two (actually three, see below) different honeycomb knitting patterns to play with. Have fun! —Kathleen

Pop Knitting author Britt-Marie Christoffersson

Every once in awhile you come upon an artist that so inspires you, your outlook on life changes a little.

That happened to me when I discovered Britt-Marie Christoffersson, author of Interweave’s new publication Pop Knitting.

Britt-Marie is most often associated with 1960s and 1970s textile design. In the 1980s, though, with the resurgence in the popularity in yarn and needlecrafts, she turned her attention to knitting.

Pop Knitting is a book that’s a treat for the senses. The book is made up entirely of stitch patterns that Britt-Marie has gathered from all sorts of sources and put her own twist on, and many more that she’s developed herself.

 

The Honeycomb Stitch (#1) from Pop Knittingby Britt-Marie Christoffersson is a wonderful way to practice your color knitting.
Honeycomb #2, from Pop Knitting

 

The colors are amazing, the textures are intriguing, and the techniques are inspiring (and sometimes a little mindboggling!). Just look at that photo of Britt-Marie! Doesn’t she make you want to pick up your needles and create something?

In Britt-Marie’s own words: “With Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch, I want to show how knitting has the potential for endless variety. I want to inspire you and every knitter to try new patterns, and I hope that my ideas will, in turn, lead you to new ideas for your knitting.”

Here’s the Honeycomb Stitch (2 versions!); it’s one of my favorites.

Honeycomb Pattern #1, from Pop Knitting

Stitch count: multiple of 10.
Two colors.

Row 1 (WS): With color 1, purl.
Row 2 (RS): With color 2, knit.
Row 3 (WS): With color 2, knit.
Rows 4-9: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning with a knit row.
Row 10 (RS): With color 2, *(pick up 1 st in color 2 from Row 2 and place it on left needle. Knit that stitch together with next st through back loop) 3 times, k7; rep from *.
Row 11 (WS): With color 2, knit.
Rows 12-17: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning with a knit row.
Row 18 (RS): With color 2, *k5, (pick up 1 st as in Row 9) 3 times, k2; rep from *.
With color 2, knit.Repeat Rows 4-19.

 

This swatch is worked as per Honeycomb #2, but with every other repeat offset. Work the first repeat as written. Work the second repeat offset by 11 stitches—that is, Row 16 starts with p8, and Row 26 starts with picking up 3 stitches from below.
Shortened and lengthened rows (rings) from Pop Knitting

Honeycomb Pattern #2, from Pop Knitting
Stitch count: multiple of 22.
Two colors.

Rows 1-15: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Row 16 (RS):
With color 2, *(pick up 1 st 7 rows below and place it on left needle. Purl that stitch together with next st) 3 times, p16, (pick up 1 st 7 rows below and place it on left needle. Purl that stitch together with next st) 3 times; rep from *.
Row 17 (WS): With color 2, knit.
Row 18 (RS): With color 1, purl.
Row 19-25: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Row 26 (RS): With color 1, *k8, (pick up 1 st 7 rows down and place it on left needle. Knit it together with next st) 6 times, k8; rep from *.
Rows 27-32: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Repeat Rows 1-32.

A few years back I worked a similar stitch to Honeycomb knitting pattern #1 on a felted bag and it’s just beautiful. I can see the Honeycomb Stitch on the cuffs or hem of a jacket; wouldn’t that be neat? You could use the jacket body color for the bottom layer and knit the honeycomb pattern in a contrast or complimentary color—fun and strikingly beautiful.

According to biographer Anneli Palmsköld, Britt-Marie says that her focus is on color, form, and building patterns by coordinating shapes, colors, and surfaces. Her goal is that the pieces “should be a pleasure for my eyes.”

I love that idea, and I think it should be something we all keep in mind. We should all be knitting things we love and things that are a pleasure to our eyes, as well as to our hands and hearts. Sure there’s the occasional item that we don’t love working on, or one that’s a disappointment in the end, but there was something about that project that drew it to us in the first place, right?

Perhaps it was a pleasure for our eyes.

Reserve your copy of Pop Knitting today, especially if you love color knitting, and let Britt-Marie Christoffersson change the way you think about your knitting.

Cheers,

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