Marlo Cardigan: Honeycomb Stitch Tutorial

The Tunisian honeycomb stitch that Vera Sanon uses for the Marlo Cardigan in Interweave Crochet Winter2014 is one of the best textures I've seen for crocheted garments. It's thin and lightweight with great drape and flexibility, but it's also dense enough to make a nice cozy layer. 
The variegated yarn in the magazine gives this stitch great depth and dimension, creating an almost tweed look. But here, I'll show you the stitch in a plain worsted cotton, so you can see its features clearly. 
The honeycomb stitch alternates Tunisian simple stitch and Tunisian purl stitch, with the alternating stitches offset on the following row. This is what creates the subtle hexagons that give the stitch its sweet name.
To work the stitch, you begin the row with an extra chain. Now, this chain doesn't work well for me, I'll say. I'm a loose chain-er and a tight stitch-er, so that chain makes my edge flare a tiny bit. When I control for this, it looks fine, but you may need to adjust your gauge if you experience this flare. Otherwise, you can keep your first loop on the hook nice and loose, and eliminate that beginning chain altogether. 
As is standard, you skip that first vertical bar, and begin your work in the second. For the first row, begin with a purl stitch, then a simple stitch in the next bar. Continue to alternate the two, always working the last stitch of the row in simple stitch. Work a standard return pass. For the next row, skip that first bar, then work a simple stitch in the next bar. You will see the vertical bar peeking out from under the front loop of the purl stitch. You may need to pull up on the work gently to get your hook under that bar. You will always be working a simple stitch above a purl stitch and a purl stitch above a simple stitch, with the exception of the last stitch of the row, which will always be worked as a simple stitch (creating a nice selvedge). 

I'll confess that the Tunisian purl stitch is not my favorite one to work, but I think I'm in love with the texture of this stitch pattern. I might just need a whole sweater out of it! I hope you enjoy it as well!


Happy stitching,


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