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 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 #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 #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 #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.


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

26 thoughts on “Learn something new: The Honeycomb Pattern (new and improved version!)

  1. Honeycomb directions are confusing.

    What is the purpose of the right side purl row in color 1, row 18?

    If this is to become the pick-up-from row later on at row 26, why isn’t there a similar purl row at row 8?

    And by my count, that would be 8 rows down, not 7.

  2. Rows 16, 17 and 18 produce a swatch that doesn’t resemble the sample. Should there be a totally purled row on the right side, followed by a knit row on the wrong side (row 17), and Row 18 purled again?

  3. Are the directions in the new book this bad??? Very worried. The patterns look so interesting but if care and clarity about the instructions are not good then a sad situation in deed.

  4. I made a gold and black poncho in the late 70’s with honeycomb stitch. It was very warm and lasted years. Once I stopped wearing it it was used for a blanket for the children when they feel asleep on the sette, or were ill. It only got thrown out 2 years ago. I’m very pleased to see the pattern again as the poncho pattern was lost in a house move.

  5. There should be a knitting law that says “patterns MUST be written in both flat AND circular”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Honeycomb from Pop Knitting:

    Many years ago (35 Years in fact) when I was pregnant with my Daughter, my Mother knitted a beautiful hooded jacket of White on Red. When later on in life I wanted to repeat the honeycomb effect went looking through her patterns, but could not find it. Now I am to be a grandmother for the first time and I am so pleased to have seen this article and long with the pattern. My Daughter in law told me she was expecting a little girl, so can imagine my pleasure in being able to replicate this beautiful pattern for my first grandchild. I to will make it in White on Red and if the baby has my Daughter in law’s lovely colouring it will look fabulous. Thank you so much Interweave follower.

    Sylvia, New Zealand

  7. I tried these directions and got nothing resembling the swatch. I hope you’ll correct ax the swatch looks fun. Not a good omen for the book however when this was so poorly reported.

  8. kd0afk, that should be easy with this pattern. Knitting in the round, all odd rows are done the reverse of what this says to do on WS rows: purl if it says knit and knit if it says purl. I’m going to do the cuffs of a pair of socks this way in 2 shades of blue.

  9. How disappointing to see problems with the instructions have been identified for four days now and still no correction, comments or feedback from the author or Interweave. I know this is a free pattern, but if you want pattern testers, please ask for pattern testers from the beginning, not present this as a motivation to purchase the book. It accomplishes quite the opposite.

    It also gives the impression that you place so little value on your readers’ time that the instructions are apparently not test knit.

  10. Hello Knitters,

    I’m in the process of getting this fixed right now. It’s not the book that’s wrong, it’s me!! I posted the wrong photo. But I’m going to put in the correct photo as well as the directions for the photo that’s shown.

    SO SORRY!!!!!!


  11. Well I didn’t see the mess up, this is my first viewing — but ouch! Give a body a break here, some of these comments are so snarky. Kathleen we all make mistakes, and I still hold you in the highest esteem. :) I work in the land of freebies to the consumer, unfortunately that is where i have found people be the most demanding and unforgiving. Thank you for all you do!

  12. Thanks so much, Kathleen. These are beautiful patterns with lots of potential uses! I like to do socks best, so they will first be the cuffs of my next pairs. But details on other garments will be an interesting use of them, too. Now I feel better about the book — sounds like a winner!