Friday, September 11, 2009

Like A Honeycomb


A blanket of concentric squishy squares, Like A Honeycomb is simple, homey, and versatile. Inspired in part by the mitered shaping in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket, I knit it as a baby blanket, but of course now that it's done, it looks good everywhere, and will in all likelihood spend just as much time on various household laps as wrapped around a baby.

It has a comforting but surprisingly modern feel, and knits up very quickly. Worked in stockinette, garter stitch, and an hourglass-looking honeycomb stitch, it changes just often enough to keep things interesting.


Materials:

10 skeins Knitpicks Alpaca Silk (or approximately 1000 yards of something more practical, if you prefer).

Size US 9 dpns

Size US 9 circular needles, ranging increasingly length from 20-in to 50-in. (I got by with a set of Denise interchangeables).

5 stitch markers

Gauge:

16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Notes:

The blanket is worked entirely in the round, increasing at four points outward to form a giant square.

C2F: Knit into front of second stitch on needle, knit into first stitch, slip both stitches off the needle.

C2B: Knit into back of second stitch on needle, knit into first stitch, slip both stitches off the needle.


Pattern:

Set up:

The first step is the hardest; it's all downhill from here. Using dpns, CO 4 sts. Divide onto 4 needles. Join in the round, (k1, yo, k1) into all sts. Place end of round marker.

Purl around.

(k1, place marker, m1, k1, m1, k1) around.

Garter Section:

*Purl around.

(k to marker, m1, slip marker, k1, m1) 4x, knit to end of round.

Repeat from * until there are 116 stitches on the needles, changing to a circular needle when you're ready.

Stockinette Section:

*Knit around.

(k to marker, m1, slip marker, k1, m1) 4x, knit to end of round.

Repeat from * until there are 212 stitches on the needles.

Honeycomb Section:

*(C2F, C2B) around.

(k to marker, m1, slip marker, k1, m1) 4x, knit to end of round.

IN THIS SECTION, MAKE DOUBLY SURE TO KEEP THE MARKERS IN PLACE, AND DO NOT WORK THE FIRST STITCH AFTER THE MARKER INTO THE CABLE PATTERN. WORK THAT STITCH IN STOCKINETTE, AND WORK INCREASED STITCHES IN STOCKINETTE UNTIL YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO INCORPORATE THEM INTO THE CABLE PATTERN.

Repeat from * until there are 281 stitches on the needles.

Work stockinette section until there are 340 stitches on the needles.

Work garter section until there are 380 stitches on the needles.

Work stockinette section until there are 412 stitches on the needles.

Work honeycomb section until there are 444 stitches on the needles.

Work stockinette section until there are 452 stitches on the needles.

Work garter section until there are 548 stitches on the needles.

Bind off very loosely (you may want to switch to a larger size needle if you have one handy) in purl. Weave in ends.

Finishing:

Dunk the blanket in a sink full of lukewarm water, and lay it flat to dry, pulling the corners out to form a square, and making sure that each concentric square is suitably squarish. Don't stretch it out too far--there's no need to force it to be huge (unless you want to), and you don't want to distort the honeycomb pattern. Finished blanket is approximately 3.5 ft X 3.5 ft.






38 comments:

Jodi Meadows said...

This looks fabulous!

kate said...

I am drooling.

Laura said...

Oh, I love that! That's beautiful!

CJ said...

That blanket looks perfect for curling up under.

Andrea said...

Andrea
I was wondering if you could knit this it flat instead of in the round.

Mari said...

I'm new to the knitting world, and I've really only done scarves. What does the m1 stand for? is it move 1 instead of slip 1?

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Mari,

It means "make one"--you pick up the bar between stitches and create a new stitch...there are good instructions online, I'm sorry, I'm not able to explain it well.

--Nikki

Mari said...

No that's great! I know what you mean I guess I just forgot what the m was for :-) Thank you! I think my son will love this blankie :-)

Stacey said...

Hi Nikki,
I noticed the Alpaca Silk is DK weight. Did you double knit this? My gauge is all messed up, not sure what the problem is.

Emma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love the looks of this blanket, but I just can't do the dpn's. Is there a way to use a circular needle or some other way to start?

Nikki Van De Car said...

Absolutely! If you're familiar with either knitting with two needles, or with magic loop (though I think two needles would be easiest) then that will work just fine. The dpns are a pain in the neck.

Anonymous said...

Que significa T1 y M1

Sarah said...

Hi,

This looks great and I'm eager to start. However I'm having a bit of trouble with the honeycomb part when I've practiced...is there a closeup photo I could see to check how it is supposed to look? Or a video link to the technique? I can't find anything online...

I too don't do dpns, so will be attempting the Magic Loop technique....

Many thanks!

Kendra said...

I'm also a little stuck on the honeycomb portion.

The first row of it works at c2f c2b repeated all the way across. The next row, of course, as to deal with the increased stitches.

Does it become, essentially, "k1, (c2f c2b), k1"? Or "(c2f c2b) k2"?

And the pattern row following that, if it's the first version, would it be "c2b, (c2f c2b), c2f" or "(c2f c2b)" such that the pairs that had previously been c2f are now c2b, and vice versa?

I hope I'm making sense...

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Kendra,

It's much less complicated than that. Just work the honeycomb as written until you get to the last stitch before your increase marker--after your first increase round, there should be one stitch too many. Just work this stitch in stockinette, as well as the one on the other side of the stitch you've been increasing around (so cable cable cable, k1, slip marker, k2, cable cable cable etc.)

The next round you just work cables all the way up to the marker. And repeat from there!

Kendra said...

ok, so it's option 1 (keeping the c2b in line with c2b and c2f in line with c2f) after the first increase round, then the subsequent increase round will result in alternating cable layout (i.e. what had been c2b will be c2f, etc, with fresh c2f at beginning of section and fresh c2b at end).

Just trying to picture it in my head, and 'simplifying it' was doing more to confuse me than to help. ;)

I may try to work up a chart to triple-check my understanding...

Anonymous said...

HI! I am going to make this beautiful blanket but am wondering what your gauge is. I've looked up the yarn on Knit Picks and can not find it. What weight of yarn did you use and what sort of gauge did you have? Thanks for a great pattern.

PaulY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments and trying to figure out the honeycomb section, I am still stuck. My stitches look nothing like a honeycomb. I must be doing something wrong. You you give any helpful advise. Thanks!

Nikki Van De Car said...

I'm not really sure how to advise you since I don't know what's going wrong...My guess is that you're not knitting into the back of the stitch, or that stitches are falling off your needle before they are supposed to, but I can't say for sure. I do know that others have gotten frustrated with the honeycomb pattern and have simply knit garter stitch in its place.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for getting back to me. Could you post a picture of the honeycomb section close up? I'm pretty sure I am following the pattern but a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I agree, I started this a few days ago but my honeycomb doesn't look much like a honeycomb. When doing the c2b do you put the needle behind both stitches or in between? I think this may be where my problem is. Thanks!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Unfortunately, I don't have the blanket anymore (it got tossed in the dryer accidentally, NOT by me) so I don't have a closeup shot. But in C2B, you put the needle behind both stitches, knit the second stitch from the back, then bring the needle around to the front and knit the front stitch, then let both stitches drop off the needle.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply, that must be my issue I've been going between the two stitches! Lol.

Anonymous said...

For the second section of the Honeycomb stitch the pattern only calls for an increase of 8 stitches which is only one round of honeycomb and then an increase row. That can't be right. How many rows of honeycomb do you do for the second section?

Nikki Van De Car said...

I believe you're looking at the stitch counts for the stockinette section between the honeycomb and the garter, and it's only one increase, though it appears larger with the garter since garter, of course, has some stockinette rows.

Boulam said...

Hi! Sorry for the French talk but I really need help on this stunning blanket!

Qui pourrait m'aider à comprendre les instructions? J'ai la version française en main (le livre) mais ça reste très confus (je suis débutante): Que veut dire par exemple: "Tricoter 1 maille endroit dans la 1ere maille sans l'écouler de l'ai. 1 jeté, 1 maille endroit dans la première maille et écoulez là"(1er tour)
Je tricote...je détricote...je tricote...je détricote...je précise que j'utilise des aiguilles circulaires. Merci!

Deborah said...

Hi, I was wondering if you continue the honeycomb pattern the same way after each round or if you alternate to C2B C2F...like do the opposite you did on the previous round. I saw this pattern in the 'What to kin when you're expecting' and those were the directions there, but not here, so I'm confused. I'm hoping the answer will shed light on why my work doesn't appear in any way 'honeycomb'. Many thanks, Deborah.

Nikki Van De Car said...

They should be alternated--if you have the book version, I'd stick with that; it's quicker and a little clearer.

Xochitl said...

Hi i have been trying the pattern, but, i cant get pass the first rounds, like after joining in the round the pattern says k1, yo, k1 in to all stitches, Q: how many stitches do i jave to have in the needles? 6 or 8. Is it k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo = 8 stitches total, or k1, yo, k1, k1, yo, k1= 6 stitches?
Then in the (k1, place marker, m1, k1, m1, k1) around. Is it k1, place marker, m1, k1, m1, k1, k1, place marker, m1, k1, m1, k1?, becuase like this i can only put three markers

Nikki Van De Car said...

It should be eight stitches.

Xochitl said...

Hi! Do you have a clse up pic of the honey comb section? To see if mine is going well....

Xochitl said...

Maybe we are having trouble making the honey comb because... Well i cant have 212 sts at the end of the round

Xochitl said...

That would be 53 sts each side, and that is increasing only ony time per side.... I cant buy your book because i am in mexico, and you dont sell to mexico....

Nikki Van De Car said...

I'm sorry; I can't tell what's going on--this online pattern is fine and error-free, there shouldn't be any need to use the one in the book.

But unfortunately I'm not able to guess what you're doing--although there should be two increases per section, not one.

Perhaps you could take your blanket to your local knitting store?

Xochitl said...

Each increasing round i should increase 8 sts right? So i have round ffty something with 208 sts next is a kint round then a 216 sts round so the stokinet secc.
"*Knit round
(k to marker, m1, slip marker, k1, m1) 4x, knit to end of round.

Repeat from * until there are 212 stitches on the needles."
Should i start kniting the honeycomb secc at 212 sts without finishing the round? Because there is another instruccion thas sayis "Repeat from * until there are 281 stitches on the needles." So 281 sts are not the end of the round. So i dont have to finish the rounds, just count the sts?

Nikki Van De Car said...

I'm really sorry; I'm sure this is very frustrating, but what you're describing simply doesn't make sense to me--I'm wondering if you perhaps placed your end of round marker in the wrong spot?

Again, it's hard for me to tell what the problem is over the internet, and all I can suggest is taking it to another knitter to see if he or she can figure it out.