The last time I visited the topic of a knitted version of filet lace, I had come up with a square knitted netting, but couldn’t figure out how to make solid squares. So I shoved the question in the back of my head for later. Later hasn’t exactly arrived; this is a related concept but still not filet knitting. (I think that Jackie E-S’s method is the way to go if you want filet lace knitting.)
Filet lace, whether netted or crochet, is pictures on a square mesh background. The only difference between it and what I’m playing with is that one has a grid for a background, but the other has hexagons. This is obviously nothing new to experienced lace designers (see the above links), though they combined it with a variety of other lace methods, but for some reason it struck me like a bolt of lightning.
I decided a simple experiment with the method would make a good étude for my series of knitting and design exercises, even if it came out badly. (I don’t think it did, but I want to encourage knitters to try new things and see what happens.)
This is the simple design I used for the étude. I like it, though I am reminded that while knitting has mirror symmetry from side to side, it can’t be turned over so the top is at the bottom and have it look the same. Also as usual, it looked odd until I got several rows into the pattern.
The key to honeycomb lace is that a single hexagonal cell is formed over four rows and four stitches, though each angled line is shared by two cells.
This chart shows five complete cells, with the corresponding hexagons below it.
It’s possible to get honeycomb graph paper, so I downloaded some and put it in a PDF annotation app on my tablet. I used the highlighter tool to scribble in a fairly straightforward shape, since I’m just beginning with this kind of lace.
Then I converted the hex scribble, row by row, into a knitting chart with the right number of cells. I colored in the cells that I wanted to make into plain knitting. (I wanted to show what I was deleting from the chart, and it seemed the easiest way.)
I deleted the lace stitches as necessary, and then turned the chart into something with only the right side rows showing.
Stitch pattern is 20 stitches and 22 rows, with one selvedge stitch at each edge.
Purl wrong-side rows, working (k1, p1) in each double yarnover.
- k: knit.
- k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
- p: purl.
- ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
- yo: yarn over.
Row 1 (RS): K1, yo, (ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 4, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 2 and all even rows: Purl, working (k1, p1) in each double yo.
Row 3: K1, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 5, k1.
Row 5: K1, yo, (ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 4, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 7: K1, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, k1.
Row 9: K1, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k8, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 11: K1, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k4) x 2, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k1.
Row 13: K1, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k8, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 15: K1, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, k1.
Row 17: K1, yo, (ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 4, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 19: K1, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 5, k1.
Row 21: K1, yo, (ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 4, ssk, k2tog, yo, k1.
Designers, please feel free to use this stitch in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it. Thanks! – Naomi
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