Hexagon Stitch Converted for in the Round!
One of the joys of teaching at national and regional knitting conferences are the enthusiastic people you meet who want to explore what you are teaching. Teaching at the 2018 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was a truly wonderful experience this year. One workshop I taught focussed on the Knit One Below technique. The focus of that workshop is the application of that technique that produces vertical stripes, but I also cover several textural variations created with K1B. One of the stitches covered is the Hexagon Stitch, seen below.
Here’s the directions for the Hexagon Stitch knitted flat:
CO odd number of stitches. Set up: Knit one row .
Row 1: (K1, K1B) to last st, K1
Row 2: *K1, work # (see below), repeat from * to last st, K1
Row 3: (K1B, K1) to last st, K1B
Row 4: (work #, K1) to last st, work #
# = From bottom to top, insert right needle through the strand resting atop the next stitch (as a result of K1B on previous row). Insert right needle into next st knitwise and slip it. Insert the left needle into the front of the two slipped sts from left to right, wrap the yarn around the right needle and pull yarn through, slipping the sts off the left needle.
At the end of the class, a participant in the class, Laura Hinton asked, “What about doing the Hexagon stitch in two colors? What does that look like?” I had not thought to do that, so I said, “Experiment! and be sure to let me know how it turns out.” In a few days, Laura sent me the red and white image below and a message:”This was rows 1-2 color A followed by rows 3-4 color B. One edge is problematic because the color change was removing a loop. Perhaps I did not have it exactly right. It would be better in the round, perhaps a hat?”
And that began a collaborative quest to convert Hexagon stitch from flat knitting into knitting in the round. At first, it might seem simple, reversing the order of stitch sequence and changing knit sts to purl sts to convert the WS rows, but rows 2 & 4 required that somewhat involved # technique above. How to replicate that stitch with the RS facing was not a straightforward process, at least not for me. It took some experimentation. At this point, I don’t recall the different things I tried, but I did finally find the solution and it proved quite simple to perform. I sent the hexagon stitch in the round directions to Laura, and within a few days, received images of a completed ponytail hat worked in the round with hexagon stitch (see images below)! WOO HOO! Success!
So here’s the Hexagon Stitch pattern knit in the round:
CO even number of stitches, join in the round, and place marker at beg of rd. Set up: Purl one rd
Rd 1: (K1, K1B) to end of rd.
Rd 2: (P1, work #) to end of rd.
Rd 3: (K1B, K1) to end of rd.
Rd 4: (work #, P1) to end of rd.
# = From back to front, insert right needle through the float resting behind the next stitch (as a result of K1B on previous row) and lift it onto the left needle. Purl the lifted float and the next st tog as if to do a P2tog.
For two color design, use Color 1 for rds 1 & 2, and use Color 2 for rds 3 & 4. Now you too can create lovely, very soft and squishy textured Hexagon Stitch in the round. But I do have a request…send me images of what you do so I can post them on my website!
My thanks to Laura Hinton for being such an enthusiastic participant in class, for wanting to experiment, for encouraging me to convert the Hexagon Stitch into the round, and then test knitting the conversion with an original design. And for giving me permission to use her images!
By the way, back to knitting the hexagon stitch flat with two colors. For two color design, use Color 1 for rows 1 & 2, and use Color 2 for rows 3 & 4. I always move the color just worked to the left and lift up the new working color behind it. I then slightly tug on the previous worked yarn to remove any looseness in the float without causing distortion of the edge. Plus, I was careful to execute the K1B in the proper stitch on the selvedge edge, and likewise picking up the proper strand while executing the # maneuver on the edge. That is how I achieved an acceptable looking edge.