How to Knit Honeycomb Pattern

Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pot Holder

Sarah E. White, licensed

There are many different ways to add texture to knitting, from working knits and purls on the same row to make textured stitch patterns to knitting cables and more.

Using slipped stitches is another way to add texture. Slipped stitches stand out, but even more so when you slip the stitches holding the yarn in a particular way so that the little extra bit of yarn underlining the slipped stitch becomes a decorative feature. 

Such is the way with Slip Stitch Honeycomb, a really simple stitch pattern that's based on Garter Stitch but looks a lot different because of the slipped stitches.

How to Knit Slip Stitch Honeycomb

This is a great stitch pattern because it can be worked on any odd number of stitches, so you can use it for all sorts of purposes.

The other thing you need to know about the pattern is that the plain knit rows are considered the front or right side of the work. Because the stitches are slipped with the yarn in back on wrong side rows, the yarn strands become part of the fabric on the right side.

Rows 1 and 3: (right side) Knit.

Row 2: Knit 1, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1. Repeat from * across.

Row 4: Knit 2, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1. Repeat from * across, ending with an additional knit 1.

Repeat these four rows for pattern.

This pattern is sometimes also called Loop Pattern or Loop Stitch, but you can see why it's called honeycomb, too.

Patterns Using Slip Stitch Honeycomb

I used the Slip Stitch Honeycomb pattern in my Slip Stitch Pot Holder.

Without a doubt, the most famous use of Slip Stitch Honeycomb in all of knitting is the Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland for Madelinetosh Yarns. As I write this more than 21,000 projects using the pattern were logged on Ravelry, and the pattern was in more than 13.000 queues. (Confession: I've still never made one, but Kay Meadors has probably made enough of them for all of us.)

It's so popular, in fact, that a Honey Hat pattern that coordinates with the cowl has also been released. But that design, by Jenn Nevitt, will cost you $4.

The Honey Cowl is worked in the round, so it uses a variation on the stitch as explained above in which the stitches are slipped with the yarn held in front. It also involves purling the slip-stitch rounds because that's how you make Garter Stitch in the round, but that makes the slipping even easier because the yarn is already at the front of the work.

Other projects using the pattern include the Slip Stitch Honeycomb fingerless mitts from Purl Avenue, which uses the pattern on the cuff and at the top of the hand and thumb. There's another version from Pink Brutus that is a bit longer; both are lovely.

There's a Honeycomb Earwarmer worked in bulky yarn and knit by Ravelry user ftlsweetie that's pretty great. You'll also find a scarf pattern (from user McLovin) that will give you some idea of how you could make your own if you want.

Because this stitch pattern works on any odd number of stitches, it's easy to add it to an existing pattern, but be aware that slipping all those stitches will affect your gauge (and try to keep them somewhat loose so your fabric doesn't get too tight).