Honeycomb is a common Bucks Point ground or open part of lace. It needs a reasonable area to make sense of the pattern. The Dutch for this is Honingraatgrond. The French is fond de mariage (wedding ground). See pattern 13.
Pattern representation of honeycomb
Honeycomb uses a Bucks Point grid, with lines at 60° (rather than Torchon's 45°). The tradition pattern of honeycomb may just give the pinholes. I prefer to mark out exactly where the pairs go - see above right.
All stitches in honeycomb are the same. They are half stitch and twist, pin, half stitch and twist. See diagram below:
The extra twists give the prominent pinholes in honeycomb, which is a strong feature of the design. The pairs end up in the same order that they were at the start.
This shows how the pairs travel through honeycomb
The following diagram avoids the complexities of the individual stitches by showing each pair of threads as a single line. Where one line crosses another, you should work it as above, in half stitch and twist, pin, half stitch and twist.
The diagram shows several rows of honeycomb. The first row is outside the honeycomb, but sets up the pairs of bobbins in the right place. You will also see pairs appearing from the left or right, which happens in honeycomb. It does not have a neat edge!
Working: Honeycomb is worked in diagonal rows. The diagram shows rows from upper left to lower right. It is possible to work honeycomb sloping the other way.
Row 1: Work the top two pairs. Take the right pair from this pin to work the stitch at the next pin, and so on. This is similar to a worker pair working across all other pairs (although the mechanics of the stitch at each pin means that it is not the same pair each time).
Row 2: Work the top two pairs. Then discard them, and take the next two pairs and work them, and so on. This creates a pattern of triangles.
Row 3: as row 1 - the right pair from each pin goes into the next pin's stitch. You will start to see hexagons appear.
Row 4: as row 2 - work top two pairs, discard them, work the next two pairs, etc.
And so on. If the patterns show lines, then make sure that your threads follow the lines. This will help you choose the correct two pairs for each pin.
Honeycomb can be loose at the pin, making too big a hole. After making the stitch after the pin (closing the pin), first pull the outer bobbins downwards (which widens the hole, but pulls out any slack above the pin), then pull the inner bobbins downwards (which tightens the hole).
© Jo Edkins 2016 - return to lace index