Toot Sweet: Honeycomb Scarf
I had the best time knitting my first Honeycomb Scarf.
The first week of June, as I packed for a family adventure (and wedding) in Morocco, I tossed a Freia Yarn Bomb (shade: Oyster) and 4 assorted Freia Minikins (Lichen, Canyon, Woodsman, and Autumn Rose) into my bag. This was my own homebrew, a riff on the special bakery boxes Tina Whitmore put together for the Honeycomb Scarf Bundle.
I was inspired by Cristina, who straight-up followed the pattern (can you imagine?)—using two Freia Shawl Balls. The slow, smooth color shifts of her version are sublime.
Cristina’s Shawl Ball shades are Lichen and Ember (restock of all shades happening soon!), but trust me: all the Shawl Ball colorways meld beautifully for this project, so follow your heart to the available shades you like the most. You can have full confidence that they will work well together for this pattern.
Seriously: who would’ve thought these two Shawl Balls would knit up the way they did? Tina Whitmore’s dyeing is pure artistry, and full of delightful surprises.
I was also inspired by you, ma’am, and the photography sample you made for the Spring colorway of the Honeycomb Scarf Bundle. And do I understand correctly that you’re at work on another Honeycomb, in one of the other colorways? Save a few bundles for the rest of us!
My early-morning yard styling session got sort of Twin Peaks all of a sudden! Look for my f0rthcoming coffee table book Knits on Logs (2024).
The knit side is great, but it’s the purl side for me. Love those teeny triangles.
I think that among the three of us, we’ve proven that there is no bad way to combine Freia yarns for this project. Get ’em, or use what you’ve got, and go! It’s going to be beautiful.
Technical Tips What I Learned
Quiet Time. The broken-rib brioche stitch that Nancy Marchant chose for the Honeycomb Scarf is fun and easy—4 simple rows, over and over, revealing their clever logic to your brain and needles. But be advised: the beginning stages of this project are not the best knitting choice for boisterous family travel. You can mess it up, therefore you will mess it up. I started in Marrakech, but I had to start over twice.
The third time was the charm, mostly because by then I was boxed into a plane seat for the 13 hours it took to get home. I was in my own world, with no distractions other than the occasional murmur of turbulence or the question “pasta or chicken?” So that’s my tip: give yourself a couple of hours of quiet to establish the rhythm of this stitch pattern; you’ll be glad you did, and the project quickly becomes portable after that.
Lickety-split. If you’re using Minikins, when you change colors, spit-felt the new color to the tail of the old color, and carry on knitting. At the end, you’ll have just 4 ends to weave in: bliss!
Tink for the win. If you mess up, undo your knitting—do not be a hero and try to drop an individual stitch all the way back to the mistake, like that Ann Shayne did with her Cushiest Cowl. If you catch the mistake in the same row, un-knit, stitch by stitch, back to it. If you have to go back a row or more, rip back to a Row 1 B or Row 2 B before the mistake. Why? On the B rows, there are no slipped stitch yarnovers to reconstruct. It’s easier to get an accurate stitch count, and easier to get your Honeycomb back on the straightaway.
Training wheels. Before you start your Honeycomb Scarf for real, cast on 33 stitches in two colors of cotton, linen, or other dishcloth-worthy yarn, and otherwise follow the Honeycomb Scarf pattern exactly as written, until it’s dishcloth sized. By then you’ll have the pattern down cold—and you’ll also have an entry for our upcoming Kitchen Sink-along, a dishcloth knitalong that starts on July 15! Some people would call this a swatch. I don’t know anything about swatches.
Bonus blocking tip. I gave my finished scarf a nice soak in the Soak, to get the travel dust out and lend a delicate, breezy scent of figs and clean wool. The fabric really bloomed! The tip here is to use the raggediest towel you own, the thinner the better—for faster drying. Rule of thumb: if it’s a souvenir beach towel with a web address on it, it’s too new. Ideally you’re looking for a relic of the 20th century for this job. You want a towel that watched Blue’s Clues with a child who’s now 25.
My next knit: a Honeycomb hand towel, using Creative Linen. The cool thing: the math works out precisely—with no changes to the pattern at all, other than the yarn substitution. Momma’s bathroom is in need of an upgrade in Spa Ambiance. Up next: wind chimes!