First this comes first with this post: it’s my baby’s first birthday!!! Happy birthday sweet boy!!!
Ok, now to the real post, I found this while I was wandering around the internet on little blogspot called Engineered Crochet. If you are a designer I SERIOUSLY encourage you to check it out. She talks through her process for each project and is kind enough to share her patterns as well! If you’re just here for the stitch, then today, O is for Open Hexagons by Sarah of Engineered Crochet.
What Is It?
Open Hexagons is a fun lace stitch that was created by an Chemical Engineering student a few years ago. I know how much work can go into designing something like this, so I thought it would be a nice thing to spread her hard work to you all! I did update the pattern slightly to be a little clear and more consistent with standard patterns, however I left most of it as is. You may notice that the pattern repeats don’t finish neatly and expect you to understand that the last repeat of the pattern is a partial repeat. This is a common feature of free online patterns and I want you all to see that here too so that you can learn to understand some of these patterns better and learn how to reason out what’s going on with them.
Hopefully learning about these less literal patterns here will help some of you to open up a whole new world of patterns online (for free even!) and to grow your understanding of crochet in general. If you have trouble with how the pattern is written here, PLEASE contact me and I will walk you through it.
We’ll start by chaining a multiple of 6 plus 2, I’ll be working 26 and a smaller gauge today to give a better effect for this stitch. This stitch does work for a larger gauge, but I LOVE this red that I found in my scraps bin (thanks Mem!) and I was struggling to get the right tension with a larger hook on this one.
Anyway, once you have your chain done, we’re going to single crochet in the second chain from the hook (think of that as your chain one turning chain and then single crochet into the next one). Skip two chains, work five double crochets in the next chain, skip two chains and single crochet in the next chain. Work that across and you have row one done!
Now, I’m going to pause here to explain what just happened with that row because it is very important to understand if you’re going to fall in love with shells. First and foremost, what we just did there was make a five double crochet shell. This is a relatively common stitch in shell work. The single crochets on either side of the five double crochets hold the shell down and help to give it the shape that it’s so famous for. The chain two that we skipped is space so that the shell will lay down flat and fan out at the top. If you want a bunched shell or if you want to give your work a three dimensional effect, you can work both of those chains and the group of five will stick out like a beautiful (and hopefully NOT sore) thumb!
Row two is going to begin our open work hexagons. First, chain three (which will count as your first double always in this pattern) and work two more double crochets in the last single crochet of row one. These three will work to be “half” of your five double crochet shell and start off your row. When working with shell, “half” shells will often be the beginning and the end of every other row. Skip two (so your shell can lay down) and and we’ll start our pattern repeat. Work one single crochet into the center double crochet of the shell from row one, chain two, skip the rest of the shell (two double crochets), double crochet in the single crochet, chain two, skip two single crochet in the center double crochet of the shell (that’s the end of the open work part of the repeat), skip two (to give our shell some space) work five double crochets in the next single crochet and repeat that across.
Now, you all are smart enough to figure this out, but just to be clear, when you get to the LAST repeat for this row, you do NOT want to work five double crochets into that last single crochet, you want to work a “half” shell which is three double crochets ONLY. This will keep the edge of your work flat and keep you from having some awkward turning chains along the way.
Row three is the second part if our open work and it will start with a chain one (to help you turn the work–if you don’t need it, don’t use it) and a single crochet into the last double crochet from row two. Then we get to our repeat, skip two, and work three double crochets in the single crochet on row two, chain two, skip two, single crochet in the center double crochet of the open work on row two, chain two, skip two, three more double crochets in the single crochet, skip two and single crochet in the center double crochet of the shell on row two (are you seeing the theme here?). Work that across your row and row three is done.
Remember: when you’re working a chain one to turn you ignore that chain on the next row. So, ignore the turning chain and work row two one more time to complete row four.
Row five is effectively row one over again, so I’m going to go over much of it here. Just like row one, row five is a set up row of shells to get you ready for another set of openwork. Rather obviously you’re not working in chains for this row, so in “The Short Version” this row is re-written to reflect the changes. For the long version, I’m just going to say: work row one and you’re done with row five!
Now that we’re all set up, we can start row six which is almost identical to row two except that they’re offset from each other. Chain three and work two double crochets in the first single crochet to make your “half” shell. The repeat portion is to skip two, single crochet, skip two, work five double crochets, skip two, single crochet, chain two, skip two, double crochet, and chain two. Just like row two, when you get to that last single crochet work another “half” shell of three double crochets.
Just like row six is basically row two, row seven is basically row three, but again, it’s the offset version. Chain one to help with turning (if you need it) and single crochet in the first double crochet. Then skip two to help your shell and work five double crochets in the next single crochet. Now we’ll start the repeat part, skip two, single crochet, skip two, work three double crochets in the single crochet, chain two, skip two, single crochet in the double crochet, chain two, skip two, work three double crochets in the single crochet and work that to the last double crochet. Single crochet in the last double crochet and you’re done with row seven.
The last two rows are just repeats. For row eight, repeat row six to finish up the open work section.
For row nine, repeat row five to set up for starting the pattern over.
Repeat rows two to nine for the full pattern and stop at EITHER row five or row nine. This pattern is nice and gives you some options, just remember that you shouldn’t stop your pattern EXCEPT at row five or row nine unless you want to end on an openwork row and have a partial hexagon.
What Else Can You Do With It?
This stitch was made to explore the idea of taking a netted open work stitch and making it at least partially solid using a shell pattern. I think it would be a fun replacement for any solid shell stitch that could stand some holes.
It would also be a good beach cover up or bag, a fun market bag, throw, or valance (the curtain that looks like bangs on kitchen windows among others). It might make fun stockings as well. Be creative with it!
The Short Version
Chain a multiple of 6 + 2
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, *sk 2, dc 5 in next ch, sk 2, sc in next ch rep from * across, turn.
Row 2: ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), dc 2 in first sc, sk 2, *sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc in sc, ch 2 sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc rep from *to last sc, 3 dc in last sc, turn.
Row 3: ch 1 sc in dc, *sk 2, dc 3 in sc, ch 2 , sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc 3 in sc, sk 2, sc in dc rep from * across, turn.
Row 4: repeat row 2.
Row 5: ch 1, sc in dc, *sk 2, 5 dc in sc, sk 2, sc in dc rep from * across, turn.
Row 6: ch 3, 2 dc in first sc, *sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc, sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc in sc, ch 2 rep from * to last sc, 3 dc in last sc, turn.
Row 7: ch 1, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc, *sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 3 dc in sc, ch 2, sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, 3 dc in sc rep from * across, sc in last dc, turn.
Row 8 : repeat Row 6
Row 9: repeat Row 5
Repeat Rows 2-9 for pattern, ending with either row 5 or row 9.