JF's Notebook
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Penned by Jared Flood

Hello and welcome! I'm a knitter, photographer, designer and the creative director at Brooklyn Tweed. I use this notebook as a space to record inspiration and write about my creative work both inside and outside of BT. Thanks for reading, and don't be a stranger—I love hearing from you!

The Story of The Honeycomb

38 Comments December 05, 2009

One of the things I love about knitting is that each project has a story — a history — that sometimes only we as the Makers know, but regardless always serves as a secret source of pleasure each time we wear a handknit garment, or better, see a loved one wearing one. Mostly I’m reminded of the places I was at the time I was knitting, or the things that I was thinking about and exploring during that period. It’s funny the things you remember based on the texture and fiber you had in your hands at the time.

So today I look at a small project that carries a random collection of memories from the last few years. Not such a long time in the grand scheme of things, but my life has changed so much during this period, that I feel particularly nostalgic and grateful looking back on it.

Honeycomb Scarf

I’ll often remember where I was when I cast-on for a new project. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the whole genesis moment of something you hope will be a lifetime heirloom, or maybe it’s just that heightened feeling of excitement when your hands, in anticipatory delight, finally get to test-drive a special new yarn. This memory usually serves as a channel marker for how long a project has been in-process. See, my knitting memory is very random — it doesn’t serve well for dates, durations or time periods but rather sensory and emotional outposts. In this case I know that this scarf has been hanging around for about three years, because I distinctly remember casting on in my old Brooklyn apartment on a Fall afternoon. Funny I thought then that I’d be done with it in time for winter, but projects tend to have their own plan.

Honeycomb Scarf

The pattern for this scarf is another story too — which brings back other funny memories. It was a free pattern I found in a random knitter’s flickr photostream during one of my many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about.

Well, as it turns out, the pattern was posted on flickr illegally and taken down shortly thereafter by the request of the original author who, despite lots of sleuthing, I have been unable to locate again. [ETA — the pattern has been found! See the notes at the end of the post for details] At that point, however, I had the pattern in hand (your partially-knitted fabric is the best pattern you can get!) and did little to worry about the fact that it had up and disappeared.

Honeycomb Scarf

Fast forward to late summer 2009 when I stumbled across this half-knit gem at the bottom of one of my drawers, just in time for giddy Fall knitting — an almost finished Yak scarf with cables in my favorite shade of grey? Perfection. And back into the light of day it came until its finish just weeks ago.

The yarn is a special one, too: a 50/50 Yak Merino blend with a smooth, 6-ply construction (perfect for popping cables) which I purchased at one of my favorite Manhattan locations, School Products. Because SP carries so many one-of-a-kind yarn imports from Italy, you never know what beautiful things you’ll discover behind their doors, often finding yarns you’ll never have the opportunity for again (which makes yardage planning more important than usual!)

Honeycomb Scarf

A good old fashioned cabled scarf is never out of fashion in my mind — This one is great, super simple – but very elegant and, in the right yarn, a new scarf staple for the steadfast lover of Classics.

ETA: The pattern has been found! Thanks to those of you so speedily joined the hunt! The scarf was designed by Beth Walker O’Brien and is entitled the “Aran Cashmere Scarf” [Ravelry Link] The pattern can be found in the book Simple 1-2-3 Knitting

Honeycomb Scarf

It’s my most favorite time of year for hunkering down at home surrounded by wool yarns and half-knit projects to quietly work and enjoy the start of Winter telling you to stay inside, enjoy what you have, and make beautiful things you feel proud of. Whether gift knitting or diligently keeping pace on long-term heirloom projects, I find the simple act of making stitches even more rewarding than usual this time of year. I hope you’re enjoying yours as well.

Leave a Comment

38 responses to “The Story of The Honeycomb”

  1. I love this scarf. The story made me so happy, too! I love the way a handknit might have a memory in every stitch. I usually remember where I was or what I was doing when I swatched for a project, and those memories carry through into the knitting and the final object. I also often remember a knit's first outing, which is always fun. Enjoy your scarf! As my granny would say, I wish you well to wear it.

  2. I have this booklet and pattern!! It was in a stack of stuff to bring to knit group and give away…not any more!! You've inspired me to keep it and knit it…someday. Happy Knitting…and thanks!

  3. I love the stories that accompany my knitting projects too – and always think it is funny when I give a handknit as a gift and the recipient views it as "new," while to me it has been through so much! Lovely scarf!

  4. "many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about. "

    Exactly the same status I'm in right now…..

  5. Yum, I just love your work and the elegant choices you make! Enjoy the holidays!
    Marcia at Knittingbag.com

  6. Great post, Jared. I can relate! I'm getting toward the end of a sweater I started in Asheville in 2008. Took my mom there for her 80th birthday, and we had a great time. Little did I know that before her next birthday she'd be ravaged by a bad stroke. The sweater reminds me to be grateful we had that vacation together.

  7. I love this story. And I am so happy for you that you were able to turn your passion into a living, moving on from the dreaded 9-to-5. You and your work are an inspiration.

  8. So many things that I have made have those wonderful histories behind them. I love that you brought that up! It really is a knitter's thing. Also, just had to tell you how beautiful I think that scarf is. You did a wonderful job.

  9. This is such a beautiful scarf! Thank you for sharing it with us. I am just starting with cables and it looks like this would be a great second project for practice. You mention that you "reworked" the cables so that they would pop and there is a striking difference between your first version and the finished product. So, how did you do that?!? Any suggestions on where to look for techniques to get my cables to pop too?

  10. This is one of the most beautiful scarfs I've seen. I love it. You are so right about the memories associated with all our projects. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  11. knitting as sense-memory. yep. i think that's why i'm not a super-perfectionist. "every project tells a story." and not all stories have to be happy; i know i don't fully appreciate the sweet without some bitterness. the black coffee to go with the chocolate-cream pie.

    and — thank you so much for talking about yarn. you remind me that i still have so much to learn about it, and what's best for what. just getting the hang of fiber; it is time to start with unspun vs. single vs. plied — and then, 'how plied'.

    perhaps one day i shall be able to do more than just copy the ideas of others.

    one who is often snarky — but not today.

  12. Absolutely stunning. You do such incredible work. From the simplest garter stitch to the most complicated cables and everything in between, any project your fingers touch is complete magic. You, Jared, are a constant inspiration.

  13. I love the colour, the pattern ~ great scarf. I have some alpaca that I picked up this summer and without actually looking for a pattern for it, this might just be it. Beautiful.

  14. I just don't have words. It's astonishing! It's a very incredibe scarf. Really beautiful. Congratulations!

  15. My goodness. I'm delurking to say thank you for the hope.

    I say this as I stare glassy eyed at my own work computer, hopping around from blog to blog, with this vague idea that knitting (and designing) has "a future".

    Three years seems a small bargain.

    Thank you. I'll be back.

  16. It's so beautiful and entises one to lovingly run the fingers over and then snuggle near your face and neck. Oh my, got carried away, again. It's that dang WOOL. lol

  17. Excellent pattern and beautifully done to.I love the simplicity of the scarf…knitting may not be as simple a job though.

  18. We have an old belief in Estonia that you must start a new work in the morning or at least before noon. So it will be ready soon. The later you start the longer it takes. 🙂
    Nice scarf. Very nice!

  19. I can’t find the book with the pattern in anymore. Can you tell me how to find it. I really want to make it for someone special. Let me know please.

  20. Hello Carol, It looks like there are used copies of “Simple 1-2-3 Knitting” available on Amazon. Your local library might also be able to provide a copy. All the best, Jen | BT Customer Service

  21. Hello Arlene, The pattern is in the book “Simple 1-2-3 Knitting.” There may be used copies available on Amazon. Your local library might also be able to provide a copy. All the best, Jen | BT Customer Service

  22. I just about cried when I found this blog post! A flickr image of this GORGEOUS project showed up on my Pinterest feed and I just had to track down the pattern/story behind the photo. Three days of searching finally got me here! I cannot wait to cast on! I’ve never knitted either the honeycomb or the horseshoe cables and I can’t wait to try them out on this project.

    Jared — I nodded vigorously when I read this line: during one of my many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about. — I feel you.

    Thank you for sharing and ending my furious search for this gorgeous pattern and even more lovely story.

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