The Bee in Your Bonnet Toque

Anyone who knows me knows I love bees! In fact, bees, and in particular honey bees, have taken over my life the past few years. When I am not busy crocheting or knitting, I am studying and advocating for Honey Bee Veterinary Medicine. And so about a month ago I was thinking about how beautiful honey comb is (I really do sit and just think about these things sometimes!), and it hit me that I would love to design a hat that replicates the intricate design of hexagonal cells in a repeating pattern. I let the thought of this hat roll around in my brain for a good few weeks before I started to imagine the stitches I would need to construct it. After developing a basic plan of using stitches worked in the front post to create the texture, I sat down with a ball of yarn in a honey yellow colour for inspiration and got to work. There was a lot of trial and error, and so so much frogging, and I am pretty sure I have created an entirely new stitch – the front post triple crochet double crochet triple crochet 3 together stitch (that’s a mouthful!). Finally I have the pattern exactly how I had seen it in my head. This is a more complicated pattern, well suited for the intermediate or advanced crocheter. But I have broken it down into written steps with detailed pictures of the complex stitches so that beginners can be successful at it as well. I also plan to do a video tutorial in the next week and will post details about that once it is completed! Stay tuned!

Materials

  • Approximately 200 yards worsted weight (#4) yarn. I used Caron Simply Soft in Gold for the honey coloured hat.
  • 6.0 mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Optional – faux fur PomPom

Size

This pattern makes one hat sized for an adult woman.  The pattern is worked in repeats of 8 stitches.

Gauge

4” is 14 stitches by 18 rows.

Stitches

  • sc – single crochet
  • BLO – back loop only
  • sc2tog – single crochet two together
  • fpdc – front post double crochet
    • yarn over, insert hook behind the post of the next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook.
  • fptc – front post triple crochet
    • yarn over two times, insert hook behind the top of the fptc2tog below, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on your hook.
  • fptc2tog – front post triple crochet 2 together
    • yarn over two times, insert hook behind the post of the fptc (or fpdc) that is in 3 rows below and to the right of your hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook, yarn over two times and insert around the post of the fptc (or fpdc) that is 3 rows below and to the left of your hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on your hook.
  • fptcdctc3tog – front post triple crochet double crochet triple crochet 3 together
    • yarn over two times, insert hook behind the fptc to the right of the hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through 2 loops.  With 2 loops remaining, yarn over and insert hook behind fptc directly below hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops.  With 3 loops remaining on your hook, yarn over two times, insert hook behind the fptc to the left of the hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through the 4 remaining loops on your hook.

Pattern

Hat Band

Chain 10

Row 1:  sc in second chain from hook, sc across, chain 1, turn (9)

Row 2-56: sc in BLO across first 8 stitches, sc (in both loops) of last stitch, chain 1, turn (9)

Slip stitch sc from BLO in last row to the foundation chain to join the hat band in a circle.  Chain 1.  The Body of the hat will be worked in the round, building up from the hat band.

Body of Hat

Row 1:  sc into the top of each row of the hat band so that you have 56 sc.  Slip stitch with the first sc of the row to join, chain 1. (56)

Row 2: sc, fpdc around the post of the second sc in row 1, *sc 3, fpdc around next post of the sc in row 1*, repeat around, end with sc 2, join, chain 1. (56)

The blue arrow indicates the post of the 2nd sc from the row below where we will place the fpdc.  The pink arrow indicates the 1st sc in row 2 – note how it is placed in relation to the stitch below (the directly below the pink arrow, and just slightly to the left is the post of the first sc of the row below – this is not the post we are using!
To start the fpdc yarn over then insert hook behind the post of the next sc stitch in the row below
View of row 2 from the top after I have placed the fpdc.  The pink lines are the sc stitch from row 1 which I just completed the fpdc stitch in front of.  We will skip this stitch and place the next sc into the stitch indicated by the blue lines.

Row 3: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 4:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 5:  *fptc2tog, sc 3*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (56)

At the very start of row 5.  The blue arrows indicate the 2 fpdc from row 2 that we will work our first fptc2tog around.  The blue circles show all of the other fpdc from row 2 – they are noticeable by the bump out that is created.
For the fptc2tog we are going to start with a triple crochet (tc) around the fpdc of row 2 that is to the right of your hook (reaching backwards).  The first part of a tc is to yarn over twice.
Continuing with the first tc, after doing a yarn over twice, insert your hook behind the fpdc of round 2 that is to the right of your hook.
After inserting hook behind the fpdc of row 2, yarn over and pull up a loop, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook.  You will be left with 3 loops on your hook.
With the 3 loops on your hook from the picture above, you will yarn over and pull through 2 loops on you hook.  This will leave 2 loops on your hook.  In a normal tc we would yarn over and pull through these 2 loops to finish the stitch, however because we are going to tc 2 stitches together, we will leave these 2 loops on the hook and start the second tc of this stitch.
To start the second tc of the fptc2tog, yarn over twice.  You will have 4 loops on your hook.
Insert your hook behind the next fpdc (to the left of your hook).
After inserting your hook behind the second fpdc, yarn over and pull up a loop, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook.
 Next you will yarn over again and pull through 2 loops on your hook.  This will leave you with 3 loops on your hook (2 loops from the first tc, and 1 loop from the second tc).
The three loops left on your hook.  Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops to finish the fptc2tog.
The finished fptc2tog.  This creates the top of the honeycomb shape.
View from the top of row 5.  The pink lines show the sc from row 4 that we just worked the fptc2tog in front of.  You will skip working into this stitch, and place the sc in the next stitch (shown by the blue lines).
Ready for the next fptc2tog.  Note that the next stitch, which you place the fptc2tog in front of is in the middle of the two fpdc that you will be working around.

Row 6:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 7:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 8: sc 1, fptc, *sc 3, fptc*, repeat around to last 2 stitches, sc 2, join, chain 1. (56)

The fptc will create the vertical sides of the honeycomb shape.  You will be using the top of the fptc2tog stitch directly below as the post to tc around.
To start the fptc yarn over 2 times.
After yarning over two times, insert your hook behind the top of the fptc2tog from below.
Working around the fptc2tog, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook.  Then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, and yarn over one more time and pull through the last 2 loops on your hook.

Row 9:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 10: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 11:  *fptc2tog, sc 3*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (56)

Working around the fptc2tog, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on your hook.  Then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, and yarn over one more time and pull through the last 2 loops on your hook.
After finishing the first tc of the fptc2tog, yarn over two times then insert hook behind the fpfc that is to the left of your hook.

Row 12:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 13:  sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 14: sc 1, fptc, *sc 3, fptc*, repeat to last 2 stitches, sc 2, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 15: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 16: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 17: *fptc2tog, sc 3*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 18: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 19: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 20: sc 1, fptc, *sc 3, fptc*, repeat to last 2 stitches, sc, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 21: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 22: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 23: *fptc2tog, sc 3*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (56)

Row 24: *sc 2, sc2tog*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (42)

Row 25: sc 1, *sc 1, sc2tog*, repeat around to last 2 stitches, sc2tog, join, chain 1. (28)

Row 26: *sc 1, fptc*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (28)

Row 27: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (28)

Row 28: sc in each stitch around, join, chain 1. (28)

Row 29: *fptcdctc2tog, sc 3*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (28)

To decrease the honeycombs, we are going to combine 2 honeycomb shapes together.  To do this we will work around the post of 3 fptc as shown by the blue arrows.
To start the fptcdctc3tog, we will begin with a tc around the fptc to the right of the hook just as we have done in the rows before.
To work around the middle fptc, the “leg” does not need to be as long so we will just do a dc around it.  Yarn over one time then insert hook behind the middle fptc (directly below hook), yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops.  This will leave 3 loops on your hook before starting the last tc of the fptcdctc3tog.
After completing the last tc of the fptcdctc3tog, you will have 4 loops on your hook.  Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

Row 30: *sc 2, sc2tog*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (21)

Row 31: sc 2, *sc2tog, sc*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (14)

Row 32: *sc, fptc*, repeat around, join, chain 1. (14)

Row 33: sc2tog around, join. (7).

Fasten off, leaving a long tail.  Weave through the 7 single crochet and cinch to close.  Attach a PomPom if you wish.

Combine 2 contrasting colours for a dramatic effect! Here I have used Red Heart Soft in Black and Lion Brand Landscapes in Coral Reef.

Pattern differences when working with 2 different colours

Using a contrasting colour for just the honeycomb stitches creates a beautiful effect reminiscent of stained glass windows. Note a few changes to the pattern:

When changing colour, before finishing the stitch you are working on, change the colour and use the new colour to pull through the loops. 

When changing colour for the next stitch, use the new colour to pull through the loops to finish the stitch.
Having used the new colour to finish the last stitch, the new stitch will all be the new colour.

In rows that you will be switching back and forth between colours, carry the other colour through the stitches to make changes easier (and to have less ends to weave in!). 

In rows using 2 colours, carry the other coloured yarn through the stitches.

In Rows that only use one colour, when joining, make sure to tack the other colour into the join stitch, this way you do not have to cut the yarn between rows with multiple colours and will have less ends to weave in! 

When placing the join stitch in rows that will not require a colour change, make sure to work around the other colour yarn in the join, chain 1 to tack it up.  This prevents you from having to cut the other yarn in between rows with that colour.

In Row 2 – when working the fpdc, insert hook just below the sc post and into the hat band – this will keep the honeycomb stitch colour consistent with the hat band pattern. 

When working with a contrasting colour for the hat band and honeycomb stitch, in row 2 when you fpdc, do NOT fpdc around the post of the sc stitch in row 1 as you will see the other color in the honeycomb part.  Instead, yarn over, then insert hook just below the post you would use, into the band of the hat, yarn over and pull through 2 loops then yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops to finish the stitch.
Although I love using the honey yellow colour for this hat to pay homage to my muse the honey bee, I think it looks lovely in any colour! Here I have used Red Heart Soft in Charcoal Grey.

As always, feel free to make this for personal use or sale, however, remember to give me credit for the pattern by linking my FB of IG accounts (One Knotty Dog).  Please do not distribute copies of the pattern or my photographs without my permission.  I would love to see all of your creations!  Tag me or use the hashtag #oneknottydog, #thebeeinyourbonnet or #honeycombstitch.  Send me an email to oneknottydog@gmail.com with any questions!

Happy making,

Britteny

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