Tunisian Honeycomb Oval Placemats
Fingering to worsted weight cotton
Abbreviations: DC (double crochet), HDC (half double crochet), Hc (honeycomb stitch), Inc (increase), IncH (honeycomb increase), TSS (Tunisian simple stitch), TPS (Tunisian purl stitch), St (stitch), SC (single crochet), Yo (yarn over)
Hc: alternating stitch pattern: TSS 1, TPS 1; after the 1st round of honeycomb st, always work a TSS into a TPS and vice versa
Inc: insert hook into the return pass chain, Yo and pull up a loop, keeping the loop on the hook. 1 st added.
IncH: Yo, Inc as above by pulling up a loop in the return pass chain. 2 stitches added
TSS: Insert hook into next st, Yo, pull up a loop and keep on hook.
TPS: Yarn forward, insert hook into next st, Yo, pull up a loop from left to right and keep on hook.
Double-ended Tunisian hook and regular crochet hook in size recommended for yarn
These ovals are worked in the round, so you need a double-ended Tunisian hook. They are a great introduction to oval construction in the round using the wonderful Tunisian method. I love the textured pattern of hexagonal foreground colour, with the background colour visible in the centre. You will need 2 balls of yarn - colour A for the forward pass (foreground) and colour B for the return pass (background).
You should be able to identify 4 Tunisian stitches fanning out in a semi-circle; the first one is right on the edge. Each one has a front and back loop and goes through the return pass chain (peach colour):
The 3rd one always has a conspicuous bump at the base of it that helps you know you're in the right place. Once you have identified those first 4 stitches, work them as follows:
Round 1: With colour A, chain 32. Working into the back bumps, create 4 St in the 2nd bump from the hook, as follows: (TSS 1, Yo, TSS 1) all into the 2nd bump from the hook. Working into the back bumps, TSS 29.
Create 4 St into the last bump as follows: (Yo, TSS 1, Yo, TSS 1) all into the last bump.
[Start working return pass here with colour B: Push stitches to the other end of the hook, turn the work, and attach colour B to the project by wrapping it around the hook and pulling it through the 1st loop on the hook:
Then Yo and pull through 2 stitches on the hook, and repeat this until 2 stitches remain.
Turn work and push stitches back to the other end, and continue with the forward pass. Throughout the pattern, work the return pass whenever stitches accumulate on the hook and make it hard to proceed; always Yo and pull through 2 stitches on hook for all subsequent return passes.]
Skipping the 1st stitch which has the attached yarn tail and slip knot, TSS 30 along the other side of the starting chain, working under both loops of the chain. Make sure you count exactly 30.
Here is what your work should look like after you have finished round 1 and worked a return pass until you have 2 stitches on the hook:
You should be able to identify 4 Tunisian stitches (purple), each with a front and back loop, and they should each run through the return pass chain (peach) and radiate out around the semi-circle:
#1 is right on the edge and has the yarn tail coming out of it; #3 always has a conspicuous bump at the base of it that helps you know you're in the right place. Once you have identified those first 4 stitches, you're ready to work round 2 as follows:
Round 2: (TSS 1, Inc) 4 times. (TSS 1, TPS 1) 14 times, TSS 1, (Inc, TSS 1) 4 times, (TPS 1, TSS 1) 15 times.
So, you will work a TSS into stitch #1 in the photo above, then work an increase by pulling up a loop in the return pass chain between #1 and #2. Then repeat this (work a TSS into #2, pull up a loop in the return pass chain between #2 and #3). Once you have done this a total of 4 times, work down the straight side of the placemat by working 29 stitches in the alternating Hc pattern, starting with a TSS. This brings you to the semi-circle at the other end. Identify semi-circle stitches #1-4 as above, then start the semi-circle with an increase this time, followed by a TSS; do this a total of 4 times, then work 30 Hc stitches down the other straight side of the placemat starting with a TPS. That completes round 2. Remember to keep taking breaks to work a return pass whenever it gets hard to proceed. Once you've finished round 2 and worked the return pass, your project should look something like this:
Place a marker on or directly below the last stitch of the round.
Round 3: TPS 1, TSS 1, IncH, (TPS 1, TSS 1) twice, IncH, (TPS 1, TSS 1) 16 times, TPS 1, IncH, (TSS 1, TPS 1) twice, IncH, (TSS 1, TPS 1) 16 times.
From round 3 on, all increases are worked as 'honeycomb increases' (IncH), in which you do a yarn over before pulling up a loop in the return pass chain. This creates 2 new stitches, and allows you to maintain the alternating Hc pattern. On the return pass, treat the yo like a regular stitch.
On the straight sides of round 3, the TPS and TSS stitches should line up from the round before, so that you are always purling into a TSS and working a TSS into a purl. The diagram above shows you how to identify the purl bump; for more explanation of this zoom ahead to 6min 37s of my video on honeycomb stitch. Move the marker up after each round, or just follow it up visually. If you have any trouble identifying Tunisian stitches in rounds 1-3, consult the Tunisian Oval Placemat pattern for tips; or, here is a video that shows you the first 4 rounds in detail.
Round 4: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. Move marker onto last st of each round. 83 St
Round 5: ֍ (Hc 3, IncH) 3 times, Hc 3. ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Round 6: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 95 St
Round 7: ֍ Hc 3, IncH, (Hc 4, IncH) 3 times, Hc 3. ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Round 8: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 111 St
Round 9: ֍ Hc 5, IncH, (Hc 4, IncH) 4 times, Hc 5. ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Rounds 10,11: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 131 St
Round 12: ֍ Hc 6, IncH, (Hc 8, IncH) 3 times, Hc 6, ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Round 13: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 147 St
Rounds 15,16: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 167 St
Round 17: ֍ Hc 7, IncH, Hc 13, IncH, Hc 14, IncH, Hc 13, IncH, Hc 7, ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍
to ֎, Hc 30.
Round 18: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 183 St
Round 19: ֍ Hc 9, IncH, (Hc 11, IncH) 4 times, Hc 9, ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Rounds 20,21: Work evenly around in Hc stitch. 203 St
Round 22: ֍ Hc 9, IncH, (Hc 18, IncH) 3 times, Hc 9, ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30.
Round 23: Work evenly around in honeycomb stitch. 219 St
(the following rounds are optional and may be required depending on yarn gauge and desired size:)
Round 24: ֍ Hc 10, IncH, (Hc 15, IncH) 4 times, IncH, Hc 10, ֎ Hc 29. Repeat from ֍ to ֎, Hc 30. 239 St
Rounds 25,26: Work evenly around in honeycomb stitch.
Whenever you are happy with the size, jump to edging after working either 1 or 2 no-increase honeycomb rounds.
Round 1 of all EDGINGS
Switch to regular crochet hook. With colour A or B, SC loosely in each st around; join with slip stitch to 1st SC of round. You can end here, slip or crab stitch around, OR work one of the following edgings alone or in combination:
Round 2: Chain 3. (Skip 1 St, HDC into next St, chain 1) until the placemat starts to curve; along the
semi-circle ends, work 2 adjacent HDC-chain 1 without skipping approx. 10-12 times as follows: ֍ HDC into next st without skipping, chain 1, (skip 1 st, HDC into next st, chain 1) twice; ֎ Repeat from ֍ to ֎ until the placemat straightens, and again on the other semi-circle end. Finish with chain 1 and join with slip st to 2nd chain of starting chain 3.
Round 3: SC into each st around. The easiest method is: (SC 1 into the top of the next HDC, SC 1 into the next Ch1 space) around. Shown as edging 1 below; round 4 is optional.
Round 4: Crab stitch around, OR slip stitch around, OR Fan stitch (below), OR add Edging 3.
Round 2: Fan stitch: ֍ skip 2 st, DC 6* times into next st, skip 2 St, SC into next St. ֎ Repeat from ֍ to ֎ around until you have 20-24 stitches left; count remaining stitches & adjust your remaining fans if the number is not divisible by 6, to avoid a gap. (ie. on the remaining fans, skip 1 st instead of 2 to create a st and achieve a multiple of 6).
[*work 5-DC fans if using heavier yarn such as heavy sport or worsted weight]
Round 2: (SC 1, HDC 1, DC 1, HDC 1, SC 1, slip st 1), repeat around. Gently undulates.