Easy Polka Dots with Hexagons

Designing with hexagons can be tricky, but it is also full of amazing surprises: This blog is about how easy it is to achieve Polka dot effects with hexagons!

Let’s start with looking at a small block of six hexagons (top left of the following graph). They are arranged in two rows, three hexagons each row. The first row has the sequence of “background, background, dot”. If you feel like dancing, you could say “skip, skip, dot”. The second row starts with a dot and has two background hexagons that follow.

Because of hexagon geometry, the dots between the rows are offset just right to make a classical Polka dot pattern.

Now you just need to repeat those “steps” within each row, and repeat those two rows, to any size you like. There you have your polka dot pattern!

To demonstrate, I made a Polka Dot Cowl in autumn colors … and did I mention that cowls are perfect medium size pin-loom projects, perfect for trying out crafting ideas … and perfect for gift giving?

The Autumn Cowl was woven on the TinyTURTLE™ Loom F-Fine sett with a yarn that is unfortunately discontinued (WEBS Camp Color Fingering, colors Audiophile and Somewhere Over the Rainbow). You can substitute any sock/fingering weight yarn or use the TinyTURTLTE™ Loom R-Regular sett with worsted weight yarns.

If you like the background plaid effect of the sample cowl, look for a yarn with “micro stripes”. Here are two examples:

Tempe Yarn’s Desert Garden is dyed with TURTLE looms in mind.

The variegated yarn on the left is Dusty Miller, on the right is Lupine. A suggestion for the dots is Desert Shades in Merlot (the “real” colors are actually more vibrant than in this photo).

Call the store for assistance at 480-557-9166 while they are updating their online shop.

In my stash I had these yarns from the Chaos Fiber Co.

The Micro-Stripe color is Birthday Party, combined with “dots” of Tonal Minis in Turquise Pop, Hot Pink, Hot Orange, and Lemon Drop. Use one or all!

The cowl measures about 21.5″ in the round and is about 9″ tall. You can easily change the size by adding/subtracting rows and repeats. The modeled cowl for example has one extra repeat, which brings it to 27″ in the round.

Here is the chart for making the cowl:

For your own Polka dot projects, and no matter which hexagons you’re using, here is a Hexagon Polka Dot Design chart for you. Print it in landscape layout for best results. If you need a larger chart, print and tape together as many copies as you need.

I hope that you enjoy this little lesson in “Designing with Hexagons”. There’s more to explore in these articles on the Handwoven/Little Looms website.

Lastly, if you are curious (like I was) about the origins of Polka dots, here is an article that I enjoyed reading about the history of polka dot patterns.

I want to thank Gale Zuckerwww.gzucker.com, on Instagram @galezucker, for her amazing ability to bring out the best of a hand-crafted item in photography, and to Josephine Ankrah, Instagram @sweetjsphn, for perfectly modeling the Polka Dot Cowl.

The TURTLEs are looking forward to seeing your Polka dot projects!

2 thoughts on “Easy Polka Dots with Hexagons

  1. Gabi, You have done it again!!! Your presentation of polka dots using a hexagon loom is intriguing, fascinating, and, if I allow it, could become addictive!! I loved the history lesson on dots through history. I have always liked the micro stripe effect with variegated yarn, although I didn’t know it had a name!! Thanks for presenting to us, once again, an imaginative and beautiful project.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lynne. It is very rewarding for me to see your enthusiasm … it’s a little “mission accomplished” confirmation that is very much appreciated.
      Onwards to Polka dots!

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