Knitting Nuances

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Snowed In Headband Makes a Great Last Minute Gift (free pattern)

Holiday knitting panic set in Friday. It generally does this time each December when I realize I’m not going to be able to finish all the knit gifts I had planned in time for Christmas.

Heliosphere_TopI was in the middle of updating  the Heliosphere hat to include a Showy Rib. This is one of my favorite hat tops, but it was published with a standard rib. That’s just not acceptable when the Resilient Cast On it uses would be so much nicer with a Showy Rib.

I was just about to transition to the main hat,  when I decided I really only had time to knit headbands. They’re very popular this year so they are just the thing to get me out of my pickle.

Eco_Duo_YarnFortunately, I purchased 2 skeins of Cascade Eco Duo while on my Connecticut yarn tour this fall. It’s 70% alpaca, 30% merino and 18 sts per 4”. The yarn is undyed and absolutely delightful to knit with. That’s important when you’re going to be power knitting for a few days. This vanilla color has very subtle color variations.

Wondering why I named it the Snowed In Headband?

December_Snow

Snow day gave me lots of time to knit!

This simple project is a great way for you to test some of the Nuances we’ve been chatting about and one I found along the way.

1. Let’s Start with the Resilient Cast On

Snowed_In_Headband2This pretty edge has a nubby look and merges nicely into your rib pattern. We’ve talked about it before and it was used in the Fiftyfifty Shell published in Knitty. Now we’ve paired it with the Showy Rib. It adds the flexibility needed for this kind of project.

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2. The Showy Rib adds depth and warmth to the headband

Snowed_In_Headband4If you’ve been reading the blog, you know I’m a bit bonkers about the Showy Rib. It’s a game changer when it comes to the look of your project. We’ve used it to knit dramatic scarves, add interest to hat brims and given you a sneak peek at some socks that are coming next year.

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3. Four-stitch i-cord bind off with a twist: bind off ‘in pattern’

Snowed_In_Headband3Once this project became a headband, I had a problem. How was I going to bind off? The Resilient Cast On is a great partner for a Showy Rib but there’s no Resilient Bind Off (yet). When I looked at the pretty cast on edge, I decided on something different for the other side.

A bind off that still had stretch was essential. The solution, a 4-stitch i-cord bind off.

Why knit a 4 stitch i-cord?

  1. It’s a little bulkier so it has more stretch.
  2. The 4 stitches wrap all the way around and create a true tube. That gives you the option of inserting a thin band of elastic to customize the fit. Here’s an example of the cord at Joanne’s Fabric.

But wait, there’s more: I bound off “in pattern”.

The Showy Rib is deep and the i-cord bind off was flattening it out more than I wanted, so I  tried binding off ‘in pattern’ and really like the impact.
* k3, k2tog, slip 4 sts back to left needle, k3, p2tog, slip back *

This eliminates a diagonal strand that didn’t work well with the rib (green arrow) and the p2tog creates a nice negative space under the i-cord.

Rib_iCord_.jpg

Matching Cowl? One gift down and just a few more to go. I’m confident I can bang out a few headbands in time. Now I have a new dilemma. There is  about 65% of the skein of Eco Duo left. Do I knit two more headbands with it, or … a matching cowl? It would be so soft and cozy!

Darn, I just tried on the headband as a cowl with the pretty Resilient Edge facing up. I love it! Does that mean everyone needs a matching set now? Ugh, now I’m back in the same boat.

Free Pattern on Ravelry

I just put the Snowed In Headband pattern on Ravelry. It’s free, my gift to you so you can finish your gifts to others. It includes swatching instructions for gauge, the headband pattern in 2 sizes and the cowl, even though I have not actually knit one yet.  There is also a photo tutorial for the Resilient Cast On.

Now, back to knitting and some hot tea.

Looking for More Headband Ideas?

Try the same thing with the Showy Broken Rib and don’t forget our Flat i-Cord!

New to the blog or need a refresher? Here are some blog posts that will help get you up to speed. And don’t forget to check out our New Readers page.

 

2 comments on “Snowed In Headband Makes a Great Last Minute Gift (free pattern)

  1. mariaumb
    December 14, 2015

    Laura, you are amazing! Maybe someday I’ll have the patience to try knitting. A local knitting club wrapped light poles along our Main Street with giant Christmas stockings! You knitters are artists.

    Love to all,

    Maria

    Maria Kaplan 206-866-5125 mariakaplan@gmail.com

    >

  2. Pingback: Use the Showy Decrease to Improve Stitch Patterns | Knitting Nuances

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