Make This:

Cable Knit Headband

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Wrapping a plastic headband with a hand knit is the best of both worlds – it stays in place more easily than a headband without a plastic structure without giving up cozy sweater charm. If you’ve never made a custom knitting pattern this project introduces the most basic points about doing so.



– a lace weight yarn (this is Paton’s Lace) I made this with a remnant, 100 yards should be more than enough
– knitting needles – these are size 1, use the smallest you can to knit with your yarn
– cable needle or double pointed knitting needle – for carrying stitches in the cable, it should be about the same size as your knitting needles
– yarn needle – dull and with a large eye, for sewing up the back seam
– plastic headband – match the color as closely as you can to your yarn, this headband is just over an inch wide at the widest point
– tape measure
– ruler


The process is to swatch the patterns, measure the swatches, measure the headband, figure out the final pattern and finish the headband.


Cable Pattern:
worked over 12 stitches


Row 1) p2, k8, p2
Row 2) k2, p8, k2
Row 3) p2, place 2 stitches on cable needle and pass to front of work, k2, k2 from cable needle, place 2 stitches on cable needle and pass to front of work, k2, k2 from cable needle, p2
Row 4) k2, p8, k2
Row 5) p2, k2, place 2 stitches on cable needle and pass to back of work, k2, k2 from cable needle, k2, p2
Row 6) k2, p8, k2


Repeat rows 3-6 until desired length is reached.


When you swatch this pattern cast on 16 stitches, k2, pattern, k2 on front, p2, pattern, p2 on reverse. This is to establish a selvedge so you can measure more accurately. When you measure the cable measure on the front without including the selvedge.

Knit a swatch of the cable pattern and measure how wide it is. The measurement that is important is between the knit (on the front) selvedge. (The cable pattern on the finished headband IS different from this, I changed the pattern but forgot to take a new photo!)

Knit a swatch of plain stockinette, 20 stitches wide and 20 rows long is good. Figure out how many stitches and rows per inch. Be sure you take into account any stitches rolling to the back – it’s okay to measure 18 of your stitches and use that for your math!


number of stitches / number of inches = stitches per inch


For example, if 20 stitches wide knits to 2 inches wide, you have 10 stitches per inch.

Measure around the headband at the widest and narrowest points.

Measure the length of the headband (or half, if your headband has a nice clear seam line like mine does.)


The goal is to make a knitting pattern that wraps all the way around the headband at the narrow ends and the wider center.

If you get it right the knit piece will meet perfectly at the back of the headband. If you get it wrong you’ve knit something pretty small so take it apart and try again. Once you know how this math works you’re on your way to being able to convert any flat pattern into a sweater pattern!

Knit according to your pattern, then cast off. Leave a long tail. Thread the needle onto that tail and sew the back seam closed – kind of like lacing up shoes. Stitch through one row on one side; then the same row on the other side; then the next row on the first side you stitched. If you consistently stitch back and forth you’ll prevent your knitting from warping. Weave in the thread tails and you’re done!