How’s the weather where you are right now? If I was back home in Jersey, I’d say that I was in a deep freeze (good luck to all of you out on the east coast during this Polar Freeze!), but I’m not in NJ, I’m out here in Washington, where it is plenty cold for me! I’m trying to get back into a decent running habit again while there’s no snow or ice on the ground, but I can’t seem to find the happy medium when it comes to how to dress for the weather. I know that it’s important to keep your head warm, but when I start to run, my head gets too warm and then I’m just plain old uncomfortable (and if I’m uncomfortable, I don’t want to run- I’ll use any excuse possible to stop!). Enter the headband- it’s warm enough to keep the chill off of the ears and neck, but still allows for air flow. I have the cutest knitted headband that I got at Kohls last year, but it has a brooch, beads and feathers, making it un-washable, and if I’m sweating in it, you can bet I’m going to want to wash it!
Enter the Knifty Knitter Loom Set
Who remembers these things from their childhood? I know I knit many a hat on these back in the day. Back in High School, I worked at a craft store (any East Coasters remember Rag Shop?), and one of the best parts of the job was getting to try out all of the new products and do demos for the customers on them. This was definitely one of my most favorite things that I demonstrated- I remember how in awe I was when I “knit” a hat in about two hours! Back then the only thing you could make on these things was a hat or scarf (and maybe a poncho if you were super talented) and there was basically only one stitch- the knit stitch. Somehow I figured out how to make socks on it back then, but that was a big deal. Now, there’s a whole host of stitches and patterns to match and I found out that you can even do a cable stitch on it! So I set out to teach myself some new stitches (just a new type of knit, the purl and the cable stitch) and wrote up this pattern as I went. I’m not going to go over the different stitches, here, but if you go on youtube and search “loom knit stitches” you’ll come up with videos for everything! (Including the cable stitch, which I wrote out below, but I suggest watching a video for).
To make one loom knit cable headband, you’ll need the small Knifty Knitter loom, one skein of size 5 or 6 bulky/chunky weight yarn, cable needle and a crochet hook or yarn needle to finish it off.
-I start where the anchor peg is, and I refer to the pegs from the left to right as pegs 1 through 12.
-“Slip first stitch” means to skip it and move on to the next peg. This will make for a neater edge.
-You’ll want to knit very loosely, especially the four knit stitches in the middle of each row as that’s where the cable crossover will be. I knit the row just before the cable row super loose to make the cable stitch easier.
-See below for a few “in action” pictures
Cast on 12 stitches (from left to right). I wrap pegs 1-12 from left to right, then knit (not E-wrap) each peg from right to left, skipping #12.
Row 1: (Left to Right) Slip first stitch, K11
Row 2: (Right to Left) Repeat row 1
Row 3-9: Slip first stitch, K1 P2 K4 P2 K2
Row 10: Slip first stitch, K1 P2 4-Stitch Right Cable* (see below) P2 K2
Row 11-17 : Slip first stitch, K1 P2 K4 P2 K2
Repeat steps 10-17 until the band is long enough to wrap around your head comfortably, keeping in mind that you’ll want it to be snug so that it doesn’t slip down or fall off while wearing it. I ended up with 10 cable repeats to wrap around my head, but you may be larger or smaller!
When it is long enough, bind off and leave a long tail for joining the two ends together.
At this point, I like to pull and stretch the band to even out the stitches. You can also block your piece at this time if you desire.
Fold your headband in half, with the right side facing in and line up the two shorter sides (to form a headband loop.) Using your crochet hook or yarn needle, whip stitch the edges together to secure the loop.
Turn your headband right side out and wear with pride!
*How to do the 4-Stitch Right Cable*
Put stitch 8 onto a cable needle, followed by stitch 7. Place cable needle gently into the middle of the loom. Take stitch 6 and move it to 8, and take stitch 5 and move it to 7 (I like to move them one peg at a time- so take stitch 6, move it to 7, take stitch 5 move it to 6, and then move them each one more spot so 7 goes to 8 and 6 goes to 7). Knit off stitches 7 and 8.
Take the two stitches on the cable needle and place them back on the pegs (stitch 8 will move to 6 and stitch 7 will move to 5. Knit them off as well.
Moving the two stitches from the cable needle back to the pegs will be tough, and you will have to stretch them, just take your time and use your fingernails to help you.
If this doesn’t make sense, there are lots of YouTube videos out there on how to do cable knits on a loom- I watched a few of them, and then suddenly the written word made more sense!