I did, indeed, spend most of my crafting effort this weekend on knitted hairbands. I had settled early on a stitch pattern (a modified Shaker rib) and a cast-on number that worked. There was much experimentation with different yarns and needle sizes.
These are the seven finished ones that weren’t on my head at the moment of photo-taking, and there’s another hairband still on the needles, for a total of nine.
The first ones I knit are rather longer than the later ones. I was paranoid about making sure they’d stretch enough to fit my head, yet still stay on. And they do stay on. But at first, I was knitting to about 22 inches, and my later ones are ranging from 16 to 18 inches, depending on the yarn.
I’ll probably stop the concerted effort when I finish the current hairband. But I imagine that, anytime I find myself with an odd bit of yarn leftover, or another yarn catches my fancy, I’ll cast-on for yet another hairband to add to the wardrobe.
Quickly, here’s my “pattern” for my Fluffy Ribbed Hairbands:
Materials – any smooth-finish yarn. Mine ranged from fingering weight (sock yarns) to DK and sport. While it may be tempting to use fun furs or other novelty yarns, they just won’t work well – you have to be able to see the stitches easily to work this pattern.
Needles – I used size 4 through size 8, depending on the yarn. For sock yarns, I used the fours. For most DK or sport, I used 5 or 6.
If you’re not sure about your needle and yarn choices, knit at least 3 inches in pattern with your yarn and see if you like the results. The hairband should be soft and springy, with a fair bit of stretch along the length. If it’s too tight, go up one or two needle sizes.
Special Stitches – K1 in stitch below. This is simple. Instead of putting your right hand needle into the stitch on the left hand needle, put it into the stitch just below that one – the stitch from the previous row. Pull the working yarn through just as you would in normal knitting, and drop the stitch off the left hand needle.
Cast on 8 stitches.
Row 1 (set-up row): Knit
Row 2 (and all remaining rows): *K1, K1 in stitch below*, repeat between *’s to last two stitches, end with K2.
Keep repeating Row 2 until you reach 16 inches or so (for an adult head). You can also test fit as you go. Just hold the cast-on edge along with the needle end, and try to slip it on your head. If it’s too tight, keep going for at least another inch.
Bind off loosely in pattern. Whipstitch the two ends together, and cut the excess yarn. Wear, and enjoy!