Cabled Headband

Girl (5 years) wearing knitted ear warmer headband
Ruth Jenkinson (c) Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

Working with cables can be a little mysterious for new knitters, but it's easy to make simple cables. The best way is just to dive in and try one. This super-warm headband/ear warmer is a great first cable project because it involves just one cable and is a small, quick-knitting project. It's also incredibly useful on those cold, windy winter days when you'd like to wear your hair back and still keep your ears warm.


  • about 75 yards of chunky weight 100 percent wool (We used about half a hank of Manos del Uruguay in Cirrus, color 39)
  • size 8 U.S. needles
  • one cable needle or double-pointed needle
  • scissors
  • tapestry or yarn needle


About four stitches and six rows per inch in garter stitch.


The finished piece is 20 inches around and 3 inches wide. It will stretch to fit around a head about 25 inches around, across the top of the head and over the ears. It can also be worn behind the ears like a regular headband.

Instructions for Cable Pattern:

  1. Cast on 8 stitches.
  2. Work in garter stitch until piece measures two inches.
  3. On the wrong side, increase to 16 stitches by knitting into the front and back of each stitch. It counts as row 1.
  4. On the next row (row 2), knit across.
  5. On rows 3, 5 and 7, knit 4, purl 8, knit 4.
  6. On rows 4 and 6, knit across.
  7. On row 8, knit four, slip four stitches onto the cable needle as if to purl and hold them in the front of the work. Knit four, then knit the four stitches from the cable needle, then knit the last four stitches. Working the cable can be a little tight, but it shouldn't be a problem.

Continuing and Finishing:

  1. Continue in this pattern until the piece measures 18 inches from the cast-on edge, replacing the increase row with the knit 4, purl 8, knit 4 used on other wrong-side rows.
  2. Once you've worked 18 inches, decrease on the next row by knitting two together across, leaving 8 stitches.
  3. Knit in garter stitch for two inches.
  4. Bind off.
  5. Finish by sewing the cast on and bound off ends together.

About the Yarn

Mans del Uruguay produces hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn made by rural women throughout the nation of Uruguay. Each skein is unique and produced individually, so there are no dye lots.

The yarns are 100 percent wool blends of merino and corriedale. It is soft, warm, and varies in thickness through the skein, giving you a nice handmade look. The color also varies through the hank, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.

It's a beautiful yarn and a great cause, giving work and social opportunities to rural women who would otherwise have no such work.