Working with cables can be a little mysterious for new knitters, but it's easy to make simple cables. The best way to learn is 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 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 Oilslick, color 34)
- size 8 U.S. needles
- one cable needle or double-pointed needle
- 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 stretches to fit around a head about 25 inches around, across the top of the head and over the ears. You can also wear it behind the ears like a regular headband.
How to Knit the Cable Headband
Cast on 8 stitches.
Work in garter stitch until piece measures two inches.
On the wrong side, knit into the front and back of each stitch. You should now have 16 stitches. This counts as row 1.
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: Knit 4, purl 8, knit 4.
Row 4: Knit.
Row 5: Knit 4, purl 8, knit 4.
Row 6: Knit.
Row 7: Knit 4, purl 8, knit 4.
Row 8: Knit 4, slip 4 stitches onto the cable needle as if to purl and hold them in the front of the work. Knit the next 4 stitches, then knit the 4 stitches from the cable needle. Knit the last 4 stitches.
Working the cable can be a little tight, but it shouldn't be a problem. If this is your first time knitting a cable, read through the instructions for row 8 slowly. Working four stitches at a time, it's not difficult at all!
Repeat the pattern above with one change. Replace the increase row (which counted as row 1) with a new first row in the eight-row repeat.
New Row 1: Knit 4, purl 8, knit 4.
Work in rows 1–8 (with the new row 1) until the piece measures 18 inches from the cast-on edge.
Once you've worked 18 inches, ending on a row 8, decrease on the next row.
Row 9: Knit two together across the row. You should now have 8 stitches.
Work in garter stitch for two inches.
Cast off the stitches with a standard bind off.
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, with the variations looking subtle or dramatic.
It's a beautiful yarn and a great cause, giving work and social opportunities to rural women who would otherwise have no such work.
Updated by Mollie Johanson