This wide ear-warmer style headband is designed with active guys in mind. It's a tapered design that is narrow in front; it gets wider to provide coverage for the ears and the back of the head.
This sort of headband makes a nice alternative to a winter hat. Unlike some hats, the headband fits comfortably under a bicycle helmet. It can also fit under a hood, even a close-fitting one that a hat would look strange underneath. The headband is also an excellent option for guys who just aren't into hats for whatever reason or for guys who live or work in an environment that's just a bit colder than is comfortable.
Skill Level: Easy
More Project Pictures: I posted some additional photos that you may find helpful if you plan to make this project. This step-by-step tutorial features work-in-progress pictures of the yarn-dividing process mentioned in the pattern below.
Yarn: To make my sample headband, I used an estimated 55 yards / 25 grams of Cascade 220, which is a worsted weight wool yarn. Because of its warmth and resilience, wool is a fantastic choice of fibers for this pattern. This is a one-skein project; if you start with a full 100 gram / 220 yard skein of Cascade 220, you'll have lots of yarn left over.
Crochet Hook: I recommend using a size I / 9 – 5.50 mm crochet hook as a starting point, but feel free to adjust as necessary to achieve the correct gauge.
Other: Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Optional: Velcro for closure. If you prefer, you could stitch the sides closed on your headband instead.
Gauge and Finished Size:
The finished headband measures about 19 inches in circumference. It measures about 2 inches high at its narrowest point in front, and about 3 1/2 inches high at its tallest point in back.
Measure your work after crocheting the first 6 rows of the pattern; this is the narrowest part of the headband. If your headband is turning out too narrow, less than 2 inches at this point, you’ll want to start over with a larger crochet hook. If your headband is turning out too wide, meaning that it's significantly more than 2 inches at this point, you’ll want to start over with a smaller crochet hook.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
Stitch Used for This Pattern: You'll work this entire headband pattern in a variation of half double crochet stitch; work it just like ordinary half double crochet, except that you work only in the back loops of the stitches. When you are working this pattern, assume that you'll crochet one half double crochet stitch in the back loop of each stitch until directed otherwise by the pattern. Most of the pattern rows have shaping at either the end of the row or the beginning; otherwise, the rows are just half double crochet through the back loops.
Additional Design Notes
Between each row, ch 2 for the turning chain. The turning chain counts as 1 hdc st throughout.
For this project, I recommend working your rows of half double crochet by skipping the first stitch, working across the row, and then crocheting your last stitch into the turning chain.
When your headband is finished, it will be turned so that, when worn, the sides of your work will become the top and bottom of the piece. You crochet the headband starting in the center front and work towards the center back; then you rotate the work and crochet the mirror image of the first half of the piece.
Since we're beginning this headband in the middle, I like to divide my yarn into two connected portions and start crocheting in the middle of the yarn as well. I do it this way so I don't have to join new yarn when I make the second half of the project (because the other half of my yarn is still attached.) I don't like having any more loose ends in a project than necessary, mostly for the integrity of the project but also because I don't enjoy weaving in loose ends.
I recommend that you do it this way too, but this method does have a downside: figuring out how much yarn to leave unworked and where exactly to begin. Since everyone crochets a little differently, it's possible that your crochet work could consume more yarn than mine does. So with that in mind, I recommend allowing a little extra; if you're starting with a full skein, you might wish to wind somewhere around the first 30 yards of yarn onto a ball, then start crocheting at that point. If you end up with yarn leftovers, you can put them to use later with one of our free scrap yarn patterns.
If dividing the yarn seems like too big a hassle, that's fine; you don't absolutely need to do it that way. You could just begin crocheting at the beginning of your yarn ball without worrying about dividing the yarn. Then when you get to the midpoint of the pattern, you will need to attach new yarn in order to resume working. You would attach the yarn in the same spot you already have a loose end.
Divide your yarn and make your beginning slip knot. Ch 10.
Row 1: hdc in third ch from hook and ea ch across. The first 2 chs in the row count as the first hdc st, giving you a total of 9 hdc sts.
Rows 2 – 6: Work hdc through blo. No shaping is necessary. You’ll end up with a total of 9 sts in ea of these rows.
Row 7: Work hdc through blo. At the end of this row, work 2 hdc sts into the turning chain for a total of 10 sts in the row.
Row 8: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 10 sts in the row.
Row 9: At the end of the row, work 2 hdc sts into the turning chain for a total of 11 sts.
Row 10: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 11 sts in the row.
Row 11: At the end of the row, work 2 hdc sts into the turning chain for a total of 12 sts in the row.
Row 12: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 12 sts in the row.
Row 13: Work half double crochet through blo. Work 2 hdc sts into the turning chain for a total of 13 sts in the row.
Row 14: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 13 sts in the row.
Row 15: At the end of the row, work 2 hdc sts into the turning chain for a total of 14 sts in the row.
Rows 16 - 20: No shaping is necessary in these rows. Total = 14 sts in ea row.
If you want to make a wider headband, you can add an extra row, or several rows, here.
Put a safety pin in your active loop.
To make the other half of the headband, you’ll rotate the work and begin working back across the starting chain. If you divided your yarn at the beginning of the project, there’s no need to attach another ball of yarn; you already have a ball attached. Otherwise, you'll need to attach more yarn now.
From this point onward, your goal is to make a mirror image of the piece you already created.
Row 21: Pull up a loop and ch 2. Work back across the starting chain, putting 1 hdc in the free loop of ea st across the row. Total = 9 hdc sts.
Rows 22 - 26: Rep rows 2 – 6.
Row 27: At the beginning of the row, increase by one stitch; you can do this by working a hdc into the bl of the first st (which you would ordinarily leave unworked.) Make your increases this way in this row and throughout the rest of the pattern. After increasing, you'll complete the rest of the row by working hdc in blo of ea of the rest of the sts in the row. Total = 10 sts.
Row 28: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 10 sts in the row.
Row 29: At the beginning of the row, increase by one stitch. Total = 11 sts in the row.
Row 30: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 11 sts in the row.
Row 31: At the beginning of the row, increase by one stitch. Total = 12 sts in the row.
Row 32: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 12 sts in the row.
Row 33: At the beginning of the row, increase by one stitch. Total = 13 sts in the row.
Row 34: No shaping is necessary in this row. Total = 13 sts in the row.
Row 35: At the beginning of the row, increase by one stitch. Total = 14 sts in the row.
Rows 36 - 40: No shaping is necessary in these rows. Total = 14 sts in ea row.
If you added any extra rows after row 20 in the first half of the project, be sure to add the same amount of rows at the end here too.
Put a safety pin in your active loop. If the headband is not a surprise gift, you can do a quick fitting to make sure the fit is OK. Using safety pins, pin the sides of the headband together and try it on the intended recipient. Make any necessary adjustments before finishing the headband.
Finishing the Headband:
You have several different choices for finishing this headband. You can choose to make the fit adjustable by finishing the opening with velcro, or you can choose to sew it permanently closed. My sample headband has been stitched in the back to make it permanently closed. I used whip stitch to do my joining; I whip stitched through the outer loops of the stitches closest to the edges of the headband. You can see a photo of this in the project's picture gallery. Feel free to use a different joining method if you prefer.
Also optional: if you would like to make the upper and lower edges of the headband look neater and more finished, you can add slip stitches all the way across both edges. This has its pros and cons; it looks nicer, but unless you are careful to work the slip stitches loosely, the fit will be more comfortable without this detail. The slip stitches do not stretch much, and the rest of the headband is stretchy. So if you do choose to add the slip stitches, be sure to work them using a loose, easy tension.
For a Headband With Adjustable Fit: If desired, work evenly spaced slip stitches across the top and bottom edges of the headband. You can continue using the attached balls of yarn on each side of the project to accomplish this. End off (on both sides) and cut the yarn. Weave in your ends. Block if desired. Attach Velcro on either side of the headband to create the closure.
For a Headband That Is Permanently Fitted: If you want to add slip stitches to your headband, work them before ending off. End off on one side and cut the yarn, leaving around a 6” tail. Weave in the loose end. End off on the other end, leaving 12+ inches of yarn. Thread this end of yarn onto a tapestry needle and use it to stitch the sides of the headband together. Weave the remainder of the yarn into the project as you would with any loose end. You can also block the headband to your desired size if you like.
Back loop half double crochet stitch is presented in The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. The book includes instructions plus stitch diagrams for this stitch and others.