Introduction: Knit With a Twist: Headband or Neckwarmer
Knit with a twist is a versatile winter wearable! It can be worn as either a headband or a neck warmer with either the cable twist or the fun buttons front and center.
This makes a great gift because it's quick and easy to knit and the button closure makes it adjustable. This pattern fits teens and adults and can easily be lengthened or shortened to fit that special person.
Knit with a twist knits up quickly using 2 strands of worsted weight yarn with a Knit 1, Purl 1 pattern and only 14 stitches. The twist in the center front is made by doing a cable stitch for just one row. It is easy to button up the finished headband with 1 or 2 fun buttons because the stitches are open enough that the buttons can easily do up between them. This means there is no need to make knitted button holes.
Finished measurements: 23" (60 cm) long and 4" (10cm) wide
Step 1: What You Need
To make the headbands as shown, you need about 40 grams of worsted weight knitting yarn. It can be acrylic or wool. I like to weigh my little odds and ends using a kitchen scale.
For the headbands shown, I used left over Noro wool which explains the crazy colour changes!
You also need a pair of 6 or 6.5mm (US sizes 10 or 10.5) knitting needles, 1 double pointed needle, or a cable needle to create the twist
1 or 2 buttons with shanks - these are the buttons found on coats that you sew through on the back. They sit higher and work better on thick fabrics. If you use just 1 button, it should be at least 1" or more across. If you use 2, they can be 1/2" to 1".
A tapestry needle is best for sewing on the buttons
* I have also made this headband using 1 strand of Icelandic wool and 1 strand of Noro wool. I increased the needle size to 7.5mm and used the same number of stitches.
You do not need to measure your gauge for this project. The length of the knitting is measured as you go along.
Step 2: Knitting: the Beginning
Using 2 strands of wool, cast on 14 stitches using your preferred method.
How to Knit The Rib Stitch:
Establish the rib knit pattern: Knit 1 stitch, Purl 1 stitch until you get to the end of the row.
Row 2 and beyond...
Continue the rib knit pattern by repeating row 1: Knit1, Purl 1 to the end of the row.
Continue knitting in the rib pattern until you have knit 10".
How Does The Pattern Work?
When you start row 2, you will be knitting over a stitch that you have just purled as the last stitch of the first row. That is correct and that's how the pattern forms: a stitch that has been knit in the first row, is purled in the second and knit again in the 3rd. The rib stitch creates a nice stretch in the knitting and lies flat. (i.e. does not roll inward)
What if I get mixed up?
If you like to talk and knit like I do, don't worry about getting mixed up with the stitches. Just take a close look at the last 2 photos: if the stitch coming next is bumpy, you need to purl it, if it's smooth, you need to knit it. Then continue with the K1P1 pattern. A few little blips will not show in the finished headband!
Step 3: Knitting: the Middle Twist
The twist is formed by knitting a cable stitch pattern for one row. The twist is created by knitting the last 1/2 of the row first and then the first half of the row.
Knitting the Cable Twist:
For this row you will need a cable needle, or a double pointed knitting needle to hold the stitches. This extra needle can be a smaller size than your knitting needles.
Step 1: Slip the Stitches
Slip the first 7 stitches of the row on to the cable or double pointed needle. Do not cut the wool from the ball!
Hold the stitches in front of the knitting as shown.
Then take the wool behind the stitches on the cable needle with the same amount of tension that you would use for "normal knitting"* and complete the rest of the row in the rib pattern: Purl 1, Knit 1, to the end of the row. Do not turn your knitting - this row is not really finished yet.
*You want to avoid having a loop of wool just hanging there, but if you pull the wool too tight, it makes it very hard to complete the 2nd part of the row!
Step 2: Complete the twist
Now complete the twist row by ribbing the stitches that are remaining on the cable needle. Starting from the stitch at the far right (your original 1st stitch) Knit 1, Purl 1 to the end of the row. This may feel a little tight and awkward because the knitting is twisting, so take your time!
Step 3: The New Normal
With your knitting facing you, you will start the next row and complete the stitches in order, BUT for this row and all subsequent rows, the rib pattern will be Purl 1, Knit 1.
Why? The stitch that used to be stitch 8 in the row is now stitch 1.
Why does it look so messed up?
You have just forced the first half of the stitches over the second half and it doesn't look too pretty at first! It may look like 2 twists going in opposite directions, but after a few more rows it will flatten out.
Step 4: The Home Stretch: Knitting and Finishing
The cable twist is at the center front of the head band, so now you will continue knitting in the rib pattern.
Remember to start each row with a purl stitch.
After about 6 rows, you will see that the twist is smoothing out and beginning to look like the photo.
Continue knitting in the rib pattern until the headband is about 23" (60 cm) long.
Cast off the stitches and weave in any loose ends of wool using the tapestry needle.
Decide which side of the headband you would like to be the top when it is buttoned.
If you are using 1 large button, sew it in the middle of the headband, about 2 cm in from the edge
For the headband with 2 buttons, I sewed the first button about 1cm in from the bottom corner on top of the 2nd knit stitch in the row and I sewed the second button on to the second knit stitch in from the other side.
You can do up the buttons by using the space between any row of purl stitches.
Or if you don't have any buttons, you can always sew the 2 edges of the headband together.
I hope this keeps you, or someone you like, warm and cozy this winter!