Friday, March 18, 2011

Knit-Crochet Hybrid: Hippie Headbands - More Reversible than the Recession

Headband - Fisherman's Rib side
I was admiring a lovely fuchsia silk scarf worn by a good friend last Sunday at Devonshire Day, and she said a hat or headband would be lovely to have to go with it. In my optimistic post-election regime-change euphoria, I offered to make her one. So I decided to knit rather than crochet, as I had previously done for the teenagers in our midst.

Reverse side of headband
 For inspiration and a new pattern idea I turned to my trusty knitting bible "How To Knit" which is really great as it has load of tips for the likes of me who's been knitting since God was a boy but never knew why I did things the way I did. This included tips like when to use the various casting on different methods (thumb, two needles) and the right seam to use in different situations, and how to turn a sock heel, as well as lots of pattern/design swatches, not to mention lots of practical patterns.

Wearing the headband Rib side.
Me with the reversed headband
From the design swatches I got the pattern sequence for the stitch I used in this headband - Fisherman's Rib. I hadn't ever used this in a garment before, though I'd seen lots of chunky manly jumpers knitted in it when I was growing up. It seemed to be the rib-du-jour for army surplus sweaters, which featured lots of leather elbow patches and shoulder yokes, which were downright ugly, so no wonder I was never attracted by its charms.

Grey headband - Fisherman's Rib side
Grey headband - reverse side
Somehow I've changed! After a few false starts with too many/too few stitches, I settled on a pattern I liked and ran it up in a few hours, spread over a few days as I seemed to have only an hour here or there to snatch at it. I spent a couple of half-hours of  my lunch-hour relaxing in Dungarvan library reading and knitting a bit of the band, and then I finished it off last night with the crochet flower - ubiquitous by now on many of my caps and headbands, and which comes from terrific Teresa's crochet patterns. You can find her great tutorials  here on YouTube, and then there's a link to download the written pattern.

Apart from that my headband is my own design, simple and easy, so I want to share it with any interested bloggers out there. As I neared the end - using my head as a guide - I realised the reverse was a lovely design in itself, so decided to try and make it reversible. That necessitated putting the flower on a band that could be turned to either side, simplicity itself. So it's double the value with two headbands in one

I used Double-Knitting/US Worsted/8-ply yarn, acrylic and washable, and the tension gauge is immaterial as I used thick 6mm/10 US/4UK needles which is usually advised for chunky wool, but worked fine here - proof that there's always exceptions to the rule. I used crochet hook 4mm for the flower and flower-band, so it's a bit of a hybrid headband - hence the alliterative title of this post!

Hybrid Headband
  • Using either Thumb or Two Needles Method, Cast on 17 or 19 or 21 stitches - depending on desired width - I used 19 for the cerise band. 
  • Row 1: Purl to end.
  • Row 2: *P1, knit next st in the row below; rep from *,P1.
  • Repeat above 2 rows until headband is the desired length - allow for some stretch if yarn is elasticky. Mine was for a 55-56cm/22in head circumference. 
  • Cast/Bind off
  • Join end-to-end with simple whip-stitch seam.
  • This is a flat seam and suitable for the headband.
Crochet Flower
How to Add Rounds
(Written by Teresa Richardson of the YouTube tutorial above)
FPSC - Front Post Single Crochet
SC - Single Crochet
SL ST - Slip Stitch
DC - Double Crochet
TC - Triple Crochet
  • Chain 5, Join
  • Round 1: 10 SC through the loop, join in the beginning single crochet.
  • Round 2: CH 1, *SC in the same stitch, CH 3, SK 1 SC, SC in the next, complete 5 times total from *, the last chain 3 will be a slip stitch to join. (5 chain 3 loops total)
  • Round 3: *CH 1, 6 DC in loop, CH 1, SL ST in the next SC, complete 5 times total from *. (5 Petals Total)
  • Second Set of Petals
  • Round 4: CH 1, *BPSC around the post of the SC on round 2. CH 5. Complete 5 times total from *, SL ST to join in beginning SC. (5 Chain 5 loops total
  • This section will provide two alternative petals.
  • Method 1 -
  • Round 5: *CH 1, 9 DC in the loop, CH 1 SL ST in the next SC, Complete 5 times total from *.
  • (5 sets of petals total, with 9 double crochet each )
  • Method 2 - 
  • Round 5: *CH 1, 3 DC, 3 TC, 3 DC, CH 1, SL ST in the next SC, Complete 5 times total from *.
  • (5 sets of petals total, with 3 double crochet, 3 Triple Crochet, 3 Double Crochet, total)
  • Third Set of Petals
  • Round 6: SL ST to the center of the previous petal on round 5, CH 1, *SC between the stitches of the petal, CH 5, Complete 5 times total from *. SL ST the last chain to the SC at the beginning of the round. (5 Chain 5 loops total)
  • This section will provide two alternative petals.
  • Method 1 -
  • Round 7: *CH 1, 11 DC in the loop, CH 1 SL ST in the next SC, Complete 5 times total from *.
  • (5 sets of petals total, with 11 double crochet each )
  • Method 2 - 
  • Round 7: *CH 1, 4 DC, 3 TC, 4 DC, CH 1, SL ST in the next SC, Complete 5 times total from *.
  • (5 sets of petals total, with 4 double crochet, 3 Triple Crochet, 4 Double Crochet, total)
Loop for holding flower
  • Crochet Chain 15
  • Row 1 - SC into each chain, turn
  • Row 2 - SC into top of each SC of Row 1
  • Cut yarn 10cm long after final  SC and pull through final chain to secure. 
To Assemble 
  • Put Loop around the Headband and stitch end-to-end. 
  • Attach flower to Loop by securely stitching back of flower to the loop. 
  • Ensure it is not stitched through to the headband as the loop needs to turn freely to make the headband easily reversible.

The Headband can be worn either side out - the rib or the more textured reverse, which looks a little like Moss/Seed Stitch. The flower can be moved to the side being worn thanks to the loop.

As Aleksandr of Meerkat Manor says - "Simples!"

Hopefully this headband pattern with the videoclips will make it an attractive project for you - an evening in front of the telly should suffice to finish one - I made the grey one today, St. Patrick's Day, when I relaxed at home knitting, garden-cleaning and reading on the sunny patio and it was done in a few hours. We even had a hybrid BBQ - cooked outside and eaten inside as the evening was too chilly for alfresco dining.

Hubby keeping warm by the BBQ on St. Patrick's Day - 1st BBQ of the year!


Stephanie V said...

Nice work on the headband...I love the color!

We BBQ whenever it's not raining and then eat inside. Never thought to call it a hybrid BBQ - that's a good description.

And, I'm off to find a Youtube of that commercial. I know Meerkat Manor - and loved the series - but don't know this side of it.

Peggy said...

Hi Catherine,I love the colour, you are turning out knits & bits at a prolific rate!I knit sweaters many moons ago in Fishermans rib, it seems to take forever as you knit down into the previous row. It is warm and chunky but at the price wool has gone to now it would not be economical to knit man size sweaters any more.
Hybrid BBQ is a very apt title!

VeganCraftastic said...

Very cute headbands, I especially like the grey one!

Rita said...

Love your creations Catherine; wish I could but my hands don't work like they used to; but I can still come and admire what you have done.

Catherine said...

Thanks for all the comments - glad you liked the headbands and I was chuffed to get a message on Facebook that someone actually made one within a day or two!

Stephanie - hope you enjoyed Meerkat Manor! There's a book out now which is quite hilarious too, all the characters are in it. Glad we're not the only hybrid BBQ-ers out there!

Peggy - agree about the fisherman's rib sweaters - they must use a ton of wool. I got really cheap good wool in Lidl so look out for their next intake, I am making Magic Loop socks now and it is great fun, will blog it when finished. Am taking photos as I go along!

VeganCraftastic - thank you and yes the grey one is nice, I wear it and love it. I like your one too, getting great feedback on it over at your blog!

Rita - too bad about the arthritis - I sometimes think I have it as I get achey in the morning in my fingers and they take a while to loosen up - and I do have creaky joints in them especially after typing too much - like now - I've been drafting a new post! Would you be able to use large needles to knit? It seems a shame to have to give up if you like it. And of course there's a lot of fun in admiring work of others!

And thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Laura said...

How lovely! I do so want to learn to knit one day. You are quite talented.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Pooch Purple Reign said...

wow... thats way advanced for me but awesome job!!

Catherine said...

Thanks for the comments both Lauras! I am flattered that you think it's so difficult 'cos it's dead easy! You might even have a go sometime. Keep in touch with all those online videoclips.
Catherine xxx