How to Knit Headbands

Published January 19, 2016 by estherknit

Ladies Headband 6

Headbands are a clothing accessory worn in the hair or around the forehead, usually to hold hair away from the face or eyes. There are two types of headband.  The first type of headband consists of a loop of elastic material such as a knitted fabric.  The second type of headband consists of a horseshoe-shaped piece of flexible plastic or metal. Thee horseshoe-shaped headbands are sometimes called Alice bands after the headbands that Alice is often depicted wearing in Through the Looking-Glass.

Knitted headbands come in assorted shapes and sizes and are used for both fashion and practical purposes. It will keep your ears warm when the air outside is at a temperature less than comfortable. You can also  make a lighter, thinner headband that can be worn to hold your hair off your face.  Pull on a knitted headband for a quick solution when you are having a bad hair day. Twist a narrow headband that you just knitted for an easy updo. Wrap one around your ponytail for a great look. |A headband is a quick and easy project and it allows you to use up those balls of leftover yarn.  Your headband should be knitted about 1 – 1½ inches small than your head circumference.  It will stretch a bit and you wouldn’t want it to be too big.

Headbands can be knitted using the following stitch patterns

  • bobbles and blackberry stitches
  • cables, twists and crossed stitches
  • Fair Isle, jacquard and single motif
  • intarsia
  • knit and purl textures
  • lace, openwork and river stitches
  • ribs
  • slip stitch
  • tuck stitch
  • weaving-in and woven stitches
  • combined stitches

You could change the width, thickness or orientation

You can knit headbands in various widths – just change the number of stitches you’ve cast on.  These would be more of a decorative, hold-your-hair-back type, rather than a winter weather warm-your-ears-while-snowboarding type.  You could also change the needle size, and yarn, and therefore tension, to create a thicker or thinner headband.  You can knit headbands side to side or end to end or diagonally.


Here are some standard measurements for headbands.

Headband Sizes End to End

Headband Sizes Side to Side

How to make a headband

  1. Gather your materials; knitting needles, yarn and pattern.
  1. Make a gauge swatch or tension square. Knit your square and measure how many stitchesand how many rows to 10 cm (4 inches) using your yarn, needles and stitch pattern. Write down the results.
  1. Decide on the size of your headband. Cast on the required number of stitches according to your tension square.
  1. Now, knit your headband in a stretchy stitch fabric such as garter stitch, 1 x 1 rib or moss stitch.
  1. Continue knitting until the piece is as long as you would like your headband to be. Heads vary in size, so measure your own, and take off one to two inches for the stretchiness of the stitch.
  1. Cast or bind off your stitches.
  1. Sew (or graft) the cast off edge to the cast on edge. For added flair, twist the headband once before sewing the edges together. The twist will make the headband more comfortable at the back of your head, so your hair can fall normally.
  1. Add embellishment. Weave in the ends.

You could add an embellishment

You can add an embellishment to your finished headband to make it more interesting – such as

  • Appliqué
  • beads
  • bows
  • buttons
  • cords
  • duplicate stitch
  • embroidery
  • flowers
  • pom-pons
  • ribbons
  • sequins

Ladies Headband 7















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