Knitting Project – Cabled Headband

Here is a sweet little knitting project from Lisa Ashley of Ewetopia Fiber Shop, which she co-owns with her daughter Kathryn, here in Viroqua, Wisconsin. The warm and lovely Ewetopia shop has become quite the social hub for knitters of all ages around these parts.

Lisa recently worked with Christopherus to develop the handwork section for our newly updated First Grade Syllabus.

The project  featured here is suited to the intermediate knitter and would be an ideal handwork project for 4th, 5th or 6th graders.


Cabled Headband

It a good time of year to make something new and bright for the rest of winter! And learning a new skill like cabling can make the project go even faster.

Choose yarn that is wonderfully soft for this project, since it will be going over your ears. Also, for cables to really show up, smooth, even yarn is essential. Also, stay away from anything too fuzzy.

Here are a sampling of cable needles:

You can also use a spare double pointed needle. I prefer the short bamboo cable needle. It has a very slight indentation in the middle to help hold the stitches on. I like the bamboo over the metal because the stitches stick to it! I like anything that keeps stitches from slipping off.

There are two cable stitches used in this pattern. They are two of the most basic cable stitches and these and variations of them are widely used in patterns. Here they are:


C4F is short for “do a cable stitch over 4 stitches and hold the first two stitches in the front”. To do this put half of the stitches (the first 2) onto the cable needle and hold them in the front.


Knit the next two stitches. Be sure not to let the yarn hang too loosely.


Knit the two stitches from the cable needle.



C4F is short for “do a cable stitch over 4 stitches and hold the first two stitches in the back”. To do this put half of the stitches (the first 2) onto the cable needle and hold them in the back.


Knit the next two stitches. Again, be sure not to let the yarn hang too loosely.


Knit the two stitches from the cable needle.


This project is knit back and forth, increasing slightly to cover the ears, and then decreasing slightly to the original number of stitches and finished with ends sewn together. The stitch markers are used to delineate the twelve cable stitches in the center of the project.

Materials needed:

Approximately 75 yds of bulky weight yarn *

US 10 needles

Cable needle

Stitch markers

* This is to make a warm winter headband. Use lighter weight yarn in cotton or other fiber for a more decorative hair-holding headband.


Cast on 12 stitches, putting markers after first 3 and before last 3 stitches.

Row 1: K2, purl to marker, K6, purl to last 2 stitches, K2. This will be known as the “right side” (RS).

Row 2: K to marker, P to second marker, K to end. This is known as the “wrong side” (WS).

Row 3: K2, purl to marker, C4F, K2, purl to last 2 stitches, K2.

Row 4: Same as Row 2

Row 5: Same as Row 1

Row 6: Same as Row 2

Row 7: K2, purl to marker, K2, C4B, purl to second marker, K2

Row 8: Same as Row 2

Repeat Rows 1-8 adding increased stitches at the same time as described below.

Begin increasing in row 2 after you have worked the pattern two full times. This is the part that will widen to go over your ears. You can decide how wide you want it to be, but 5” is a warm width.

The increases will be before the marker and after the marker, one increase on each side, and they are made more easily on the wrong side as you can increase while knitting instead of purling.

Increase on even rows until it’s as wide as you want.

Continue working even until piece measures from the nape of your neck to the top of your head. Stretch it a little when you measure as wool can stretch out some when worn. 9” is probably enough (8” for a young child). It’s a good idea to put a safety pin in this row that marks the middle of the project. This way you can make sure that you decrease at the proper rate as you increased!

Keep working even until the piece, when folded with the safety pin at the fold, should begin to decrease to match the other side.

Decrease on even rows by K2tog before and after the marker, until you are back to 12 stitches.

Bind off and sew the ends together. Marvel at how cozy your ears feel!


If you would like to share your own photos of this project ( in process as well as completed headband ) we would love to feature them on the  Gallery of Homeschoolers’ Work page of our website. Simply email the photos as well as any comments to leigh(at)

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this project.


~ Leigh

Posted on February 15, 2012 in Handwork

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