Wednesday, 25 November 2015

candy cane headband - free knitting pattern

A few weeks ago I was approached by Wren Kitchens, who told me about a new campaign the company were launching called #24DaysofWren, in which people like myself would share some how-to Christmas DIY blog posts to encourage people to get into the spirit of making something creative this Christmas! You can find the lovely interactive calendar here.
Being a knitting blog, it only made sense that I should write a knitting pattern to share, and the great news is that regular readers of the geeky knitter of course get to take advantage of this too! I've always wanted to try my hand at knitting cables with more than one colour, and inspired by my own chunky cable knit headband pattern I made some changes to bring you this candy cane inspired knitted headband.
If you aren't a beginner, by all means scroll straight down to the pattern! For knitting newbies though, be sure to read some of the instructions I give below the picture.
For all you new readers and knitting newbies, before trying this pattern out it would be worth looking up some of the below links to help get you into knitting. 
  • Learn how to knit with Knitting Help or Learn with Leanne via the Love Knitting blog
  • Practice your cable knitting with my easy to follow, chunky cable knit headband pattern
  • An introduction to knitting cables with 2 colours from Modernly Vintage. I will do my best to explain as we go in the pattern below, but this might help you to get your head round the idea first!
  • The Idiot's Guide can help you with the colour work, although not strictly intarsia knitting, the twisting of the different colours behind your work will help to minimise gaps - and no, I do not think you are an idiot!!

Finished Size
This pattern will fit an adult's head, with the finished circumference about 54cm/21 1/2 inches - it's quite a loose fit, but is so thick it will still keep your head warm! Use smaller needles/yarn if knitting for a child and adjust your length accordingly.
10 stitches x 12 rows = 10cm x 10cm in stocking stitch

9.5mm straight knitting needles (or to match tension)
Large cable needle
Chunky red yarn (I used Cygnet Seriously Chunky)
Chunky white yarn (I used Cygnet Seriously Chunky)
Tapestry needle 
We are working with 2 different colours so I will refer to colour A (white) and colour B (red). You could try swapping these round, or substituting your own colour choice if you're not looking for a Christmas headband. 
Between colour changes, twist your 2 yarn strands behind your work once so to minimise gaps in your knitting. Don't do this too tight - with the chunky yarn you should be ok :) I've tried to take pictures of the twisting yarn, but check The Idiot's Guide if you need some help. 
k = knit
p = purl
C4B = slip next 4 stitches to cable needle, hold behind your work, knit next 4 from other needle and then knit 4 from the cable needle 
Cast on 12 stitches with A
Row 1 - knit
Row 2 - knit
Row 3 - p2, k4, k4 with B, p2 with A (from now on, always knit colour A on A, and colour B on B)
Row 4 - k2, p4 with B, p4 with A, k2
after row 3 your work should look something like this
Row 5 - p2, C4B (A), k4 (B), k4 from cable needle (A), p2
Row 6 - k2, p4, p4 (B), k2 (A)
Row 7 - p2, k4 (B), k4 (A), p2
Row 8 - k2, p4, p4 (B), k2 (A)
Row 9 - as row 7
Row 10 - as row 8
Row 11 - p2, C4B (B), k4 (A), k4 from cable needle (B), p2 (A)
Row 12 - k2, p4 (B), p4 (A), k2
Row 13 - p2, k4, k4 (B), p2 (A)
Row 14 - k2, p4 (B), p4 (A), k2
Row 15 - as row 13
Row 16 - as row 14
Repeat the cable pattern as shown between ** ** until the piece measures just around your head. I repeated the pattern 3 times, less the last 2 rows.
TO FINISH - knit one row in colour A, then cast off and sew ends together.
cable pattern - Rows 5-16
in the two pictures above you can see how I've twisted the yarn between colour changes.You don't need to pull too tight on chunky yarn, it does the work for you!
the back of your headband will look something like this
the finished headband laid out before sewing
 And there you have your very own candy cane style headband! It does wear a little big and bright, but what better way to celebrate Christmas! If you spot any problems with the pattern or have any questions do drop me a comment or email and I will do my best to help out!
This pattern can be found in the Ravelry database here.

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