Free Knitting Pattern: My Favorite Cable Headband
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
My Favorite Cable Knit Headband is a pattern design that resulted from months of knitting cable headbands in multiple lengths, widths, and cable dimensions. I started by knitting cable headbands for myself and my sister, and when I opened my Etsy shop in October 2018, cable headbands were one of the first products I offered for sale. (If you're interested in purchasing a pre-made cable headband, just contact me to see what sizes and colors I have available!) I then compiled my favorite sizings into a pattern design that I named "My Favorite Cable Knit Headband."
This is a fun, quick knit that creates a cozy warm ear warmer headband. I love to wear mine in all types of chilly weather! They are perfect for spring and fall walks, and even for the winter when you don’t want to wear a hat! Your yarn type will be the primary factor determining how warm your ear warmer will be. I recommend knitting the size that provides 1-3 inches (2-8 cm) of negative ease, depending on the stretchability of your yarn.
Note: This pattern is also available for download on Ravelry, Payhip, and LoveCrafts for $1.50 - $2.00 (USD). The download version also includes definitions for each of the abbreviations and charted instructions (in addition to the written instructions), and the pattern is laid out more in a list form than a paragraph form. (Or, get the free download sent to your email here!)
My Favorite Cable Headband - Free Pattern
Note: This blog post will not be updated if there are any updates to the pattern. If you are looking for the most recent version of the pattern, please reference one of the pattern PDF download options above.
This pattern is designed as an easy/beginner pattern, and it is available in a range of sizes from baby/toddler up to large adult. When you are reading instruction with parentheses, these are the respective sizes that are being referred to: Baby/Toddler (Child, Small Adult, Medium Adult, Large Adult). The finished dimensions of these sizes are as follows:
Finished Circumference: 13” (15”, 18”, 20”, 23”) / 33 (38, 46, 51, 58) cm
Finished Width: 2.5” (3”, 3”, 3”, 3.5”) / 6 (8, 8, 8, 9) cm
To knit this pattern, you will need: bulky weight yarn, 6.5 mm needles (US 10.5), cable needle (or something to hold your cable stitches), darning needle, and tape measure. If you are not familiar with cabling, I recommend that you watch some YouTube videos to become familiar with it (here's one that I think is great!), and you may wish to purchase the downloadable version of this pattern for a specific definition for each of the cable abbreviations that I use in this pattern.
To learn more about the yarn that I used, and for recommendations on other yarns you may wish to use, please visit my "My Favorite Cable Knit Headband: Design Inspiration & Color Suggestions" blog post.
The amount of yarn that I recommend for knitting this pattern is: 30 (35, 60, 65, 75) yds / 20 (30, 50, 55, 65) grams bulky weight yarn. If you are substituting the yarn with a different note than I use, here is an important note on the yarn that I use: I use Loops & Threads Charisma yarn for this pattern design. This yarn is on the denser side of bulky yarns. It also creates a very stretchy fabric, so I prefer 2-3” of negative ease in my headbands.
This pattern is worked flat, so you can choose if you wish to knit with straight needles or circular needles. You will want needles at least 3.5" long. If you wish to modify your headband, you can easily do so by adding additional ribbing on either side of the cable, increasing the width of the cable, or repeating additional cable repeats.
To start your headband, you will cast on 10 (12, 14, 14, 16) stitches. You may use your preferred cast on method; I just use a typical knit cast on. Your cast on will be seamed with your bind off at the end of the pattern. Alternatively, you may wish to use a provisional cast on and then use the kitchener stitch with the other end of your headband to create a seamless finish.
Every size of the headband is comprised of the same kinds of stitches; it is only the quantity of stitches and rows that changes. On either side of your cables, you will work garter stitch. Note that the odd rows are the wrong side of the fabric, and the even rows are the right side of the fabric.
The baby/toddler size consists of just six rows that are repeated to the end of the headband. You will repeat these rows for a total of 10 cables/10 repeats.
Row 1, 3, & 5: *K2, P6, K2; repeat from * to the end of the row
Row 2 & 4: K10
Row 6 (RS): K2, C6F, K2
The child size consists of eight rows that are repeated to the end of the headband. You will repeat these rows for a total of 9 cables/9 repeats.
Row 1, 3, 5, & 7: *K3, P6, K3; repeat from * to the end of the row
Row 2, 4, & 6: K12
Row 8: K3, C6F, K3
The adult small size also consists of eight rows that are repeated to the end of the headband. You will repeat these rows for a total of 11 cables/11 repeats. The adult medium size is identical to the small size, except you will repeat these rows for a total of 12 cables/12 repeats.
Row 1, 3, 5, & 7: *K3, P8, K3; repeat from * to the end of the row
Row 2, 4, & 6: K14
Row 8: K3, C8F, K3
Finally, the adult large size consists of ten rows that are repeated to the end of the headband. You will repeat these rows for a total of 11 cables/11 repeats.
Row 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: *K3, P10, K3; repeat from * to the end of the row
Row 2, 4, 6, & 8: K16
Row 10: K3, C10F, K3
To complete your project, bind off and seam your two ends together (or if you cast on provisionally, use the kitchener stitch to bind off), making sure that the fabric is not twisted. Weave in your ends and block if desired.
I hope you have enjoyed this free pattern and use it to keep your ears and heads warm! This pattern also makes a great, simple gift knit. If you are interested in downloading and printing a PDF version of this pattern, you can find the pattern available for $1.50 - $2.00 (USD) on Ravelry, Payhip, and LoveCrafts. (Or, get the free download sent to your email here!)