Wednesday, May 5, 2010

From Here to There

How to Knit a Baby Headband
What Can I Do With Those 
Small Scraps of Yarn?!

For those of you who knit, I'm sure that, like me, you've got a whole bag/basket/box/drawer full of small balls of yarn...  too small to make anything with, but too big to throw away.  Here's a great way to put them to good use!

All three of these yarns are acrylic blends and all are worsted weight.  For this project, I'm knitting on size 4 needles.  My gauge is just a hair over 3 stitches per inch, and 4 rows per inch.  These directions are for a baby headband, size newborn to three months (head circumference 13-15 inches).

Cast on 40 stitches, using two strands of yarn.  Work in two-stitch stockingnette pattern (knit 2 stitches, purl two stitches) all across.  On row two, work in the same pattern, knitting the knitted stitches and purling the purled stitches.   This will give the piece a really nice ribbed look.  It's also very stretchy and has great shape retention!

Continue in this pattern until the piece measures in the neighborhood of one inch.  It's better to have it a bit over than a bit under!  Cast off.  **CAUTION**  This is a headband which needs to stretch!  Be sure to cast off loosely.  It's not a bad idea to use a bigger size needle on the cast off row.  Check the overall width of the piece to make sure it's the size you thought it would be/wanted it to be!

Pull the last stitch into a large loop, then cut the yarn leaving another six to eight inches.  Thread the two pieces of yarn into a large-eyed darning needle and pull through the loop, pulling the loop tight.  Hold the end of the headband aligned and sew through the other corner stitch into the knot stitch you just made.

Sew the two ends together, ending at the opposite corner from the first stitch on the first row.  Tie the ends together in a double overhand knot.  Weave the needle with the yarns in it through the seam to the other edge and pull the yarns through.

Cut the yarn off even with the edge.  Weave the needle through the seam again, thread the two remaining yarns through the eye and pull through just as before.  Again, cut the yarns off even with the edge.  Stretch the headband width-wise at the seam a bit to pull the cut ends back into the knitting.

I do this often, so I've made myself a tool.  It's simply a piece of corrugated cardboard covered with clear packing tape so that the yarn slides off easily.  Wrapping the yarn around your fingers works fine, too!  To make a pouf out of single strand worsted weight yarn, I wrap 50 times all the way around.  Since this pouf is three strands, I wrapped 18 times.

Cut a piece of yarn 8 to 10 inches long.  Slide the wrapped yarn off of your tool or your fingers and loosely tie the piece of yarn around the center.  Check to make sure that it is, in fact, centered, then pull it tight and tie at least two overhand knots, if not three!  You don't want this to fall apart!!

Holding the pouf by the yarns you tied it with, cut the loops at their centers... just pull on it a little with the scissors to find the center.  Once all of the loops are cut, shake the pouf vigorously.  If you notice that it's not symmetrical, or that there's a long end here and there, just snip the ends a little bit at a time until you are happy.  Always remember that you can cut more off, but you can't put it back on once it's cut!

You want to put the pouf straddling the seam.  That way, there's no seam showing in the rest of the headband, which on a baby, is visible all the way around.  To one side of the seam, push a crochet hook through the headband, catch one of the yarns you tied the pouf with, then pull it through the headband.  Bring the crochet hook through the headband on the other side of the seam, catch the other yarn and pull it through.

Tie the threads together two or threes times (or four if you like).  Cut the excess off, leaving about an inch there.

That's all there is to it!

My model is a reborn-style doll who is newborn size.  The circumference of her head is 13.25 inches.  Certainly, this could be altered to fit a larger baby or a toddler.  Just remember that the larger the child, the larger the headband.  You may want to make it a bit wider, and you may want the pouf a bit bigger too!  Whatever you do, remember to have fun!


  1. That is just as cute as can be, and very nice tute!

  2. Well done! I now know what to do with my bag of small yarn leftovers!!