Thursday, January 6, 2011

Plaited Headwrap for Selfish Knitting Month

With the holiday season behind us, I believe it is once again time for some selfish knitting!  Last year I kicked off January with selfish knitting along with a free pattern- and I thought that 2011 should start the same way.  I know I have been promising it for a while- and I'm finally ready to share the Anthropologie-inspired Plaited Headwrap (like the one I made myself to wear to Rhinebeck):

*mmm... still thinking about those fried pickles (and I'm not even pregnant anymore!).

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 skein Malabrigo Worsted (or another worsted or aran weight yarn you love)
  • Size US 10 needles (either circular for magic loop, or dpns)
  • Safety pins for assembly

You will basically be knitting a very long tube.  For this project, I learned how to use the magic loop method (look under small diameter circular knitting here for a video tutorial) and loved the results.  I would encourage you to give it a try- getting it started will be the hardest part, but once you get in the groove, you'll fly.  If you don't feel comfortable, just use double pointed needles. 

Cast on 14 stitches, join for working in the round
Knit all stitches until piece wraps around your head loosely three times (about 72")
Bind off


Here comes the tricky part. Although this headwrap looks like a braid, it's technically a knot because you are using only one piece of fabric instead of three. 

Step 1:  Divide piece into thirds, marking with safety pins

Step 2:  Make a circle that fits around your head loosely, pin together (this will be right near where you already have one safety pin, you can use this safety pin to close the circle)

Step 3:  With second section of headwrap, wrap around the first section circle.  Using safety pins, pin together the first two sections in six places, evenly divided around the circle.  With each pin, criss cross the two sections:

With the second section, seperate it from the first piece to the right first, making the first criss cross go from right to left. 

With two wraps completed, the head wrap should look like this:

Step 4:  Then end of section two will be on top of the first section.  Without twisting the piece, take the final section to the left.  Feed the piece under the first section, through the space between section one and two, and over the second section to the right. 

Step 5: Repeat step 4 going from right to left instead of left to right (still going under section one and over section two). 

Repeat these two steps until the end of section three comes together with the start of section one:

Step 6: Seam the ends together (make sure braid lays 'flat' and there are no twists before seaming) and remove safety pins

Because the assembly is a little bit of a challenge (but pretty fun once you get it), I decided to start a thread in the French Press Knits Ravelry group in order to have a place for people working on the headwrap to discuss their progress.  I figured there is strength in numbers- so why not create the first ever French Press Knits Knit-A-Long?

I will be checking in and answering questions on the KAL thread throughout the month.  I'll also share whatever hints and tips I can think of (like how to get two headwraps out of one skein of Malabrigo worsted).

I'll also turn this tutorial into a pdf download for easy printing and add it as a pattern on Ravelry so you can add it to your projects page. I'll keep you posted here and on the KAL thread

So grap your needles, teach yourself how to maximize on the magic loop technique, and start your selfish knitting.  Who's in!?

***Added as a pdf to Ravelry- find it here***


  1. Oh, I am SO in! This looks cute and so fun!!

  2. This looks great! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Cool! Thanks for sharing; I'll give it a try :)

  4. ooooh geeze im looking for supplies as we speak

  5. Here I go... many moons after your creation was posted! Better late than never!

  6. I haven't tried this yet, but just a suggestion. Use the smallest circle loom to make the tube. No real knitting skill involved. May go faster for some. Just saying

  7. I can't get this to go together. I would really like to finish it as it is the type of pattern I was looking for .Can you give me some help to get it finished. Thank You Judy my e-mail address is