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Cabled Headband





  • Gauge, 6 stitches and 11 rows equal 1 inch in garter stitch
  • 2 double-pointed needles, size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm); adjust needle size to obtain correct gauge if necessary
  • 2 single-pointed needles, size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm); adjust needle size to obtain correct gauge if necessary
  • Cable stitch holder
  • Tapestry needle, size 22


  1. Step 1

    With double-pointed needles, cast on 4 stitches.

  2. Step 2

    Create an I-cord: Knit across the 4 stitches, then, without turning work, slide stitches to opposite end of needle. With working yarn coming from the leftmost stitch, knit across row. Tug gently. Repeat these steps until I-cord measures 11 inches.

  3. Step 3

    Change to single-pointed needles, then knit 1, increase 1, knit across row.

  4. Step 4

    Next row, purl 1, increase 1, purl across row.

  5. Step 5

    Repeat steps 3 and 4 one time. You will now have 8 stitches on your needle.Important: These 8 stitches are the basis for the cable twists that come later. For the entire length of the headband, these 8 stitches remain at the center and are worked in stockinette stitch, while the edges of the headband are worked in garter stitch.

  6. Step 6

    Knit 1, increase 1, knit across row.

  7. Step 7

    Knit 1, increase 1, purl 8.

  8. Step 8

    Knit 1, increase 1, knit across row.

  9. Step 9

    Knit 1, increase 1, knit 1, purl 8, knit 1.

  10. Step 10

    Knit 1, increase 1, knit across row.

  11. Step 11

    Knit 1, increase 1, knit 2, purl 8, knit 2.

  12. Step 12

    Continue in this manner, always knitting 1, increasing 1, then knitting again until you reach the center 8 stitches. Work these 8 stitches in the stockinette (knit or purl, depending on row), then knit across rest of the row. Follow step 12 until you have 28 stitches on your needle, ending on a purl row.

  13. Step 13

    Without increasing, work 8 more rows, ending on a purl row.

  14. Step 14

    On the next row, create a cable twist as follows: Knit 10, slide 4 stitches onto cable needle, knit 4, move 4 stitches back onto left needle, knit off of left needle, and knit 10.

  15. Step 15

    Repeat steps 13 (now working only 7 more rows to end on a purl row) and 14, ten more times.

  16. Step 16

    Work 8 more rows.

  17. Step 17

    Knit 10, purl 8, then knit last 2 stitches together to decrease.

  18. Step 18

    Knit across row to last 2 stitches, then knit 2 together.

  19. Step 19

    Repeat steps 17 and 18 until you have only 4 stitches.

  20. Step 20

    Change to double-pointed needles. Knit I-cord for 11 inches. Snip yarn, leaving a 4-inch tail. Thread through tapestry needle; pass through the 4 remaining stitches on double-pointed needle; tug to secure. Weave into I-cord.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2010



Reviews (14)

  • Jennifer_Andrlik 12 May, 2011

    gabbiedog, we appreciate the feedback and have updated the instructions to try and make them as straight forward as possible.

  • Jennifer_Andrlik 12 May, 2011

    Here is a great source for learning how to make an i-cord:

  • gabbiedog 18 Jan, 2011


  • Momlady54 11 Jan, 2011

    moken58: Try this video
    it clearly shows how to do an i-cord.
    Lu Ann in WI

  • moken58 11 Jan, 2011

    I don't understand how to start the pattern. Moving the stitches from one side to t he other do you cross the year over to reach the 1st stitch? Also how many skeins of year does this use?

    I need a picure.

  • purplepuppy 24 Dec, 2010

    I made several of these headbands in our school colors for our secretaries and children. It is a fun, quick project. I am considering making this into a headband without a tie too.

  • KnewKnitter 21 Dec, 2010

    At the end #6, I have 9 stitches, as I think I should. At #7 the instructions say K1 Inc1 P8, so I am short 1 stitch. Jodybasket suggests at #7 K1 inc1 P7 K1, so I am still short 1 stitch. Any advise out there?

  • KnewKnitter 21 Dec, 2010

    Thank you Jodybasket for your 11/27 comment. I came looking for help with the same problem. I will try your instructions.

  • KarenL8426 3 Dec, 2010

    My last comment doesn't show the rest of my comment. It says to repeat steps 13

  • KarenL8426 3 Dec, 2010

    I'm starting the cable. It says to repeat steps 13

  • jodybasket 30 Nov, 2010

    I'm just finishing the cabled headband--In addition to the changhes I mentioned in my earilier comment, Step 19 should read:...until you have only 4 stitches.

  • jodybasket 27 Nov, 2010

    I had the same problem. Try this: at row 7: K1 inc1 P7 K1. row 8 and all even rows through 24: K1 inc1 K across. row 9: K1 inc1 P8 K2. row 11: K1 inc1 K1 P8 K3. row 13: K1 inc1 K2 P8 K4. row 15: K1 inc1 K3 P8 K5. row 17: K1 inc1 K4 P8 K6. row 19: K1 inc1 K5 P8 K7. row 21: K1 inc1 K6 P8 K8. row 23: K1 inc1 K7 P8 K9. row 25: K1 inc1 K8 P8 K10. (28sts). This should do it. Continue at instruction #13. (I haven't gotten to the decreases yet, but it looks like it will work as written.) Good luck!

  • TKLind 21 Nov, 2010

    I agree. I am having the same problem, and, when I increase with 2 stitches instead of one to compensate, the pattern is thrown off.

  • vi0la 21 Nov, 2010

    When i try to knit row 7, 8 etc. I don't seem to have enough stitches. On row 7 shouldn't I need 10 stitches not 9