Knitting perfectly neat stranded colorwork is a skill that requires a bit of practice. This is the perfect small project for working on your technique as it's relatively fast to make. The colorwork chart eases you in with two colors in each round and then steps things up with three colors in each round. When you’re all done, you’ll have a cheerful headband to keep your ears warm on a winter day.
- 1 Skein Quince & Co. Chickadee in Glacier for main color
- 1 Skein Quince & Co. Chickadee in Peaks Ferry for contrast color 1
- 1 Skein Quince & Co. Chickadee in Apricot for contrast color 2
- 16 inch US 5/3.75 mm circular needles or size needed to get 6 stitches and 9.5 rows per square inch
- Stitch marker
- Yarn needle
1. Knit the Top Band
Cast on 126 stitches with the main color, place marker, and join in the round.
Round 9: Knit to end with the main color.
2. Knit the Colorwork
Rounds 10-23: Work Rows 1-13 of the chart, repeating the chart 7 times across each round. The chart should be worked from right to left and from bottom to top because when you knit, you create your fabric by working from right to left and from bottom to top.
When working with two colors, make sure that you’re always carrying the main color over the contrasting color. This way the floats - the name for the strands of yarn carried along the backside - in the main color sit above the floats in the contrast color. Not only does this make for an attractive wrong side, but this dictates which color will appear more dominant for the wrong side. The lower floats will be more dominant, and so the contrast color will stand out. If you are inconsistent with your float positioning, it can create uneven colorwork.
When working with three colors, carry the main color along the top, the first contrast color along the bottom, and the second contrast color goes in between.
Be careful to not pull your yarn too tight when changing colors or let it become too loose. Floats that are too tight can make your knitting pucker and prevent it from stretching. Floats that are too loose can create over-sized, messy-looking stitches. But even with floats that are the perfect length, your colorwork may still look rumpled. Don't worry! This is normal, and blocking will smooth everything out.
3. Knit the Bottom Band
Round 24: Knit to end with the main color.
Rounds 25-32: *K1, p1; repeat from * to end with the main color.
4. Finish Your Headband
Keep Your Ears Cozy
Now that you’ve practiced your stranded colorwork skills and learned about yarn dominance with this cute headband, you’re ready to take on bigger, more challenging colorwork projects.
Wear your colorful headband to keep your ears warm when you go running or to add a splash of style to a cold-weather outfit. After more knitting projects and skills? Check out our knitting tutorials here.