Thursday, March 16, 2017

Generic Headband (Perfect for Adding a Duplicate Stitch Molecule!)

Generic Headband Knitting Pattern
Sometimes it is easier to incorporate your design onto a knit garment using a duplicate stitch than knitting something with stranded colorwork.  I wanted to create a generic headband that you could use as a base for any molecule knitting pattern.  In this pattern, you will find the instructions to create the generic headband posted above, plus instructions on how to modify this headband so you can add your favorite molecule.  This would be a perfect accessory for the March for Science on April 22, 2017.

  • Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) double pointed needles or circular needles - I use 20" circular needles but anywhere between 16-24" should work fine.  
  • Yarn: 110-145 yards Worsted weight yarn.  The sample is knit with KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Ciel with 21 g, 43 yards.  
  • Gauge:  21 sts/4" and 14 rows/2" over stockinette.   
  • Notions: Stitch marker to note beginning of round, tapestry needle.
  • Molecule Knitting Charts (Optional) - I have charted dozens of different molecular structures.  Check out the list to select your favorite one.  
  • Finished Size: Adult S/M - 19" around, 3" deep

Generic Headband Knitting Pattern
  • Cast on 100 sts in the main color.  (If you want a different size headband you can increase or decrease the number of stitches.  Make sure the total number you cast on is a multiple of 4.)  
  • *K2, P2* around for 3 rounds
  • Knit 15 rounds in stockinette (Knit every stitch around.)
  • Knit 2 rounds of 2x2 ribbing (*K2, P2* around).  
  • Bind off in ribbing pattern.  
  • Weave in loose ends and block if necessary.  (I find the headbands curl a little bit so it is helpful to lightly block the headband so it will lay flat.)  

Tips and General Instructions to plan your headband
If you want to fit a molecule (or any other chart) onto the headband and to be able to see the entire molecule at one time, there are some tips.
  • If you want to put an image onto the brim of a hat or headband, it is best that the chart only take up ~25% of the stitches if you want to see the entire thing.  If the chart is over 50% of the stitches in the headband then you won't be able to see the whole design even when the hat/headband is flat.  (For scale, the dopamine chart is 23 sts wide and I'm casting on a 100 stitch headband.)
  • You can always sketch out your design on graph paper (or use Microsoft Excel.)  
  • Total Number of Rows between ribbing: A minimum of the # Rows in the Chart + 2.  I like to have one blank rows between the ribbing and the chart to highlight the molecule as much as possible.  
  • Would you rather use a hat than a headband?  Checkout the Generic Skullcap Knitting Pattern.

Duplicate Stitch a Molecule onto Your Headband

I created the generic headband knitting pattern specifically so I could duplicate stitch a molecule chart onto it.  Usually I will incorporate the molecules with stranded knitting, but it is easier to not deal with super long floats.  With the sample headband, I decided to knit 15 rounds of stockinette because the dopamine knitting chart is 13 sts tall and I wanted a blank round on either side of the molecule.  

I hope you enjoy this headband knitting pattern and feel confident that you could now incorporate any molecule knitting chart into a fun accessory.  Let me know if you need any help planning out your project!  

Generic Headband Knitting Pattern © 2017 ChemKnits & Rebecca Roush Brown.  This pattern is available for free via for your personal or charity use.  You are not to copy or distribute this pattern without the permission of the publisher, ChemKnits.