Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spliced - A Chained Crochet GENEie Headband

Many of you have asked me for a crochet version of the GENEie hat for the March for Science.  I am pleased to share with you a simple approximation. I am a novice crocheter.  With the help of YouTube and instructions, I can make my way through a pattern but I am not advanced enough to do complicated designs.  I've never even attempted to do crochet cables and have minimal experience with colorwork.  I wanted to create a DNA design out of yarn that could be incorporated into a crochet pattern, or spliced onto a variety of different garments.   I am pleased to introduce "Spliced - A Chained Crochet GENEie Headband"!  Spliced is crocheted sideways and then a long crochet chain is appliqued on to form the backbone of the  double helix.  The bonds between the backbones are created with a back stitch.

  • Worsted weight yarn.  The sample used KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Pistachio and French Blue.  42 g, 63 yards total were used in the sample.  
  • Size H (5.0 mm) crochet hook or size to get your desired stitch size.  
  • Gauge is not essential for this project
  • Finished Size: 3" wide x 19.5" around.  (Fits Adult Small Head)
  • Notions: Tapestry Needle, Sewing needle and thread (optional), pins (optional)
The Spliced Crochet Headband on a pile of GENEie the Next Generations Headbands in the same colors.  

The DNA embellishment in Spliced is formed by appliqueing a crochet chain onto a piece of crochet fabric to form the backbone of the double helix.  The bonds between the DNA bases are embroidered between the backbones with back stitch.  If you would prefer, you can use chain stitch embroidery to apply the helix directly onto the crochet cloth, but I personally found it easier to sew on a crochet chain.

Spliced - A Chained Crochet GENEie Headband Crochet Pattern (NEW!  There is now a video tutorial on how to create the Spliced DNA design!)
  1. Chain 12 stitches in the main color (MC)
  2. Turn and double crochet (DC) in the 3rd chain from the hook.  DC across.  (10 DC sts)
  3. Turn and Ch3.  DC in every stitch across.  
  4. Repeat until your piece measures 19.5" or is long enough to fit around you head. (Note: My head is 22" around and this headband will fit with negative ease.)  Do not fasten off.
  5. In a contrasting color (CC) for the DNA chain, create two crochet chains 36" long.  If you are creating a larger headband make the chains a bit longer, too.  It is better to have these chains be too long than too short, you can always unravel them!
  6. Starting at one end of the headband, pin one chain to the headband to create one side of the DNA double helix.  You can use the knitting chart from the GENEie Cable Version as a guide.  (You could go straight to stitching the chain down, but I wanted to be able to make the helix appear regular so I decided to pin first.  Plus this allowed me to take some more step by step pictures )
  7. Pin the second chain to the headband to complete your DNA backbone. Take care to thread this chain under the first at every other join to maintain the appearance of a twist.
    The crochet chains always cross each other in the same direction.  After the first chain was pinned, I wove the second strand over and under each time the backbones would cross each other.  Then, I adjusted the shape of the second chain and pinned it down.
    The backbone is pinned and ready to sew down.  
  8. Stitch the backbones in place.  I used a sewing needle with blue thread to stitch down the design, but you could also use yarn and a tapestry needle.
  9. Create the bonds to represent base pairs using a back stitch and your contrasting color.  I created three bonds with each twist on my headband.

  10. With MC, join the two edges of the headband together.  You can either stitch them closed with a whip stitch or you can create a flat single crochet seam. 
  11. Connect the edges of your double helix.  Since my DNA didn't line up exactly at the edges, I found an intersection point for the crochet chains and then inserted the excess onto the wrong side of the fabric.  I stitched down the ends and added another base pairing.  I unraveled any excess chain and wove in the loose ends on the wrong side of the fabric.
  12. Single crochet (SC) around either edge of the headband to give a finished edge.
    Almost finished - the Spliced headband has a SC edge on top and an unfinished edge on the bottom.  
  13. Weave in any remaining loose ends.  

Video - Do you want more help creating Spliced? Watch the following video!

Ideas with this technique - Spliced is really an applique/embroidery pattern, more than a crochet pattern.  You can apply the Spliced DNA Helix onto a number of different projects.   Here are some ideas: 
  • Crochet a pussyhat and apply the embroidered double helix to make a crochet version of the GENEie Pussyhat.
  • For a denser fabric, crochet a headband with HDC or even SC stitches.  
  • You can also add the DNA applique and embroidery onto any knit garment or even onto a commercial fabric.  
  • Use the applique technique to create an applique resistor headband!  

A comparison of Spliced (center) to two GENEie the Next Generations Headbands.  

When I went to take a selfie of the in progress Spliced Headband, Lucky came up and said, "Cheese!"  I told him to go put on his GENEie The Next Generations Headband and pose with me.   


 The March for Science is quickly coming up on April 22, 2017.  Are you making a pattern from the GENEie Collection?  There are 6 different hat and headband knitting patterns to choose from, and now with Spliced you could crochet a headband, too!  

Spliced - A Chained Crochet GENEie Headband Crochet 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.

This post contains some KnitPicks affiliate links.  I became an affiliate in October 2018 after using KnitPicks yarns for many years.  All yarn selections and options are my own.