Sunday, March 26, 2017

GENEie headbands for my boys

The March for Science is less than a month away!  Have you figured out what you're knitting yet?  When I designed the first two hats in the GENEie Collection (the GENEie - Cable Version and GENEie - Colorwork Version) at the end of January the date of the march had no yet been set.  The weather on April 22 can vary a lot.  This is the week after the Boston Marathon where we've seen frigid weather, moderate weather and 90+ and sunny in just the last 5 years.  I decided the Next Generations GENEie Headband so I could have a GENEie that would work no matter what the weather.  

I needed to knit the headband in three different sizes.  I designed the pattern in Adult L and Toddler, which would fit Keith and Rowdy. I knit these headbands on size 6 needles with Shine Worsted yarn in Pistachio and French Blue.  I needed to create an intermediate size to fit 3 year old Lucky.   I'll go into all of the details below, but I was able to create a child sized version of this headband by using size 4 knitting needles and Shine Sport yarn.

Rowdy's Headband - Toddler Size, Shine Worsted, Size 6 needles.

When I started knitting Rowdy's headband, I wasn't sure if the headband is going to be big enough for me to get away with using circulars, but I wanted to try out my shorty needle tips for the first time.  It worked!

I followed the instructions as written.  In the original sample, I was running out of yarn when I reached the end of the headband.  After the colorwork I knit one round, did one round of ribbing and then bound off in pattern.  On Rowdy's headband, I knit one round after the colorwork and then knit two rounds of ribbing before binding off in pattern.  This seemed like the right amount of ribbing to me but I wish there was one more plain round before the ribbing started.  I decided to do this on the next headband and adjusted the written pattern, too.  This headband used 24 g Pistachio and 7 g French Blue (a combined total of 47 yards of yarn).

We had a week of 60 degree weather at the end of February.  It was beautiful outside, but definitely not hat weather.  Poor Rowdy had zero interest in keeping his headband on his head... even as a cowl! I'm not sure what I can expect to see at the march, but for now I just need to get the other headbands finished.

Keith's headband - Adult L, Shine Worsted, Size 6 needles

I have a smaller head than Keith, but the Adult L headband fits me, too.
Keith already has a headband he can wear (the original sample) but I really wanted him to have one in this matching color scheme.  This headband used 34 g of Pistachio and 10 g of French blue (a combined total of 67 yards of yarn).  My short tip knitting needles are AMAZING for knitting hats and headbands.  I wish that I had started using these tips sooner and now want to buy them in every size.  

The Adult L and Toddler sized headbands knit in worsted weight yarn.
With the completion of this headband, I have perfected the Next Generations GENEie headband pattern.  It is hard to get designs out as fast as I can without rigorous testing!  I'm really glad I finally have a complete version of the pattern, even if I don't yet have written instructions for the chart.  there are so many repeats that it is hard for me to write out the 28 stitch repeat without any errors.

If you want to try to knit a smaller headband for an infant, try knitting the toddler size with a smaller gauge like I did for Lucky's headband below.  

Lucky's Headband - Adult L, Shine Sport, Size 4 needles

I kit Lucky's headband at a gauge of 23.5 sts / 4" and 14 rows/2" over the colorwork pattern with sport weight yarn and size 4 (3.5 mm) knitting needles).  I used 6 g of French Blue and 21 g of Pistachio for a total of 61 yards of yarn.  

The final headband is a little loose on Lucky, but I don't mind since he is still growing so much.  He is so proud to have a headband just like Daddy's.  Now I just need to hope that he'll wear it!  

These cotton blend headbands are silky soft and should be much cooler than wool in warmer weather.  If April 22 is super cold, then we can slide these headbands over a knit wool hat.  If April 22 is super hot, they can be slipped around the brim of a baseball cap.  Hopefully the little boys will wear them at the march, I have a feeling that these might end up as necklaces pretty quickly!

Which of the GENEie designs is your favorite?