Wednesday, December 10, 2014

simplest headband

Teaching the knitting classes in town has been a great way to meet all sorts of people. Some are already friends, some I know as a friend of a friend (it is a small town!), and some are completely new.

One woman in particular, I'll call her B., has stood out for her sheer dogged perseverance. For a few reasons, knitting has not come easy to her, but she is very eager to join in on knit night, and so she has stuck it out. The beginner's cowl project we do in the class is 24 stitches wide, and only involves the knit stitch. After three weeks of drop in visits to the shop owner and me to help her with various problems, she turned up at knit night in despair. "How do you make all these stitches fit?" she wailed. She had over 100 stitches jammed on a 10-inch needle, and no, I am not exactly sure how she got from 24 to 100, though new knitters' projects tend to grow horizontally. We recommended she start again, though she is determined to use that first piece of knitting for some purpose. We haven't quite figured out what that purpose will be yet.

To her credit, she started again. It has been my experience that most adults wouldn't: they would have made the decision long before that point that knitting was not for them, and abandoned it as a bad job.

But not B.

She bought another skein of yarn and doggedly cast on again; this was her third or fourth try, and she was happy to note that she had mastered the process of casting on. After a few weeks, and a bit more help, she called me in delight. "I have 19 inches! Am I getting close?" I assured her that she was almost there. She showed up to knit night that week, and despite difficulty with binding off, got it finished and seamed to put it around her neck in triumph. And she immediately cast on another cowl.

Two days later, I got another call. "I have a lot of nieces, and they all have long hair. I want to make them headbands for Christmas. I will pay you for the pattern. When can I meet you?"

My heart sunk. Did she understand what she was asking: the time of year, a limited skill set, such a short amount of time?

Answer: No. Any explanation I could offer about why this would be an impossible task wouldn't be understood.

So I came up with the Simplest Headband; though it may still be too much, a garter stitch alone will not have enough structure. I think it would look great in a marled or variegated yarn, but I didn't have time to knit it up. If anyone does, and would like to offer comments on how well it works, I would appreciate it! Better yet, if you are willing to take a picture, then I will add it to the Ravelry database for free, because I didn't ask her to pay for it, either.

Simplest Headband Pattern

(wyif = with yarn held in front of work)
CO 12 st.
Row 1 (RS; tail will be at right side of work): Knit.
Row 2 (WS; tail will be at left side of work): Sl2 purlwise wyif; k8; sl2 purlwise wyif.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until headband is desired length, around 15 in.
BO all st.
Seam ends together.
Weave in ends.

December 9: Encourage
There is a river that flows from deep within.

December 10: Wake Up
"Wake, awake, the night is flying," the watchmen on the heights are crying.

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