Get Your Turban On

Before winter had even arrived, my cold ears and uncontainable hair decided I needed to knit a headband to match every outfit in my wardrobe.

I was happily collecting ideas when I spotted this picture on Pinterest.

I was disappointed to find that the link was not to a free pattern, but to a headband for sale for more than $70!

I did a little more looking, but I couldn’t find a pattern for this design. So I studied a few more pictures

…and I made one up! It’s very simple, and exactly what I had in mind.

So here you are:

Turban Headband Pattern


Super bulky weight yarn (I used this one, less than one skein)

Size 13 straight needles (or your preferred size)

One cable or double-pointed needle

Tapestry needle

Cast on 11 st. (for 2×1 rib; you can adjust this, for example casting on 14 for 2×2)

  1. (RS) K2, *p1, k2, repeat from *
  2. (WS) P2, *k1, p2, repeat from *

Continue working in rib for 12″, ending with a WS row (the headband should be half as long as desired—it’s easiest to use another headband as a guide).

(RS) Slip 5 st. purlwise onto cable needle, holding to front. (K2, p1) twice, then k2, p1, k2 from cable needle.

Continue in rib pattern to desired length. BO and sew seam. (I suggest a faux-grafting method to make the seam less visible). Weave in ends.


68 thoughts on “Get Your Turban On

  1. I really enjoy your blog. I don’t personally create most of these items, but it is a very fun read. I think I may show this to my wife. She likes being creative with these things as well.

  2. Pingback: And Jenny’s Head Fell Off | Spicy Life

  3. Help! My daughter asked for this very 70 dollar, club Monaco headband and I was thrilled to find you’re pattern. $5 for gorgeous wool and a plane ride to Jamaica got me half done. Damned UFO can figure or how to do the slip 5 st purlwise….

    We are flying back in an hour and a half and I’m hoping you’ll get this before then…perhaps you know a link to instructions?

    Love the preterm by the way

  4. Beautiful turban – thank you so much for this pattern!

    Two questions:
    1. When you say “end with a WS row” (ie. before you begin cabling), does that means you should complete this WS row, or that that last row you complete will be RS?

    2. Once you begin the cable portion of the pattern, what pattern do you use to work the stitches from the cable needle? do you continue knitting 2 and purling 1?

    Thanks again – can’t wait to start this!

    • Meaghan, you are right on both counts (1 – finish a WS row before the cable, 2 – k2, p1, k2 from the cable needle).
      And those are good questions – I will edit the pattern to make my instructions more clear. Thanks very much!

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  6. Hello I love this turban I have done it in very bulky yarn, it turned out very well, but in the picture it looks like the cable goes all the way up does it and is this only from doing the actually cable from the cable needle once. Does doing the cable actually only create a twist? Thank you so much.

  7. Thank you for answering so quickly Jenni, yes both my questions were answered and I am very happy with the finished turban, it is great when I wear it on my very cold walks. Many Thanks. Anne

  8. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in
    our community. Your web site provided us with useful information
    to work on. You’ve performed an impressive process and our entire neighborhood will be thankful to you.

  9. I’m doing the cable like you say, slip 5st. purlwise on to cable needle, holding to front K2,p1 twice, then k2 p1 from cable needle. It does not look right, to bunchy and not crossing, what am I doing wrong

    • Margaret, I’d suggest you work a few more rows of the pattern (ribbing) – and you may discover that there is no problem after all! Cables often look bunchy and odd in the first row, and that’s especially pronounced with this bulky yarn.

  10. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring
    a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours
    and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to send me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb
    blog by the way!

  11. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well,
    almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  12. Hey I was just wondering how many inches wide the one you made in the picture is, I’m half way done with mine and I’m using slightly different yarn and needle size and i feel like mine is looking a lot more narrow than yours.

  13. Can you please put up a video of how the twist is done as I am unable to follow as the video on cable stitches are different. I started with 14 stitches 2×2

  14. I am very confused by the cable. I am using baby alpaca grande on size 10 needles, so I cast on 18 stitches. The pattern I used is :
    (Rs) k3 *p2k3*
    (Ws)p3 *k2p3*

    When it came time to cable, I slipped 8 stitches purl wise held in front, knit k3p2 twice, then k3p2k3 from the cable needle. Does this sound correct to you? It looks funky, even after sever more rows. It seems like the pattern reversed, that the second half the right and wrong sides became the opposite of the first half. Also, what I knit from t he cable followed the pattern, what I knit from the needle was not following the pattern. After I slipped the 8 stitches, k3 p2 k3, what was left on the needle was p2 k3 p2 k3.

    • Your steps sound right to me. My instructions also require knitting a P st. after slipping the first half to a cable needle, but this was not visible in the end (under the giant cable). The important thing was that the cable needle began and ended with K sts, because it goes on top. If you find the change is problematic, perhaps you could try decreasing the 2 P sts. to 1 before the cable, then increasing afterward.

      • Thanks. I think I have it. It was a matter of turning the fabric in the correct direction! Thanks for getting back to me.

      • I have another thought, or two. One, do you think this turban could be done in the round as a möbius to the same effect? The ribbing would have to be different, but the sizing might be more forgiving. The other thought has to do with the ribbing in that my turban seems to have a lot of roll at the edges. Can it be blocked without losing stretchiness?

      • I don’t think I could have used this yarn for a moebius – successfully, anyway – I think it would have been far too bulky at the twist. I like that it stays in place, too. I did not have any rolling to speak of, but blocking would probably be a good move.

      • Thanks. I bet you are right about the möbius. Also, blocking wise, I’m now thinking that the curling will be moot when it is actually on my daughters head!

  15. Thank you for sharing these instructions. I just made one, The twist with the cable technique worked out very well. The 12 inches was too long for me so I shortened the part after the cable. I can hide the not-in-the-middle seam with my hair, so it’s not too bad. But for my next one, I will adjust the lenght and will try to get a nicer faux-grafting seam (I don’t think I got it right). Anyway, I loved doing it and Merci encore… de Montréal

  16. I have been knitting for years, as has my mother, but neither of us can figure out how to make your twist or cable for the center front work….. I am beyond trying anymore. Is there some way you can make it more clear? Am am doing the 2×2 rib, but I can’t see how that could make any difference in making the twist. Have you ever done a video of how you make the twist? Maybe that would help me. HELP !!!! I have an anxiously awaiting granddaughter who hopes to get this headband before wintger is over !

    • Well, if you’re using a 2×2 rib (for a total of 14 sts), you should slip 6 sts. to the cable needle in front. This are the rightmost two bands, which you want to pass over to the other side to make the twist. So, sl 6 to front, K2, P2, K2, P2, then K2, P2, K2 from the cable needle.
      Hope this sets you straight and the headband pleases your granddaughter!

  17. are we supposed to knit a stitch before slipping things onto the cable needle? or else how do we get the yarn, the one that’s attached to the skein, onto the right needle? I’m really confused

  18. Hello, I am wondering how you are able to get your edges to lay flat and look so neat? Also If I am using the long tail method to cast on Would I start with the WS row first and then the RS row ?

    • Hi Krisilyn! I didn’t have any trouble getting the edges to lay flat – once the headband was on a head, they looked perfect. If you’re using a natural fiber and it won’t lay flat, I’d try blocking. For your second question, either way is fine. I used the long tail cast on, and I don’t remember whether I started with a RS row or not.

      • Thank you Jenni for replying to me. For some reason my edges looked really bad so I decided to add 2 stitches to my beginning cast on in order to be able to slip the first stitch purl wise and knit the last stitch to get a cleaner, neater edge. Then when I got to the twist part things got confusing. It was like the pattern got flipped and I was no longer working the original pattern of k2 p1. Can you give me any advice when using that technique when it comes to the twist portion? Should I slip the first stitch as normal purl wise and then slip 5 stitches onto cable needle and then you said to k2 p1 twice but wouldn’t it me p1 k2 twice since you ended with k2 on the cable ? Also I searched YouTube videos of how to faux grafting. It’s pretty straight forward with stockinette stitch but not with ribbing. Can you tell us how you finished your head band. Thanks I know that’s a lot to ask.

      • Okay, if you have an extra stitch on each side, that does complicate the cable. The twist requires that you move one half of the headband over the other half. If your K sts are 3 – 2 – 2 – 3, you can move the right half (2 – 3) over the left half (3 – 2), but there’s no extra st on the new left-hand edge (about the st order, K2 p1 twice, then k2, p1, k2 from cable needle, you have to start with K sts on each edge of the cable to make the design work). I think you could still swing your adaptation, perhaps the way you describe or by a creative decrease (your first slipped st) and cast on (a new extra k st on the left edge). I’m not sure how that would look, but it’s worth a try! If you’re using natural fiber, you might also be able to straighten the edge by blocking before you sew the seam.
        In answer to your second question, the faux grafting can be worked for purl sts too. It’s simply backwards as you do it for knit sts, with the loop facing you – just like weaving in ends, you follow the existing sts. Hope this helps!

      • Wow I think I confused you and me lol. I am not sure what you mean by the 2s and 3s. I was wondering about the order of the stitches because after you slip those first 5 stitches the next stitch is a purl stitch, so are you then changing the order of the pattern and instead of purling that stitch start working the k2 p1? I am still confused on the faux grafting portion? Are you doing kitchner stitch? or are you doing like a invisible horizontal seam?

      • Yes, you change that first purl st to a knit. The purl is hidden underneath the twist, and you need a knit st to come first on the new right edge. I did not use Kitchener, just a similar method of sewing to minimize the seam. Whatever method you prefer to use for a seam is fine. If you’re not picky, great – don’t be picky! If you are, you’ve probably mastered this trick better than I have.

        On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 2:27 PM, Spicy Life wrote:


  19. Ack! I hope you still answer questions :) I am at the 12″ point, but I started with 14 stitches….how many to I put on the cable needle? You note 8 above for 17 stitches, and if it’s 5 for 11 – the proportions have me confused….this makes me feel like the answer would be “1.5” but that would make no sense! Help!

    • Hm… How do your 2×1 rib stitches work out to 14? I can’t picture it, but I can explain how the cable works. You slip the first two ribs (plus the purl stitch in between) to the cable needle. So, slip 5 (K2, p1, k2) for 11 sts., slip 6 for a 2×2 rib totalling 14 (K2, p2, k2), etc. Does that make sense?

  20. So confused about the “slip 5 sts purlwise onto cable needle” part, I’ve tried a few different variations and just can’t get it to work. I have done cable patterns before, just super confused on this one! Please please please post a how-to video?

    • Hi Brianna, I’m sorry you’re confused! It works just like a regular cable (except really big) – pass the first 5 sts directly onto the cable needle. Sorry I can’t make a video today – I hope this helps!

      On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM, Spicy Life wrote:


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