I’ve been seeing so many beautiful versions of twisted crocheted and knitted headbands and ear warmers in my feed lately. It’s definitely one of my favourite trends this winter! The twist detail adds such an elegant feature to what is otherwise a totally non-optional accessory in the cold winter months (at least where I live!)
Obviously, I was inspired to jump on the twist bandwagon as well. I have seen both crocheted and knitted versions of this type of ear warmer and thought a combination of the two would be the perfect mash-up.
So I picked up my Tunisian crochet hook and got to experimenting! I have made a total of four of these ear warmers in an effort to find just the right dimensions and stitch counts. That being said, this pattern is incredibly adaptable; it’s basically one big rectangle so you can absolutely alter the hook size and stitch counts to suit whatever look you’re going for.
Before we jump into the pattern, let’s discuss some of the experiments I did! My experiences (read: failures) may help you in your Tunisian Twist journey.
First, I started off using a 5mm Tunisian crochet hook. The result was beautiful but I did find that my tension was tight and I ended up running out of yarn (despite using almost an entire skein of Caron Cotton Cakes!). Luckily, the ear warmer was just big enough to fit my 3 year-old niece (and she is absolutely the most adorable wearing it!).
Next, I tried Bernat Baby Blanket Tiny (so fuzzy!) and again used the 5mm hook (because it was the only Tunisian crochet hook I owned at the time). I focused on keeping my tension much looser and this one ended up working up much more quickly than the first. This one probably was my favourite out of all the ear warmers I made; it was so soft and the yarn kept a beautiful shape when worn. I gifted this one to my dear friend for her birthday (but not before testing it out myself) and am happy to report that she loved it!
After the second Tunisian Twist, I decided to order a set of corded bamboo Tunisian crochet hooks from Amazon (shop them here!) so that I would have a range of sizes. They were very affordable and I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality!
For the third Tunisian Twist experiment, I used a 9mm hook and size 5 bulky yarn (Color Made Easy) and while the panel worked up beautifully and very quickly, the resulting ear warmer was a fail. It was just too thick (especially since this pattern calls for the panel to be folded over, meaning the fabric thickness is actually doubled!). That one was frogged. Live and learn!
Finally, I made the Tunisian Twist using a 7mm Tunisian crochet hook and regular old worsted weight Red Heart Super Saver in Aran. It turned out beautifully! You can, of course, use much fancier worsted weight yarn to customize the look (a hand-dyed or luxury yarn would be heaven!)
How to Alter this Pattern
The pattern below is adaptable to any size head based on measurements.
Use this handy chart from the Crochet Crowd to determine the head circumference for the person you are making the ear warmer for. For a cozy fit, crochet your panel until it is 2″ shorter then the total circumference measurement, unstretched. For a looser fit, crochet your panel until is is 1″ shorter than the total circumference measurement.
For example, my head circumference is 23″. I like a looser fit for my ear warmers, so I crocheted the panel (before assembly) until it was 22″ long unstretched. If I had preferred a snugger fit, I would have crocheted until the panel was 21″ long.
Additionally, not everyone may want an ear warmer that is as wide as this one; feel free to reduce the number of starting stitches to make a slightly narrower ear warmer.
The width of this ear warmer is about 12″. In my opinion, this is the widest the ear warmer can be before it starts to stick off the back of the head and look a bit too wide.
Let’s get started! (Or Pin for later!)
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- 7mm Tunisian hook (I use THESE hooks!) or any size hook to obtain gauge;
- Red Heart Super Saver in Aranor any worsted weight yarn of choice (150g);
- Tapestry needle.
Terms and Stitches:
Ch – Chain
Yo – Yarn over
Tks – Tunisian knit stitch
Fp – Forward pass
Bp – Backward pass
12″/30cm width = 36 Tks
Foundation: Ch 37
Row 1 Fp: Starting in 2nd ch from hook, *insert your hook, Yo and pull up a loop*, repeat * in each ch across (36 loops on hook)
Row 1 Bp: *Yo, pull through 2 loops on hook*, repeat * until only 1 loop left on hook
Row 2 Fp: *Insert hook into first vertical stitch, Yo and pull up a loop*, repeat * across, insert hook into loop from last stitch of previous row, yo and pull up a loop
Row 2 Bp: *Yo, draw hook through two loops on hook*, repeat * until only 1 loop left on hook
Repeat row 2 (forward and backward pass) until your rectangle measures 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5cm) less than the desired head circumference. Tie off, leaving a tail about three times as long as your finished rectangle for assembling.
Check out my video tutorial in this post on how to work the Tunisian knit stitch and for the final assembly!
(Also, peep the sneak peak of my Rosebud Raglan!)
Step 1: Fold and Whip Stitch
Check out the video tutorial in this post if you need more help with the knit stitch or with assembly.
First, we need to fold the rectangle so that the right side is on the inside and the wrong side is facing out.
Whip stitch the long edge together, being sure to insert your hook under both loops on each side, to create a tube. Tie a knot in the yarn tails to secure.
Step 2: Create Twist
Insert your arm into the tube, grab the other end of the tube and pull it out through to turn the ear warmer right-side-out.
Lay the ear warmer on the table so that the seam is facing down (the seam side will be on the table). Bring the bottom of the tube up to meet the other end.
Stagger the ends so that the top layer is off-centre and to the right of the bottom layer.
Wrap the exposed part of the bottom layer (on the left) around to the front. Wrap the exposed part of the top layer (on the right) around to the back to create two “U” shapes.
Stitch all eight (!) layers of fabric together using your tapestry needle and the yarn tail. Stitch back and forth several times to ensure it’s secure. Make sure you are picking up every layer of fabric when stitching together.
Tie a knot in the yarn tails to secure. Weave yarn tails between the fabric to hide.
Turn the entire piece right-side-out and you’re done!
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