Twist Headband – FREE Knitting Pattern!

Who knew that with the KnitPicks Ambassadorship would come a push (more like a shove – thank you Heather from We Crochet! LOL) into pattern-making? I mean… I debated it, I thought about it, but suddenly I felt like needing to get into it. And when you play with yarn, more often than not, inspiration strikes. It used to come in the form of adjusting an existing pattern; for example, I often adjust basic patterns so that they are more comfortable for me. Sometimes it’s simply adding length, sometimes it’s making the item slightly differently. I’m also happy that my studies at George Brown’s School of Fashion Design have given me a great understanding of fabric, drape, fit and patterns, all items that translate into knitwear, and more importantly, that I can finally apply some of my knowledge!

Now on to this adorable headband!

Last month I raved about my love of the linen stitch. It provides such a beautiful and graphic fabric, yet is simply a little manipulation of the basic knit and purl stitch. And even better than that? It has two very distinct-looking sides, so your work can be reversible, if sewn carefully!

And with that, I decided to knit the Niloo Headband! An easy and super-quick project, this is a satisfying knit that you’ll wear over and over again. And so you’re not left out in the cold, crocheters, I have the crochet version coming at you shortly!

Oh, and did I mention that I will also be releasing a matching crochet AND knit Niloofar Scarf?

Let’s talk about that soft, warm yarn. I used KnitPicks Swish Bulky, which has quickly become a staple (I’ve now made numerous accessories and gifts with Swish Bulky!). Comprised of 100% Fine Superwash Merino, this yarn is the perfect antidote to those of us sensitive to wool: soft, non-scratchy, and very, very comfortable to wear. Oh, and it’s machine-washable!! Knit your heart out with Swish Bulky! Note that one hank of Swish Bulky will make two knitted Niloo Headbands!

Are you ready to knit your very own Niloo Headband?

(Pattern for free below, or, you can purchase a low-cost ad-free PDF version on my Ravelry or Etsy stores!)

Niloo Headband
Knitting Pattern

Size: One size, ladies’ size S-M to fit 22” head circumference (due to stretchiness of headband). Can be made longer to increase head circumference by adding rows.

Finished measurements:
Finished headband will be 20”/51 cm long, 4”/10 cm wide

Knitting needles, size 8 mm or US 11 (my favourite Cocobolo set is currently sold out but I love this set as well or these straight knitting needles!)
or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable needle or spare DPN (Double Pointed Needle)
Tapestry needle

20 st x 27 rows = 4”/10 cm in linen stitch

Yarn Recommendations:
KnitPicks Swish Bulky Yarn (100% Fine Superwash Merino Wool) or another Bulky weight /category 5 yarn
Approximately 65 yards/ 59m

Samples shown in photo are worked in KnitPicks Swish Bulky Yarn in Garnet Heather, Squirrel Heather, and Nutmeg Heather.

All The Obsessed Patterns are written in standard US terms.

CO Cast On
K Knit
P Purl
Sl Slip
St Stitch


Headband is worked lengthwise, in linen stitch. The twist is achieved using a cable needle during knitting, at the half-way point.
Headband will be reversible.


With 8mm needles,  CO 20.

Row 1: Sl 1, k 1, *sl 1 (purlwise) with yarn in front, k 1; repeat from * to end.

Row 2: Sl 1, p 1, *sl 1 (purlwise) with yarn in back, p 1; repeat from * to end.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 to form the pattern.

If you need more assistance, here is a detailed breakdown of how to perform each row:

ROW 1: 

-With the yarn at the back of your work, slip the first stitch purl-wise. 

– Knit the next stitch regularly. *Bring the yarn to the front of your work, between the 2 needles, and slip the next stitch purl-wise. Return the yarn to the back by bringing it between the 2 needles, knit the next stitch.* Repeat the steps from * to *. 

ROW 2: 

Begin your 2nd row with the yarn at the front, slip the first stitch purl-wise. 

With the yarn at the front, purl the next stitch.* Take the yarn to the back, slip the next stitch purl-wise.With yarn in front, purl the next stitch.*Repeat from * to *.

Repeat these 2 rows to form the pattern.

Knit these two rows until the headband is 10”/51 cm or approximately 68 rows before putting in the twist:

Finish a row 2 (wrong side of work facing you).

At next odd row (right side facing you):

Place first 10 sts on cable needle or DPN. Hold the cable needle in front of your work. 

K st 11-20 (from working knitting needle) by: sl first st w yarn in front, k, sl, as in row 1.

Now work the first 10 stitches that are on hold starting with a sl st, then k, sl1 as in row 1, ending with a k.

These will be very snug to knit. 

(Note that these rows of twisting and the row after may be frustrating, but so, so worth it!)

Continue with row 2 instructions on next row, and back to row 1 and 2 to continue the pattern.

Knit for 10” after twist, until the length of the entire headband is 20”.

Bind off, being careful not to bind off too snug.

Seam the knitted headband with either the overcast or whipstitch, limiting leaving any edge on one side. This will allow you to have a reversible headband: wear your headband on both the linen stitch or purl side!

Tip! If you forget what row you’re on:
If you are ready to start the next row, and your yarn is at the back of your work, you will be working a row 1 next.
And if your yarn is in front, this means you will continue on a row 2.

©The Obsessed Blog / Aire Nitsotolis

NOTE: There are how-to videos available for the Linen Stitch or the cabled twist on my Instagram Reels!! More videos will be added regularly. 🙂

Hope you will enjoy making my Niloo Headband! Tag me #NilooHeadband @The_Obsessed if you make it!

And please remember that you can purchase a low-cost ad-free PDF version on my Ravelry or Etsy stores! Thank you for supporting this newbie designer! ❤️

~xoxo, Aire

If you liked this post, please take a moment to ‘like’ this post and/or comment! I love to read your feedback!

This is a FREE pattern in collaboration with KnitPicks!
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  1. Absolutely loving this pattern!! This looks like a project I can tackle in a weekend. Can you recommend a colour? I’m looking for something on the lighter side..

    1. I’m so happy you are loving it! It’s a really quick, couple of hours project. 🙂
      And yes! I love and recommend Nutmeg Heather which is the far right lightest shades in the trio of headbands above! It’s so neutral and beautiful! Check out this link:

  2. Just finished my first band. It looks great. Thank you. I’ve been knitting on and off for a number of years but I can’t say I’ve ever come across this particular stitch but I love it. Thank you. Just started a smaller version for my granddaughter.

    1. That’s so nice to read! I am happy you love the pattern and that you’re making another! It takes a minute to get the hang of it but once you do, it’s not too difficult. I have a few of them… and thinking of making a few more! 😊😊😊

  3. I’ll write it again… I’m verrrry new to knitting, so I’m getting confused at the twist. Done 11-20, but idk how to “work” 1-10. Do I take them off the DPN with the already in-use needle or a new one? Thanks for quick reply btw!

  4. Hello, my comments are being denied and idk why? I just need some help with the twist.. I’m really new to knitting.

    1. Comments go through an approval process and may not immediately show up. 🙂
      Essentially you are working one big cable twist. You place the first 10 sts on a cable needle, hold that cable needle in front of your work. You knit the next 10 sts that are still on your needle. Now you go to 10 sts you were holding on the cable needle, and start to knit those. They will be very snug to knit so give yourself some grace as you knit these.
      If you need more help, there are tons of videos if you search for how to knit a cable. 🙂
      Hope this helps!

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