Let’s go back to basics with a classic twist ear warmer, but with a second twist – instead of knitting up this simply sophisticated headband, we’ll be crocheting it instead! This Tunisian crochet ear warmer is double-thick, extra cozy, and perfect for a beginner Tunisian crocheter. It also makes great gifts all year round.
Soft and Functional
For this project, I used WeCrochet/Knit Picks Kindred yarn, a cotton and baby alpaca blend that mixes ultra softness with cool comfort. It’s exactly what I’m looking for in a new favorite yarn! Kindred is a DK weight yarn, coming in at 115 yds for a 50g ball. Each skein has a strand of baby alpaca in the specific colorway, twisted with a strand of cream/white cotton. This gives the yarn, and your makes, extra depth and texture.
All the colors of Kindred are beautiful, but you know me, I can’t stay away from a good golden yellow. Kindred Goldenrod is deep and rich, and evokes that perfect fall vibe. I also have Cactus (great name!), which is a muted lime green, and Driftwood, the perfect warm greige. Kindred comes in small skeins, but I totally want to make entire garments out of this luscious yarn!
Tunisian Knit Stitch
The bulk of this design, a whopping 99% of it, is worked in the Tunisian Knit Stitch. This is a simple, mindless stitch that creates those gorgeous V’s reminiscent of a solid stockinette stitch.
To crochet the Tunisian Knit Stitch, you’ll insert your hook from the front to the back of the piece, working between the front and back vertical stitches. This is different from the Tunisian Simple Stitch, in that you’re working through the fabric, instead of just pulling the yarn through the front loop. This makes for a thicker fabric than the Tunisian Simple Stitch, so make sure you use an appropriate hook size.
I find that for Tunisian crochet, I go up 2-5 hook sizes to get the right tension for a beautiful drape. For Kindred, the recommended hook sizes range from 4.5mm to 5.5mm. For the Twisted Ear Warmer, I jumped up to a 6.5mm hook to achieve the desired look.
Sizing Your Ear Warmer
I don’t have specific sizes listed in the ear warmer pattern. For this simple project, I prefer to teach you to customize to your own desired size, whether that’s for a child or an adult. All you have to do is measure your head circumference with a tape measure, right around where the brim of a hat would sit. That’s it, that number becomes the length of the rectangle you’ll be working up. Don’t worry about it being too big – you’ll be seaming the ends of the rectangle together, so the wearable circumference will be slightly less than your head measurement, which is the margin you’ll need so that the ear warmer sits snugly on your head.
Constructing the Twist
The Classic Twist Ear Warmer is simply a Tunisian Crochet Knit Stitch rectangle, made in a specified width, and worked in Tunisian Knit Stitches until the length equals your measured head circumference. Each long side of the rectangle has a beautiful V stitches to make seaming the rectangle with a mattress stitch especially easy.
For the mattress stitch, you’ll want to work into the horizontal bar between the first and second stitches, and the second-to-last and last stitches. This will give you a slight seam on the inside of your Tunisian knit tube, but it makes the outside of your tube look nearly seamless. Once you fold and create the twist, that seam will sit on the edge of the ear warmer and be unnoticeable.
Once you’ve seamed up the rectangle lengthwise, take the ends and fold them lengthwise, and then bring them together, alternating the folds. It’s sort of like an offset Gucci logo. Then you’ll want to seam these thick folds together – you’ll be going through 8 layers of crochet fabric, so make sure to use a sturdy needle! For the seams, I recommend using a running stitch instead of a whip stitch. The running stitch still goes through all the layers, but doesn’t loop over the ends. This allows the ends to flatten against your head when you’re wearing the headband, instead of creating an uncomfortable bulge on your forehead.
Quick Tip – Starting your Tunisian Foundation Row
You know by now that Tunisian Crochet sits somewhere between knitting and regular crochet. You use a hook, but it has a long cable attached so that all of your stitches sit on the hook at the same time, similar to knitting. When you work your foundation row, you can use that similarity to your advantage! Instead of chaining stitches and working meticulously into each stitch to create to your foundation row, you can also use the long-tail knitting cast-on to add those first row of stitches to your Tunisian crochet hook. Just treat your Tunisian crochet hook like a knitting needle, and cast on your stitches directly onto the hook. Using a German Twisted cast-on will give you even more stretch!
Tunisian Classic Twist Ear Warmer Instructions
- 175-200 yds, or 2 skeins of WeCrochet Kindred (50g, 115yds) in your choice of color
- 6.5mm Tunisian crochet hook
- tapestry needle
Gauge & Finished Size
Gauge: 18 sts and 18 rows in 4″
Finished size, as shown in sample: 4″ wide by 19″ circumference
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- sl st(s) – slip stitch(es)
- ch – chain stitch
- sc – single crochet
- yo – yarn over
- Tks – tunisian knit stitch: insert hook from front to back between front and back vertical bars and under all strands of horizontal bar, yo, and pull up a loop.
Pattern and Construction Notes
- This pattern can be used with any type of yarn. You’ll need to adjust your hook size to be one or two sizes larger than the recommended hook size because Tunisian crochet tends to be tighter than regular crochet.
- Work all return passes as a basic return pass.
Tunisian Knit Rectangle Body
Start with a 12″ tail, ch 38.
Foundation Row: Work basic foundation row and return pass. (Insert hook into each ch st, yo, and pull up a loop, continuing in each ch st across the row. For the return pass, yo and pull through 1 loop on hook, then *yo and pull through 2 loops on hook. Repeat from * to end of row.)
Row 1: Work Tks across row, draw up lp in last bar. (38)
Repeat Row 1 until length of piece measures desired head circumference.
Bind off row: Work sc in each st across.
Cut a tail that is twice the length of your piece (36-42″), and fasten off.
Use the long tail to seam up the length of the rectangle. Use a mattress stitch worked into the horizontal bars between the 1st and 2nd st of the row, and the 2nd-to-last and last st of the row. Pull tight every few stitches.
Take each end of your long tube, and fold lengthwise. Bring the ends together with the folds alternating.
Use the shorter (beginning) tail to secure all the layers together. Use a running stitch worked approximately 1/2″ below the edge (almost like a 1/2″ seam allowance). This allows you to fully capture each and every layer securely. You can also work the running stitch across the seam for extra sturdiness.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Turn the ear warmer so that that the twist is on the outside of the ear warmer and the seam is hidden on the inside. It’s a bit of folding/turning magic, and is super satisfying watching it turn out! The seam along the length of the tube should be on the edge of the completed ear warmer, making it nearly invisible.