Free Pattern: Making Cozy Ear Warmers with Faux Leather Tags
Winter is coming quickly, here in the United States, and with it come colder temperatures. It’s hard to stay warm and look stylish at the same time. Which is more important: practicality or style? Well, with today’s tutorial, you don’t have to choose.
If you’ve read my previous articles about knitting machines (You can find an informative article about them here, and tutorials here & here), you’ll know that they’re great for making warm winter hats. But did you know you can also make cute & stylish ear warmers with them? Using either a 48 pin, 46 pin or 40 pin knitting machine, you can make adult sized ear warmers in a variety of colors. If you want to make them for children, or make thinner ear warmers for adults, a 22 pin knitting machine is a great size. You can make them for the whole family!
There are multiple styles of ear warmers, as well, depending on how you finish them. Today, I want to focus on the solid color faux bow closure. I think it’s a cute, yet stylish choice, for any age.
What You’ll Need
- Knitting machine of your choice
- Worsted weight yarn in your choice of color (My yarn is by Big Twist and the color name is Camel)
- A stable, flat surface
- Yarn needle
- Clips and/or weights
- Leather tag (optional; see below)
You’ll find a list of sizes and row counts below; row counts will vary depending on machine, as well as tension and size of the yarn. For instructional purposes, we’ll start off with the 48 pin ear warmer size for adults. Assembly is the same, no matter the size. I’ve found that I can make two adult sized ear warmers on the 48 pin with one skein of worsted weight yarn from Big Twist. Let’s get started:
- Cast on to your machine with your worsted weight yarn. (The best tutorial I’ve found for casting on and off can be found here)
- Slowly start turning your machine handle for the first few rows. Pay attention to the row counter (if your machine has one) or count manually. After the first 20 rows, attach your weights or clips to help hold the knitted part down and make sure it doesn’t slip off the machine.
- Once you have reached the desired number of rows (for the 48 pin, this is 90 rows), cast off using your yarn needle.
- Pull the strings on either end to cinch each end. Lay flat and fold each end halfway onto itself, so the two ends are meeting in the middle.
- Using your yarn needle, sew the two ends into each other using the leftover strings from casting off. Two or three stitches together will be fine – just enough so the ends are attached to each other. Tie strings into a knot.
- Using the same strings, wrap them around the place where you’ve sewn them together, going round and round in a circle. This will form the decorative “knot” part of your faux bow.
- Using the yarn needle, sew the strings under the “knot” on the back to one side, and tie them together into a knot. Trim the strings and tuck them under the knot.
Row Counts and Sizes
Counts and sizes can vary; this is what works for me:
48 pin: 90 rows for adults and teens
40 pin: 90 rows for adults and teens
22 pin: 90 rows for adults and teens, 80 rows for pre-teens, 70 rows for young children, 60 rows for babies and 50 rows for newborns.
When in doubt – measure it out. The length of your rows will depend on your yarn, yarn tension, and your machine. Using a cloth measuring tape, measure the circumference of the intended recipient’s head and make a knitted tube the same length, but an inch shorter (to allow for a comfortable stretch of the yarn). If you can’t do that, reference this guide for average head circumferences for ages here. (This is a chart for hat sizing, but the measurements remain the same)
Faux Leather Tags
As I mentioned above, faux leather tags are optional, but are a fantastic way to add branding if you’re going to sell your ear warmers. You can purchase your tags pre-made from a variety of small businesses online, or you can make your own. For this project, I chose to make my own using my Cricut Maker.
What You’ll Need…
To make faux leather tags with your Cricut, you’ll need:
- Faux leather sheets
- Deep cut blade
- Cricut maker & strong grip mat
- Chicago screws (optional)
- In Cricut Design Space, click “shapes” and choose the oval shape. Click the lock on the shape to unlock it and set the dimensions at 0.5 inches wide and 2 inches high. Click the lock again to lock the proportions into place.
- Measure your Chicago screws (if you are using them) and create two circles in Design Space that are a little larger than the width of the inner part of your screw. For instance, my screws measured 8mm across the top and 4mm across the shank/threads of the screw, so I made my circles 0.20 inches in size.
- Position the circles at each end of the elongated oval. Select one circle and the elongated oval and click “slice.” This will slice a circle out of the oval, perfect for putting the screw through. Repeat the process again for the other circle, and make sure to get rid of the extra parts that the slice feature created.
- Follow the prompts on the screen after clicking “Make It” and make sure to select the correct material.
- After cutting out your tag(s), attach to your knitted ear warmer by placing the smooth top screw piece through one hole of the tag, then through your knitted ear warmer, and then through the other hole of the tag, wrapping it around the knitted ear warmer. Add the screw to the smooth top screw piece and tighten.
Customizing Faux Leather Tags
You can customize your faux leather tags by changing the color of the faux leather and the color of the Chicago screws. Another way to customize your tags is to add heat transfer vinyl to the faux leather tags. You can add something simple, like a heart or other shape, or you can add your business logo or initials to create a fantastic way to brand your product for retail.
Additional Ways to Secure Tags
If you want to add a faux leather tag to your ear warmer but don’t want to use Chicago screws, what can you do? The simplest way of securing a tag is to sew it on, using a sewing needle and thread. You can also attach a tag using fabric glue, but you need to be careful to stretch the ear warmer a little as you are applying the glue, so it adheres correctly. If you don’t stretch it, you run the risk of the tag popping off when the ear warmer is stretched over your head.
Making ear warmers with your knitting machine is a quick and easy project, either for gifts or to sell for profit. Whether you decide to use faux leather tags or not, knitted ear warmers are cute & stylish, and easy to customize.
What do you think? Have you made knitted ear warmers before? Let me know in the comments below!