Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee
« Molly's Sketchbook: Carefree Clothes for Girls Sundress | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Alabama Chanin Market Bag Kit »

Whit's Knits: Springtime Bandana

I've been making regular visits to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden this March to check on spring's progress. The month started slowly with the first spindly yellow wisps of witch hazel and gained momentum, finally delivering the bursting buds of the dogwoods. I made this Springtime Bandana to celebrate these early spring efforts. It reflects the very tip of a daffodil bulb pushing up out of the earth and the millions of tiny bright green dots twinkling off of every twig of every tree.

Alchemy's Haiku mohair and silk blend is an amazing yarn for capturing nature's beauty. Its rich hand dyed colors are reflected by the silk and softened by the mohair. To add to the complexity of color, I striped a soothing seagreen with a bright acid green. The result is a like a beautiful watercolor of spring's essence.  Enjoy! --Whitney

The Materials

  • 2 skeins of Alchemy's Haiku, 60% Kid Mohair, 40% Silk. These colors, from left to right, are Willow and Sour Grass.
  • A US #6, 24 inch circular needle. I really recommend the Skacel Addi Lace needle for this project and all projects that involve fine and/or slippery yarn. Addi's Lace needles have a sharper point and a slightly stickier shaft than Addi's standard needles. These needles actually make knitting mohair a pleasant experience!


The Pattern


6 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Size

21 inches x  21 inches

Note on the Pattern

Each row in this pattern starts with the instructions to either "Turn" or "Slide" the work:

"Turning the work" means to do what you would normally do when knitting rows with a circular needle. That is to say, put the needle in your left hand into your right and the needle in your right hand into your left, and flip the work around so the opposite side is facing you.

"Sliding the work" means to keep the same side of the work facing you, and to push all the stitches to the right end of the circular needle. Without turning the work, start the new row as you normally would.

You will know that you're doing this right if the yarn you need to complete the next row is magically there waiting for you!


With Color A, cast on 135 stitches. (I used "Willow" for Color A and "Sour Grass" for Color B.)

Row 1: Turn work. With Color B, *k1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: Slide work. With Color A, *k1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 3: Turn. With Color B, *p1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Row 4: Slide. With Color A, *p1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Row 5 and 6: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

Row 7: Turn. With Color B, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, knit to last 7 stitches, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1.

Row 8: Slide. With Color A, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, knit to last 7 stitches, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1.

Row 9: Turn. With Color B, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, purl to last 7 stitches, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Row 10: Slide. With Color A, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, purl to last 7 stitches, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 7-10 until piece measures 20 inches, ending with Row 9.

Repeat Rows 2-4 and then Rows 1-3.

Slide the work and bind off loosely with Color A.

Weave in the ends and voila!


Reader Comments (27)

... pretty pretty oh so pretty ... and most definitely needed ... there's a bite in the air today ...
March 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertante sophie
I agree. That green is so pretty! Thanks for another great pattern!
March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris
so cute!!!!!!!! If I could only read patterns:) I'm still young (wwwaaaaaaayyy under 20) so I still have tons of time to learn!!!!!!!!! Could you maybe do a post of reading patterns for beginners??????
March 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKalie
What a lovely project! I am thinking of doing it in a blue colorway...which of the Haiku blues would blend together as beautifully as the green that you chose did?
March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Hi Karen,
For a pale version try:
pale blue eyes + willow

For a dark and mysterious version try:
deep sea + blue jay way

Hope this helps!
March 29, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have tried the "turning the work" and the "sliding the work" directions using a sample yarn many many times. I simply don't understand these directions. Am I making it too difficult and do they simply mean using the circular needles as one would use single points? I bought Haiku in canary and pale sun. I hope to be able to work on the bandana soon, but the directions elude me. I hope you can help. Help! thanks so much from a knitter who usually does understand directions, but humbled am I.
April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPat
We could use a scarf like that today in Chicago where it's overcast but spring is definitely on its way if the weather forecast is any indication!
Beautiful!!!!! I would like to knit this pattern in pink or purple colorway. Suggestions???
February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Hi Ana-

Thank you for your comment. This yarn is available in some lovely pink and purple color ways. "Raspberry Crush" and "Hush" would look great together and be more purple, while "Hush" and "Evening Pink" would be a great pink combo. For something brighter I might try "Chica Pop" and "Poppy"

The yarn can be found here:

February 17, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am in need of help doing the "sliding the work" for the Springtime Bandana.
Using circlular needles, all stitches come from the left and knit unto the right...
if I slide them to the far right like stated, the yarn to knit with is on the opposite
side. What am I missing? Please help me to do this.
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet
HI Janet,

Are you using two colors and knitting just one row with each? It sounds like you may be using just one color to make the bandana, in which case you don't need to do any sliding. Just turn the work at the end of each row as you normally would.

Please let us know if this clears up your confusion and good luck!

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I've cast on so all the stitches are on the left side. When I turn the work this will put all my stitches in my right hand with no stitches on the left. I don't understand turning the work at row 1, since this leaves an empty needle on your left side with nothing to knit. Can you please clarify that step?

February 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterK
Hi K,

Maybe it would help to think of starting the first row at the end opposite of the cast on tail (provided you used a long tail cast on). I should also point out that when you turn the work, you may also have to slide the stitches into working position (just like you normally do when knitting a flat piece on circular needles).

I hope these tips get you on the right path. Please let us know if you're still confused!

February 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This looks like such a wonderful pattern. I was wondering approx. how many yards of each color is used.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlene
Hi Charlene,

I used half of each skein, so about 160 yards of each color.

Thanks for your question!
July 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Beautiful. Do the directions differ if you're using just one color?
January 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGotta dance
Hi Gotta Dance,

Yes, they do! For just one color you would...

Row 1 (wrong side): *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2 (right side): *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three more times..

Next Row (wrong side): [K1, p1] 3 times, k1, purl to last 7 stitches, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Next Row (right side): [P1, k1] 3 times, p1, knit to last 7 stitches, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1.

Repeat last two rows until piece measures 20 inches.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 four times.

Bind off loosely and weave in the ends.

That's it! Thanks for asking and good luck!

January 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Currently making this in lovely peach and tangerine colours. My first knitting project :D
I made this and it turned out sooo beautiful. Thank you for the great pattern!

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterporcelinablue
To clarify:

"Repeat Rows 2-4 and then Rows 1-3" means to repeat rows 2, 3 and 4 and then repeat rows 1, 2 and 3?

Thanks very much, for the clarification and the pattern.
May 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Hi Kim,

Yes, you've got it!

Thanks for asking... Sounds like you're almost done. I hope you enjoy your bandana!

June 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! This is a beautiful pattern!

I have an additional question with regards to knitting this in just one color. Do I still turn and slide the work or do I just keep turning the work?

Thanks so much!

August 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Hi Karen,

If you're using just one color, you would turn the work at the end of every row like you normally would. Alternate knit rows with purl rows for stockinette stitch.

Thanks for asking and good luck!

August 22, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
How do you join the bandana at the back? Do you just knot it? Is there any way to make this with a natural join so no not is necessary>?

Thank you for a lovely pattern.
October 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKryn
Hi Kryn,

Yes, this bandana is designed to tie in the back. For a bandana pattern that is one continuous piece, check out our Bandana Cowl:

Thanks for your question. Please let us know if you have more!

October 15, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would really like to make this using three colors but I can't figure out how to add the third color into the pattern? any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer
Hi Jennifer,

Using three colors means that you won't have to "slide" the work at all; you'll just turn the work at the end of each row as usual. So, you'll work Color A as a knit row (say), Color B as a purl row, Color C as a knit row; then Color A as a purl row, B knit, and C purl. The yarn you need will always be where you need it!

I hope this gets you started. Please let us know if you have any more questions and thanks for this one!

February 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.