Ok, but who loves the look of knit things?? The stitches are so close together, there’s no ‘holes’ (like with crochet) and it’s STRETCHY…but what if I told you that you can achieve all of those things with one very simple crochet stitch? And I mean SIMPLE. If you know how to do slip stitch, then you can make this design.

I live in the Midwest where winter temps can be pretty harsh. This ear warmer keeps my head warm all day long while I’m outside doing barn chores. I wear my hair up a lot, so wearing beanies doesn’t really work for me. This ear warmer is a perfect solution, almost doubling as a ‘messy bun hat’.

We don’t typically use slip stitches to actually make things. Slip stitches are mainly used for joining things together, like when you’re working in the round or you’re making a picot. However, when slip stitches are worked in the back loop only, they create the awesomest, stretchy fabric that’s perfect for winter headbands/ear warmers. But there’s a catch…you need to have absolutely the loosest tension while working this entire pattern. Because of their lack of height, slip stitches tend to be tight, but ironically they create super stretchy rows when worked in the back loops….so long as you’re minding your tension.

When worked in the back loop only, slip stitches create a ribbed, knit look making a perfect stretchy fabric for winter ear warmers.

I tend to have quite loose tension so a 5.00mm hook works fine for me, but most people who have made this pattern seem to do best with a 5.5mm hook. You may need to still go up a size or two if you have very tight tension.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here is the full video tutorial:

If you enjoy my content and would like to help support me, you can purchase the downloadable, printable version for only $3.75 HERE

This pattern has both an ear warmer as well as a coffee sleeve. Both patterns are identical except for the number of starting chains. This pattern is also easily customizable. If you want something wider, add more chains. If you need a bigger or smaller ear warmer then make more/less rows depending on your need. It’s really quite simple!

Ok, so let’s get into it.

Materials:

  • H8 (5.00mm) crochet hook *I used an H8, however, an I9 (5.50 mm) may be better if you tend to crochet tightly
  • Your favorite worsted weight yarn. I used I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle (for sewing ends)

Skill level:

Beginner. I have included stitch and technique tutorials below.

Pattern notes:

  • This pattern is written in standard US crochet terms.
  • The chain 1 at the beginning of each round does NOT count as a stitch.
  • IMPORTANT! Make sure your tension is LOOSE. I cannot stress this enough. You are only using slip stitches throughout the pattern and they can easily become too tight to work into. You may also need to go up a hook size if you find your stitches are too tight.

Stitches used and abbreviations:

ch = chain

yo = yarn over

st/sts = stitch/stitches

sl st = slip stitch

sl st blo = slip stitch in back loop only

Gauge: 4”x4” square = 18 sl sts and 24 rows

Finished size: approximately 15.5″ across, unstretched

Ear Warmer Pattern

Row 1: ch 21, (or as many/few chs until you have reached your desired width. The one pictured is 20 sts across.) sl st in second ch from hook, sl st blo in next st and in each of next 17 sts, sl st  in last st, ch 1, turn (20 sl sts)

Row 2: sl st in first st, sl st blo in next st and in each of next 17 sts, sl st in last st, ch 1, turn (20 sl sts)

Row 3: repeat Row 2 until ear warmer is about 15.5″ long, unstretched. Wrap it around your head to make sure it can comfortably fit with a little on each end to spare. You will need enough on the ends to sew them together. Fasten off and make sure to leave a tail long enough for sewing. Follow directions below for making the center twist.

How to make a slip stitch in the back loop only:

Instead of inserting your hook through both loops like you normally would, (needle placement indicates where you would normally insert your hook
…you will insert your hook into the back loop only

How to make the center twist:

Fold one side in half
Fold other side in half and ‘interlock’ both ends together as shown.
Thread a tapestry needle with the tail and insert it through all four pieces. Whip stitch all the way across. Fasten off and weave in ends.  Turn inside out and voila! Your ear warmer is ready to wear!

Matching cup cozy pattern

Row 1: ch 16, (or as many/few chs until you have reached your desired width. The one pictured is 15 sts across.) sl st in second ch from hook, sl st blo in next st and in each of next 13 sts, sl st  in last st, ch 1, turn (15 sl sts)

Row 2: sl st in first st, sl st blo in next st and in each of next 12 sts, sl st in last st, ch 1, turn (15 sl sts)

Row 3: repeat Row 2 until cozy is 9″ long, unstretched. Wrap it around your cup to make sure it is snug enough to not slide down but with a little on each end to spare. You will need enough on the ends to sew them together. Fasten off and make sure to leave a tail long enough for sewing. Follow directions on page 3 for making the center twist.

Note: If you want to use two different colors as shown, simply stop at the end of a row once you have reached the halfway point, attach a new color, and continue until you have reached the full length.

And that’s it! Simple, right? If you made this and love it, please share your photo and tag me. I’d love to see your finished ear warmers/coffee sleeves.

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