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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

More Low-Tech Heat Conservation: Wearing Knit Headbands Indoors

We all know that wearing a hat outdoors when the weather is cold will help keep us warmer. According to this article from Harvard University, when our bodies feel the cold in winter, blood is diverted away from the extremities and into the core of our bodies and to our brains. So, to keep your fingers and toes warm, put on a hat when venturing outdoors in winter.

But what about inside our homes for those of us who keep the thermostat lower than average? Personally, I can't tolerate the extra heat of a hat indoors. Even when the house is set at 64 degrees F, a hat is just too toasty for me. However, I've found a heat-retaining solution that's a step down from knit hats, my knit headbands. For those of you who have been reading here for several years, you may remember me posting about the headbands that I knit for my two daughters Christmas 2013. I used yarn that was leftover from other projects and knit in the garter stitch (knit on both sides, no perl). Both headbands were simple and quick to knit, and my daughters still wear them now, 9 years later. 

A couple of Christmases later, one of my daughters gave me the two knit headbands above. These are what I wear on my head in the house when I'm chilled. They're not so warm that I overheat, but warm enough so I can tolerate lower indoor temps.

I thought I'd share because I know many of you knit and likely have extra yarn from other projects. Or perhaps you're looking for something to put on your holiday wish list that would be practical, yet fashionable. With trying to conserve energy used for our home's heat, many of us are turning the thermostat down a degree or two. While I can use a throw when sitting, the headband solution is something I can do to help stay warm while moving around.

With my two headbands, each offers a different level of warmth. The red one is a looser knit and not as warm (good for when I'm just a little chilled or when going out for a walk when temps are above freezing). While the brown one is fleece-lined and very insulating (good for very cold days indoors or out, or after I've washed my hair and I'm waiting for it to air dry). I use both headbands all winter as part of my winter clothing arsenal to stay warm, both indoors and out.


  1. These remind me of what we call "ear warmers" in this area. Are these worn over the ears? I have extremely thick hair, so I mostly avoid hats, even outdoors, unless temps are below the 40's (except for rain, or light hats for sun protection). But I do occasionally wear the ear warmers for walking or hiking. Makes a lot of sense to do so in your case if they help you feel warmer.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Yes, I wear the headbands over my ears, sometimes in a traditional under-the-back-of-my-hair manner and sometimes just over my head. They really work for me without making me overheat. Glad they work for you when hiking.

  2. I love wearing headbands but never thought of wearing one inside. I used them for walks in early spring or fall as well as doing yardwork to keep my hair from getting in my face. I have three of them that I alternate using, a red one, a grey one, and a turquoise one. I love them all.

    1. Hi Alice,
      So glad headbands work for you. They are just the right amount of added warmth when it's cool but not downright cold. And I agree, they're great for keeping hair off the face. Even though I wear my hair pulled back when working, there are always those stray hairs that fall onto my face.

  3. Good idea. However, I don't like anything on my head because it gives me a headache. That can cause a problem because when I get a hat/headband loose enough that it doesn't bother me, it often won't stay on. But this is something I might knit for someone else.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I can understand. When I have a headache, I absolutely have to let my hair down. I usually wear my hair pulled back or up and that can aggravate a headache for me. The headbands only bother me when my head feels too warm.

      Hoods might work better for you, even the sort that are not attached to a coat or jacket, but that has scarf ends that wrap around your neck. And that brings me to another tip that a friend passed along to me several years ago -- she wears a thin knit scarf around her neck indoors in winter. I will sometimes do that in lieu of a knit headband.

    2. Hoods are my go to for the winter. I try to make sure my sweatshirts, jackets, and coats come with a hood. They aren't always as warm as a hat, but they help.

  4. I would never have thought of this. Functional and fashionable as well! Good idea.

    1. Hi Lynn,
      You live in an area with warmer winters than I do, so you may not see these as much as we do here. I can remember these used for wearing while skiing when I was a girl. I still have a couple of my wool headbands from when I was younger. For wearing around town, they've been quite popular in my area for the last 10 years or so. And I see them in a range of colors, patterns, yarns, and styles. So they seem to be something of a fashion accessory as well as functional, here.

  5. My first thought was, oh, Lili learned how to cable knit! :)

    Good idea. I dislike wearing hats but might be able to tolerate wearing a headband.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Maybe some year I'll learn more complicated stitches. My daughter learned how to cable knit as her third knitting project when a teenager. So I do think it could be learnable even by someone like me.

      A headband is worth a try if you happen to have one or want to quickly (in an afternoon or two) knit one.


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