Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wheat Ear Cuff

Wheat Ear Cuff
Even the baby had to get in on this action...

As an avid knitter, I have what feels like thousands of small piles of yarn laying around the house; skeins with too little left to make anything "real", but just enough that my grandmother would yell at me if I threw them away (you should have seen her refrigerator!).  Hence the Wheat Ear Cuff, which not only makes an attractive bracelet, but would also make a sweet headband if knit to about 21" in size for an adult (unsurprisingly, I didn't have enough yarn for that!).

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Paints (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #9860 Jelly Bean - less than 1/3 skein

Needles: Straight needles in size #7 (to be fair, I knit this on a couple of double-pointed needles, but you know what I mean - it goes back and forth, not around!), cable needle (cn) or extra dpn
The buttons I found in the bottom of my knitting bag

Notions: Tapestry needle, 3 7/16" buttons (or whatever you have laying around, as long as they will fit through the holes and secure the piece)

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette - however, for this piece, it doesn't matter much

First, let's talk about sizing.  This piece will look best with a tight fit, and since everyone's wrists are different, you will pretty much just want to knit it to the exact dimension of your own (or of the person you're giving it to).  However, my finished piece measures just over 7", if you really want to know.

Anyway, let's get started.  To begin, cast on 22 stitches.  The main pattern we're using is a very slight variation on the Wheat Ear Cable from page 244 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, but first we're going to work the buttonholes.  Or in other words:

Set-up Row 1 (wrong side): * k1, p1; rep from * (seed stitch)

Set-up Row 2: * p1, k1 *

Set-up Row 3: k1, p2, yo, p2tog, p5, yo, k2tog, p5, p2tog, yo, p3

And now, to the main pattern.  First, some notation:

fc (front cross): slide two stitches to your cn and hold in front; k2, k2 from cn

bc (back cross): slide two stitches to your cn and hold in back; k2, k2 from cn

And the pattern:

Row 1 (right side): p1, k9, p2, k10

Row 2: k1, p9, k2, p10

Row 3: p1, bc, k1, fc, p2, fc, k1, bc, k1

Row 4: same as row 2

Work pattern rows 1 - 4 until piece measures the desired wrist size pretty much on the nose (or a hair under) and you've just worked row 4; as I mentioned, this cuff will look best if it fits snugly, and the next bit is where you'll attach the buttons so it will overlap the set-up rows you've already knit.  Finally, to finish, you just want to knit two more rows in seed stitch, or

Row 1: * p1, k1 *

Row 2: * k1, p1 *

Bind off loosely, tuck in ends, and attach buttons to correspond with buttonholes.  Spend about 3 minutes one-handedly buttoning it on your wrist or ask a friend to help; wear with pride.


  1. Is that an ear cuff?

    1. Nope, for the wrist. The pattern's just called the "Wheat Ear Cable!" :)

  2. Would make a nice boot cuff, too.