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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homemade Crocheted Ear Warming Headband with Headphones


I want to start exercising regularly. I keep on saying that I want to do that, but something comes up. I have a really bad track record and getting my act together and actually exercising on a regular basis.

However, lately I've been exhausted beyond belief, and even when I think I'm getting more than enough sleep, more sleep than I used to be getting and would have been enough, I'm still wiped out. I made myself an appointment at the doctor to get a blood test to see what's going on, but it was also suggested to me to exercise more often, that regular exercise, despite what it would seem, actually energizes you, not tires you out.

The problem is... my ears. They get cold when I exercise outside, and that's the type of exercise that appeals to me the most.

I don't really like wearing hats. They mess with what I do with my hair, etc... I just want something for my ears. I asked women I know what they did to keep their ears warm- sorry, ear muffs weren't doing it for me, didn't appeal to me, and they all suggested warm knitted thick headbands, with adjustable button closures.
Sounded perfect to me, and as I know how to crochet, I knew that that was something I could make easily myself. And not just for exercising, but any time I wanted to keep my ears warm outside.


On another note, another thing that has been bugging me about exercising is that I have big issues with headphones. I have never once found headphones that don't bother me, and not for lack of trying. The firm headphones that are like a solid headband with a solid piece that fits over your ears- those always ended up hurting my ears.
Tried the ones that go inside your ears- those end up hurting the parts near my ear canal.
I tried Bluetooth headsets. Hurt my outer ear.
Every single thing I tried for headphones ends up hurting me. Usually I don't mind it too much, I just use music on speakers.
But when I try to go out exercising, it is awkward to not have headphones. Since I go exercising at night it means that if my phone plays music on loudspeaker, its loud and everyone can hear it, not something I love at night. And I don't necessarily feel like broadcasting my musical taste to everyone that passes by me while I'm exercising.
And don't get me started about music on long bus rides. Definitely can't be blasting that from my phone loud speaker.

I thought to myself that if I could combine ear warming headbands with headphones I'd be in luck. I found ones online and ordered a cheap pair from Aliexpress.... and we'll see what ends up happening.... But honestly, I don't have much hope. Because I have a really big head, and Aliexpress is from China, where people are on the smaller end... When I buy one size fits "all" type things I always end up getting such headaches from them as they don't fit a head my size, so I am assuming these headband headphones won't actually fit me.

However, I did go to the local dollar store type place, as I heard they had yarn. Unfortunately or fortunately, the only yarn they seemed to have was this really thick, fluffy yarn, and luckily I found in maroon, a color I love to wear. Though a thick fluffy yarn would make a thicker headband than I'd originally considered making, I knew it would make my project go a lot faster, and with ADD brain, projects that can be started and finished in a day are a big boon, because it means I can start it and get it done instead of starting and stopping in the middle and letting it languish because I forget about it or can't be motivated to finish.



Anyhow, so I did actually make myself a crocheted headband, took me not so long, and did it while I was watching a movie.



As I knew, it ended up being pretty thick, but that also means it's pretty fluffy and warm and really works great, so who cares if it looks dorky and nerdy. I spent $5 on the yarn for it, and then added buttons that I inherited from my grandma onto the bottom.



I saw a cheap pair of earbud headphones being sold at the grocery store, for $5 as well, and I decided to see if I could weave the headphones through the crocheted headbands, so that the headphones would sit approximately where my ears are at, so that the music would just be coming from my headband and into my ear without anything pressing uncomfortably on my ear.
I put on the headband and approximated where my ears lay on the headband, then wove the headphones through the headband so they would be there, and success!
I used them to go exercising and my ears stayed warm and I enjoyed my music without needing to broadcast my playlist to the world!
The only issue with the headphone headband that I made is that the headphones need to plug into my phone which then needs to be held (and can't go into a pocket, not that I wear pockets anyhow), which is fine while running but gets annoying when I'm using exercise equipment that requires my hand. I plan on making or buying an upper arm band to hold my phone in place there to free up my hands.




So, how did I make the headband?
Pretty easily, and quickly, without any complicated crochet steps.

In short, I did a long row of chain stitches until they reached all the way around my head, plus more for overlap to close.


Then I did single stitches going back along the chain stitches until I reached the beginning. I added 2 chain stitches and went back and did another row of single stitches along its length.




I did this each time, finishing a row with two chain stitches and then going back to single stitch across its length.



When I made the headband approximately half the thickness I wanted it to be, I measured how big of a button hole I needed for my button, and then when I reached the place along the headband that I wanted the button hole to be, I did two or three chain stitches, and then skipped one or two holes, and then continued with the single stitches the rest of the way.



When I did my double stitches enough times and my headband was the thickness I wanted it to be, I added another row of slip stitches across, just to make it a bit more even, in my opinion. It wasn't entirely necessary, but I think it looked good.



If the yarn I was using wasn't quite so thick, I probably would have double stitches the whole thing to make it finish faster, but my single stitches made it thick enough, so no need.

With some extra thin string, I sewed on two large wooden buttons on one end of the headband, to make it adjustable width.




Ok, so my ear warming headband isn't winning any beauty contests (and I really suck at taking selfies), but it does the trick and I'm glad I made it.


 Total cost? $10. Total time- a few hours while enjoying myself watching movies. Enjoyment and appreciation? Priceless.

Anyone else like me and have sensitive ears and therefore can't tolerate headphones of any kind? What do you do? 
How do you tend to keep your ears warm in the winter?
Are you a crocheter? Do any projects lately? If so, what? 

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