Before we begin the tutorial for how to knit a face mask, I gotta start by saying, this mask will NOT protect you from any viruses or microbes. The weave is just too loose to stop anything microscopic from coming in or out. That being said, it does have some positive qualities when it comes to the current coronavirus pandemic.
This mask can discourage you from touching your face. It can help contain water droplets from your nose and mouth so you are less likely to spread the virus out as far as you would from coughing or sneezing without one. This mask can also help prolong the use of medical grade masks when used as a barrier. For mask info related to the COVID-19 outbreak, check the CDC’s guidelines here and please wash your hands before touching your face or beginning this project.
With all that being said, I hope you’re reading this post from a bright future where we’re all on the other side of this pandemic and you’re just making this face mask to keep your nose warm (it’s great for that too!).
To get a downloadable, printable version of this pattern, click here.
And there’s now a video for you visual learners!
You’ll need less than 100 yards (90m) of a category 4 worsted weight yarn like Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran.
I used 3.5mm (US 4) knitting needles and you’ll need at least 3 needles of the same size. Straight, circular or even long double pointed needles work fine for this pattern.
You’ll also need two thick elastic hair ties (kinda stretched out is better), and two stitch markers.
This pattern makes a rather large, adult size face mask. 8″ (20cm) from ear to ear and 6″ (15cm) from nose to chin. You can make the mask smaller by working fewer rows, doing fewer increase rows or casting on fewer stitches at the beginning as long as you have an even number of stitches (at least 10).
How to knit a face mask – Pattern
We’ll use the hair ties as ear straps. This mask is made in two pieces. Each piece starts with casting stitches onto a hair tie as follows:
Make a slip knot. Insert your needle through the center of one hair tie, place the slip knot on your needle and pull it through the hair tie. *Yo, insert your needle through center of hair tie and pick up a stitch* rep 18 more times. You should have 19 sets of yarn overs and picked up sts plus your slip knot.
Row 1 (ws): knit all sts Row 2 (rs): knit all sts Rep rows 1 and 2 for a total of 5 rows
Row 6: k 9, pm (place marker), k2, pm, k9
Row 7: k3, purl all sts up to marker, sm (slip marker), p2, sm, purl to last 3, k3 Row 8: k to marker, m1r, sm, k2, sm, m1l, k rem sts Rep rows 7 and 8 until your have 28 sts on your needles, then work one more row 7 row, while removing markers.
Right side rows: k all sts Wrong side rows: k3, p to last 3, k3
Rep rows until piece measures 4in (10cm). Don’t bind off and repeat instructions to make another half.
With right sides facing, seam both sides together using a 3 needle bind-off.
There you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial for how to knit a face mask, even if the reason is pretty freaky. If the fact that we’re dealing with a world wide face mask shortage is harshing your creative flow, can we instead get excited about casting stitches onto a hair tie, slanted increases and a 3 needle bind-off?! Ah…there we go, that’s better…
If you make one of these, wash your hands and tag me on Instagram!