Mittwoch, 4. Januar 2017

Garter Stitch Haramaki

The older I get, the easier I feel chilly - not only at my feet, but also around my belly. The solution to this is a garment that is called Haramaki (腹巻, literally "belly wrap" or "bellyband") in Japanese. Though the ones I found on the internet are just a tube, I wanted a piece of clothing that could be wrapped and adjusted around my belly and hips, that's why I knitted a flat one and included a strap on either side.

The piece is knitted all in garter stitch and therefore quite easy to knit. It is suitable for beginners as well.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A danish translation of this pattern was written by Marianne Holmen of - it is available here.

  • about 150 to 250 grams of DK weight yarn
  • 4.5mm needles
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • some scrap yarn to mark the RS

  • Short rows (with any technique you like) - since this is all garter stitch I used "wrap and turn" technique (w+t, see this YouTube video by Very Pink Knits). But any other technique will work fine as well.
  • Backwards loop cast on: a cast on that can be inserted in the middle of the row, see this YouTube video also by Very Pink Knits

As shown below the piece is constructed of two straps and a body piece. You begin by knitting one strap, then you increase to get the desired width for your body piece - here you insert a whole. Then you knit the piece including some short rows (to make it fit around waist and hips). When the body piece is long enough to fit around your waist, you decrease and knit the second strap. The hole is needed to pull one strap through.

Measurements, How to Calculate the Short Rows and Gauge
In order to knit this piece to fit your body, you need to take the following measurements:
  • your waist circumference (w) and 
  • your hip circumference (h)
Now calculate the ratio of these two measurements. For me (waist = 80 cm, hips = 100 cm), it was 8 to 10 or 4 to 5. This means that for every 4 garter stitch ridges at the upper end (waist) I needed to knit 5 garter stitch ridges at the lower end (hip). In turn, this meant that after every 4 garter stitch ridges I needed to insert a short row on lower end (hip).

If you don't want to calculate, I have included below a summary of a clothing size table for ladies I found on wikipedia, together with the ratio of normal ridges to short row ridges that I would suggest for the given size: e.g. if you are an S-size, knit 3 normal ridges and then one short row ridge or for and XL knit 5 normal ridges and then one short row ridge. (Yes, the ratio is not very exact, but the piece will be very stretchy, so it should be fine.)

Waist (cm) 58 – 64 65 – 72 73 – 81 82 – 90 91 to 102 103 – 114
Hips (cm) 80 – 89 90 – 97 98 – 104 105 – 112 113 to 122 123 – 134
Ratio 3 to 4 3 to 4 4 to 5 4 to 5 5 to 6 5 to 6

With the yarn I used I had the following gauge in garter stitch: 16 sts gave 10 cm in width and 15 ridges (30 rows) gave 10 cm in height.
The finished piece was about 35 cm wide in the mid part of the body piece.
If you have different gauge, you can adjust the width by doing more or less increasing rows (and also the decreasing rows).


1st strap
R1 (RS): k all
R2 (WS): kfb, k to last st, kfb
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are 10 stitches on your needles

Then knit garter stitch rows (k all), until the strap measures your waist circumference plus 15 cm.

Body piece

Increasing part

R1 (RS): k all
R2 (WS): kfb, k to last st, kfb
Use some scrap yarn to mark the RS. Repeat these rows until there are 48 stitches on your needles.

For the hole, knit the following two rows once:
R1 (RS): k20, BO8, k20
R2 (WS): k20, CO8 (with backwards loop CO), k to last st, kfb

Then continue with some increases on the lower end (hip):
R1 (RS): k all
R2 (WS): k to last st, kfb
Repeat until there are 56 sts on your needles

Measure the length of the piece from the beginning of the increasing part.

Mid part
According to the ratio calculated above knit normal ridges and short row ridges.
Normal ridge (RS and WS): k all, turn, k all
Short row ridge (RS and WS): k25, w+t, k to end

Repeat until the lower edge measures your waist circumference minus the length of increasing part. The piece will stretch quite a bit when you're wearing it, so stretch it while measuring it.

Decreasing part
R1 (RS): k2tog, k to end
R2 (WS): k all
Repeat until there are only 48 sts on your needles

R1 (RS): k2tog, k to last 2 sts, ssk
R2 (WS): k all
Repeat until there are only 10 sts on your needles

2nd strap
Now that there are only 10 stitches on your needles, knit garter stitch rows (k all), until the strap is as long as the first strap - finish the tip as follows:
R1 (RS): k2tog, k to last 2 sts, ssk
R2 (WS): k all
Repeat until there are only 2 sts left.
BO these 2 sts.

Weave in ends and block gently.

This blogpost was featured at the Linky Ladies Community Link Party #88 and at the Knitting Love Link Party #18 (February 2017). Thank you!

Linky Ladies Featured on Knitting Love Link Party with Jessie At Home and Underground Crafter

11 Kommentare:

  1. That looks very stylish, and practical.

  2. I've got to confess I've never heard of a haramaki but it looks very cosy. Great for people who stuff from lower back pain I would imagine, keep that middle section warm and cosy.

    1. Thanks. It is quite cosy and keeps the middle section warm.

      I had seen the word once - quite some time ago - amd forgotten it. But when I was googling for a name for this pattern, I found it again ... On Ravelry there are a few more haramaki patterns.

  3. That's a wonderful idea, I'm sure it's very comfortable. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's nice and comfy and - for me - a nice winter garment.

  4. I have never heard about this before, but a cold wave stroke this week and this would be really useful

    1. I had something similar (storebought) in my wardrobe, but I wanted a hand-knitted one. They are really comfortable when it's cold - like now!

  5. This looks very cool. I'd love to be able to add pockets.

    1. Thanks. If you add pockets, make sure that they are as stretchy as the underlying (garter stitch) fabric. Happy Knitting!

  6. Thank you for this! I've been needing a back warmer for lower back pain that comes with my periods, and I'm happy to have finally made one that works well.

    I used this layout to make something very similar on a straight knitting loom. I didn't translate this pattern exactly, but the diagram and stitch counts for the slit, the tapering parts, and the straps were very useful as guides. It hadn't occurred to me to fasten the garment with long straps that wrap all the way around the body, but it's a great way to keep the garment stable and well-fastened where I want it.

    (PS: You may get this comment twice - I forgot to turn on cookies, so I don't think it went through the first time.)