DIY: Reflective Knit Arm Band

Lately we’ve become obsessed with a fun new yarn: Reflective by Red Heart. This yarn comes in all sorts of yummy neon colors that we cannot resist, but as the name suggests, it has a little secret–it will, in fact, reflect light. As in, if you wear this yarn out at night, it will light up like a Christmas tree when cars zoom by or when your friend takes a picture of you with a flash. Which is pretty darn cool. Naturally, we had to make something with this yarn. Maggie Pace got the ball rolling by whipping up a super cute hat with reflective stripes and a giant pink reflective pompom. In this post, we thought we would provide a companion for the hat–a reflective arm band to wear on nighttime bike rides.

hat and wristband


The stitch pattern used for this strap looks a little complex, but I assure you, it is actually quite easy to knit up. The strap is made using Linen Stitch, which creates a dense, stiff fabric that’s perfect for a sturdy strap. Worked up in three colors, it creates a fun dotty design. Add a little Velcro to the ends when you’re done and you’re ready to ride!


  • 1 ball Red Heart Heads Up in Steel
  • 1 ball each of Red Heart Reflective yarn in Neon Yellow and Neon Pink
  • 16” needles size US 8
  • Yarn needle
  • 2″ of Velcro (sticky back or sew on)
  • Fabric glue or needle and thread

wristband setup

To Make the Arm Band

Cast on 16 stitches

Row 1: Starting with gray, knit 1 stitch, then move the yarn to the front between the needles and slip 1 stitch purlwise. Move the yarn to the back and knit 1, then move the yarn to the front and slip 1. Repeat this maneuver all the way across the row. Turn the work.

Row 2: Let the gray yarn hang where it is. Using the pink yarn, purl 1 stitch, then move the yarn to the back between the needles and slip 1 stitch purlwise. Move the yarn to the front and purl 1, then move the yarn to the back and slip 1. Repeat this maneuver all the way across the row. You’ll see that the stitches on your needle alternate between pink and gray now! Turn the work.

Row 3: Leave the pink yarn where it is and knit the third row with the yellow yarn, working across this row in the “knit 1, slip 1” stitch pattern from Row 1. When you finish this row, the stitches on the needle will alternate between pink and yellow. Magic!

wristband hands 4

Row 4: Now it’s time to work the “purl 1, slip 1” stitch pattern from Row 2 in gray. Conveniently, you’ll see that the gray yarn is waiting for you on that side of your knitting. Pick up the yarn and work the row.

Row 5: Work a “knit 1, slip 1” row with the pink yarn (also conveniently waiting for you on that side of the knitting).

Row 6: Work a “purl 1, slip 1” row with the yellow yarn (again, the yarn will be ready and waiting on that side).

You’ve pretty much got the hang of it now. For the remainder of the strap, just keep alternating between “knit 1, slip 1” rows and “purl 1, slip 1” rows to create the fabric. And to make the vibrant dotted pattern, you’ll need to keep working the rows in the same color order: gray, pink, yellow. If you get lost and aren’t sure which color to use next, just remember–work with whatever color is not on your needles. (So if you have gray and pink stitches on your needles, you’ll know it’s time to work a yellow row). As you work, you’ll also start to see that the right side of the knitting has a flat, woven look from all of the knit stitches, and the wrong side of the knitting is bumpy from all of the purl stitches. This is another helpful way to remember which side you’re working in case you’re not sure if you’re on a knit row or a purl row.

Keep working the strap until it is about an inch or two longer than your bicep or calf–depending on where you want to wear it (mine is 14″ long). When the strap is the length you like, simply end with a row of gray and bind off. Cut all of the yarn colors, leaving 6″ tails, and weave in the ends on the purl side. Wrap the strap around your arm or leg to determine where to place the Velcro–I attached two rows of Velcro strips to mine so I could adjust fit (sometimes you’ll want to wear it over a jacket, sometimes not, right?). To make the Velcro extra secure, either stitch it in place with needle and thread or add a dab of fabric glue to the back of the Velcro pieces.

chelsea armband 2


And here’s an example of how the reflective yarn looks in a flash photo…sparkle sparkle!

reflective yarn hat

That’s it! Of course, we highly recommend making the matching Reflective Hat for extra nighttime bling. And if you’re new to knitting and would like some tips, be sure to check out our FREE Creativebug knitting tutorials!

Knitting Cast-Ons

Knitting and Purling

Binding Off Your Knitting