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8 Cable Stitch Knitting Patterns

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In this post, you will see 8 cable stitch knitting patterns that include simple beginner cables as well as more complicated designs.

Nearly all of the stitches in this collection will be seen in beginner cable patterns.

Learning new stitch patterns is a great way to develop your knitting skills.

Scroll down to view the free patterns, or grab your printer-friendly ad-free PDF Ebook here.

cable patterns

Cable Knitting

From a newbie knitter to the more advanced, having the knowledge of how to knit cables can make your knitting projects more interesting.

Mastering these stitches will allow you to explore various cable designs and give you the ability to add texture to your projects.

Many of these stitches are used repeatedly in sweaters, cardigans, accessories, and blankets.

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Cable knitting stitches

Cable Stitch Knitting Patterns

The instructions below show you eight different cable stitch patterns.

Advanced beginner knitters will be ready to move on to trying out cables and twists.

Practicing a cable knitting pattern will give you a better understanding of adding interesting texture to your work.

The front of your work will show the cable set of stitches; this will be the right side of your work.

The back of your work will not be the same as the front, as these patterns are not a reversible pattern.

Abbreviations

Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK)

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue(ing)
  • C4B – (K2 and 2) – slip the next 2 sts onto a cable needle and hold at the back of the work, K2 from the left-hand needle, then knit the 2 sts from the cable needle.⁣
  • C4F – (K2 and 2) – slip the next 2 sts onto a cable needle and hold at the front of the work, K2 from the left-hand needle, then knit the 2 sts from the cable needle.⁣
  • C6B – (K3 and 3) – slip the next 3 sts onto a cable needle and hold at the back of work, K3 from the left hand needle, then knit the 3 sts from the cable needle.⁣
  • C6F – (K3 and 3) – slip the next 3 sts onto a cable needle and hold at the front of work, K3 from the left needle, then knit the 3 sts from the cable needle.⁣⁣
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • Rep – Repeat
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)

Please note…

Where it says to work each stitch in the manner it presents – this means to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

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Supplies

Tip 1 – If you don’t have a cable needle, use a double-pointed knitting needle instead.

Tip 2 – You can also use any yarn weight (for example, dk weight yarn, aran weight yarn, or bulky yarn) and size mm needles to practice these examples.

Tip 3 – You can use any cast-on method, but I recommend using the long-tail cast-on method.

E-Books

Grab your inexpensive, ad-free, PDF printable pattern ebook in my shop here.

You may also be interested in this ebook – 12 Simple Knitting Stitches For Beginners.

cable stitch patterns

1. 4-Stitch Cable (To The Right)⁣

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 7+3 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 25 sts for the sample.⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K4*, rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3 then K1 (edge).⁣
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 5th row: K1 (edge), *P3, C4B* rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 6 rows form the pattern.⁣
4 stitch cable to the right

2. 4-Stitch Cable (To The Left)⁣

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 8 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 26 sts for the sample.⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P2, K4, P2, rep from * to * to last st, K1 (edge).⁣
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 5th row: K1 (edge), *P2, C4F, P2* rep from * to * to last st, then K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 6 rows form the pattern.⁣
4 stitch cable to the left

3. 6-Stitch Twisted Cable (To The Right)⁣

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 9+3 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 32 sts for the sample.⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K6*, rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3 then K1 (edge).⁣
  • 2nd, and 4th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 3rd row: K1 (edge), *P3, C6B* rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 4 rows form the pattern.⁣
6 stitch twisted cable to the right

4. 6-Stitch Twisted Cable (To The Left) ⁣

  • ⁣For symmetry, work on a multiple of 9+3 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 32 sts for the sample.⁣⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K6*, rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3 then K1 (edge).⁣⁣
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣⁣
  • 7th row: K1 (edge), *P3, C6F* rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).⁣⁣
  • These last 8 rows form the pattern.⁣⁣
6-Stitch Twisted Cable (To the Left) ⁣

5. 6-Stitch Cable (To The Right)⁣

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 9+3 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 32 sts for the sample.⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K6*, rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3 then K1 (edge).⁣
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 7th row: K1 (edge), *P3, C6B* rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 8 rows form the pattern.⁣
6-Stitch Cable (To the Right)⁣

6. 6-Stitch Cable (To The Left) ⁣

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 9+3 sts + 1 edge st on each side.⁣
  • I cast on 32 sts for the sample.⁣
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K6*, rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3 then K1 (edge).⁣
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 7th row: K1 (edge), *P3, C6F* rep from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 8 rows form the pattern.
6-Stitch Cable (To the Left) ⁣

7. 12 Stitch Cable

  • This pattern is shown on 20 sts.
  • 1st (right side of work) and 5th rows: Knit.⁣
  • 2nd and every alternate row (4 and 6): Work each st in the manner that it presents.⁣
  • 3rd row: C6B (K3 and 3), C6F (K3 and 3).⁣
  • These last 6 rows form the pattern.
12 stitch cable

8. Cells

  • For symmetry, work on a multiple of 8sts +1 edge sts on each side.⁣
  • For this swatch, I cast on 34 sts⁣
  • 1st (right side of work) and 5th rows: knit all sts.⁣
  • 2nd and every alternate row: work each st in the manner it presents.⁣
  • 3rd row: K1 (edge) *C4B, C4F, rep from * to last st, K1 (edge).⁣
  • 7th row: K1 (edge), *C4F, C4B, rep from * to last st, K1 (edge).⁣
  • These last 8 rows form the pattern.⁣
honeycomb cable

Cable Knitting Patterns

As well as being able to knit cable stitches, you may also want to learn how to read a knitting chart, as many cable designs come with a chart.

To start putting your cable stitches into use, here are a few patterns you may want to look at (including chunky cables):

cable stitch knitting patterns

What Is A Cable Knit Pattern?

A cable knit pattern is a type of knitting technique that creates raised, twisted motifs resembling cables, ropes, or braids.

These patterns are created by crossing stitches over each other with a knitting needle and cable needle, which creates a distinctive cable texture.

Cable knit patterns often involve a combination of knit and purl stitches, along with the manipulation of stitches using a cable needle or by cabling without a cable needle.

By crossing stitches in different directions and varying the number of stitches involved in each cable twist, a wide variety of cable knit patterns can be created, ranging from simple twists to more intricate designs.

This type of pattern is commonly used in sweaters, scarves, hats, blankets, and other knitwear items to add visual interest and texture to the fabric.

They are popular in traditional and modern knitting designs and range from simple, classic cables to complex, elaborate cable motifs.

Cable knitting requires some practice and attention to detail, especially when crossing stitches and keeping track of the cable pattern.

However, with patience and experience, knitters can create stunning pieces using cable knit patterns.

There are countless cable knit patterns available in knitting books, magazines, and online resources, making it easy for knitters to find inspiration and try out new designs.

Does Cable Knitting Use More Yarn?

Cable knitting typically does not use significantly more yarn than other knitting techniques.

The amount of yarn required for a project depends on various factors, including the size of the item being knit, the yarn weight and fiber content, the needle size, and the stitch pattern used.

While cable knitting does create texture and depth in the fabric, the increase in yarn consumption compared to other knitting techniques is usually minimal.

Cable stitches themselves do not inherently use more yarn; they involve rearranging existing stitches rather than increasing the overall number of stitches in a row.

However, it’s worth noting that intricate cable patterns or densely cabled designs may require slightly more yarn due to the tighter fabric created by the cables.

Additionally, the texture of cable knitting can affect the gauge, so it’s essential to swatch and calculate yarn requirements based on the specific pattern and stitch pattern being used.

In general, the difference in yarn usage between cable knitting and other knitting techniques is not substantial enough to be a significant consideration when planning a project.

As always, it’s a good idea to estimate yarn requirements based on the pattern and gauge provided by the designer to ensure you have enough yarn to complete your project.

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4 Comments

  1. how do you do a turn in a cable using just three stitches? the pattern says to put 2 stitches on a cable needle and hold behind then knit the next stitch, p, knit the two stitches off the cable needle. I’m making a fisherman’s sweater and I have 131 cast on stitches I tried doing what it says but then I don’t have enough stitches for the rest of the pattern. It’s that p stitch in the cable that is screwing things up. The next row at the same place as the cable has only 3 stitches. This cable cluster is call CB3 It is in the first row after the waist band so if I don’t get it right the whole sweater will be off. if I take the two stitches and hold them behind on the cable needle, then knit the next stitch, then p the next stitch I would need 132 stitches, but all the other rows use the 131 stitches I have cast on. If I take the two stitches and put them on the cable needle and hold them behind and knit the next stitch then purl that same stitch I have increased a stitch and have one two many stitches for the next row. Please help me figure this out. The whole rest of the pattern say P1 or Purl 8 this part of the pattern just says purl. It is very confusing.

    1. Hello Cindy,
      When you knit C3B, this is right-leaning cable/cable 3 back.
      C3B means you’ll be twisting 2 stitches over 1 stitch in a cable knit.
      The number 3 stands for how many stitches there are in total in the cable.
      You can place one stitch onto a cable needle and place it at the back of the work, then knit the next two stitches on the left-hand needle, then place the stitch you had on the cable needle back onto the left-hand needle, and then knit that stitch.
      This creates a cable twist.
      As for your pattern instructions, perhaps contact the pattern designer?
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  2. Hi, Louise,
    I love your knitting blog, and really enjoy your patterns! I bought your Men’s Cable Knit Aran Sweater a couple years ago, and it turned out great! My husband loves it! I just wondered if you might have a hat pattern to match in the same yarn? I have leftover yarn and my husband would like a matching hat and scarf.

    Thanks again!

    Laura