Learn How to Knit the Cable Stitch

Learn How to Knit the Cable Stitch

Knitting the cable stitch adds a beautiful, intricate texture to your knitting projects. While it may look daunting, learning how to knit cables is actually easier than it seems. With a few simple steps and some practice, you’ll be able to create stunning cable patterns that will impress everyone who sees them.

To start knitting cables, you’ll need some basic knitting skills, such as how to knit and purl stitches. You’ll also need a cable needle, which is a short, double-pointed needle with a slight curve in the middle. This will help you hold the stitches while you work the cable.

First, you’ll need to decide on the cable pattern you want to knit. There are many different types of cable patterns to choose from, ranging from simple twists to more intricate designs. The number of stitches in your cable pattern will determine the width of your cable, so make sure to choose a pattern that fits within your project.

Once you have your pattern and stitches ready, you can begin knitting the cable. Start by knitting the first few stitches as indicated in your pattern. Then, slip the next few stitches onto your cable needle, holding it in front or behind your work, depending on the pattern. Knit the stitches on your cable needle, and then knit the remaining stitches from your main needle. This creates the twisted effect of the cable.

Continue following your cable pattern, working the cable stitches as indicated and knitting the rest of the stitches as usual. As you practice, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and be able to knit cables without needing to refer to a pattern. Soon enough, you’ll be creating your own unique cable designs.

What is Cable Stitch Knitting?

What is Cable Stitch Knitting?

Cable stitch knitting is a technique in which stitches are crossed over each other to create a raised, twisted pattern on knitted fabric. It adds texture and dimension to the fabric, making it a popular choice for items such as sweaters, scarves, and blankets.

The cable stitch pattern is created by temporarily holding a group of stitches on a cable needle or a spare knitting needle while working on the stitches in the rest of the row. The held stitches are then crossed over or under the working stitches, creating the distinctive cable pattern.

There are various types of cable stitch patterns that can be created, ranging from simple twisted ropes to intricate cables with multiple crossings. The number of stitches held, the direction of the crossing, and the frequency of the cable twists all contribute to the final look of the pattern.

Cable stitch knitting requires the use of a cable needle or a spare knitting needle to hold the stitches. The cable needle is typically smaller and shorter than the knitting needles used for the main fabric. This allows for easier manipulation of the held stitches while keeping them securely in place.

While cable stitch knitting can seem intimidating at first, it is a technique that can be learned with practice. By following step-by-step instructions and using the right tools, knitters can successfully create beautiful cable stitch patterns.

Benefits of Cable Stitch Knitting

Knitting is a popular craft that offers numerous benefits for both beginners and experienced knitters. One of the most captivating knitting techniques is the cable stitch. Cable stitch knitting involves crossing stitches over each other, creating beautiful and intricate designs.

Here are some of the benefits of cable stitch knitting:

  1. Creativity and Expression: Cable stitch knitting allows you to express your creativity and create unique and intricate designs. You can experiment with different cable patterns and create stunning garments or accessories.
  2. Challenging and Engaging: Knitting cable stitches requires a bit of practice and concentration. This makes it an engaging and challenging knitting technique that can keep you entertained and focused on the project.
  3. Textured and Luxurious Results: Cable stitches add depth and texture to your knitting projects, resulting in luxurious and visually appealing finished products. The raised cable patterns create a three-dimensional effect that looks intricate and sophisticated.
  4. Versatility: Cable stitch knitting can be used in various knitting projects, including scarves, sweaters, blankets, hats, and more. The versatility of cable stitches allows you to incorporate them into different knitting patterns and designs.
  5. Warmth and Insulation: The interlacing cable stitches create thicker and denser fabric, providing extra warmth and insulation. This makes cable stitch knitted items perfect for colder seasons or climates.
  6. Sense of Accomplishment: Mastering cable stitch knitting can give you a great sense of accomplishment. It is a rewarding feeling to see the intricate cable patterns come to life, and it can boost your confidence as a knitter.

In conclusion, cable stitch knitting offers a range of benefits, from creative expression to textured and luxurious results. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, learning how to knit cable stitches can elevate your knitting projects and provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Materials Needed for Cable Stitch Knitting

Before you can start learning how to knit the cable stitch, you will need to gather a few materials.

  • Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for knitting cables. Worsted weight yarn is a good choice for beginners.
  • Knitting Needles: You will need a pair of knitting needles in a size that is appropriate for your chosen yarn. Straight or circular needles can be used depending on your preference.
  • Cable Needle: This special needle is used to hold stitches while you cross them over each other. It is usually a shorter and thinner needle than your knitting needles.
  • Tapestry Needle: This needle is used for weaving in loose ends of yarn.
  • Scissors: You will need a pair of scissors to cut the yarn.
  • Stitch Markers: Optional but helpful for keeping track of your stitches.

Once you have gathered all of these materials, you will be ready to start learning how to knit the cable stitch!

Step 1: Casting On for Cable Stitch Knitting

Before you can start knitting the cable stitch, you need to cast on your stitches. Casting on is the process of creating the foundation row of stitches on your knitting needle.

Materials needed:

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Tape measure or ruler (optional)


  1. Hold the knitting needle with your dominant hand and the yarn with your other hand.
  2. Create a slip knot by making a loop with the yarn, leaving a long enough tail at the end.
  3. Insert the knitting needle through the loop and tighten the knot, making sure it is not too tight or too loose.
  4. Hold the needle with the slip knot in your dominant hand and use your other hand to hold the tail of the yarn.
  5. With the yarn tail in your hand, wrap the yarn around your fingers to create tension.
  6. Insert the needle into the slip knot and bring the yarn from back to front, wrapping it around the needle.
  7. Bring the needle over the yarn, catching it with the tip of the needle, and pull it through the slip knot. This creates the first stitch on your needle.
  8. Repeat steps 6-7 until you have the desired number of stitches on your needle.

Once you have cast on your stitches, you are ready to start knitting the cable stitch. Remember to keep the tension of your stitches even as you work through the pattern. Practice and patience will help you master the cable stitch technique.

Step 2: Working the Cable Stitch Pattern

Now that you have mastered the basic knitting techniques, it’s time to learn how to create the cable stitch pattern. The cable stitch is a beautiful and intricate design that adds texture and interest to your knitting projects.

To work the cable stitch pattern, you will need:

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Cable needle
  • Scissors

Here’s how you can create the cable stitch pattern:

  1. Start by knitting a few rows in your desired stitch pattern.
  2. Identify the stitches that will be involved in the cable. These are typically marked in the knitting pattern instructions.
  3. Slip the first few stitches onto the cable needle and hold it at the front or back of your work, depending on the specific cable stitch pattern.
  4. Continue knitting the remaining stitches in the row according to the pattern instructions.
  5. Once you have completed the row, take the cable needle and knit the stitches from it onto the empty knitting needle.
  6. Knit the stitches from the cable needle in the order specified in the knitting pattern instructions.
  7. Repeat these steps for each cable stitch in the pattern, making sure to follow the specific instructions for each cable.

Remember to keep your tension even and take your time when working the cable stitch pattern. It may take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll be able to create stunning cable designs in your knitting projects.

Now that you know how to work the cable stitch pattern, you’re ready to move on to the next step: finishing your knitting project. Stay tuned for the next article in this series!

Step 3: Finishing the Cable Stitch Knitting

Step 3: Finishing the Cable Stitch Knitting

Once you’ve completed knitting the cable stitch pattern, it’s time to finish off your work. Follow these steps to complete the cable stitch:

  1. Knit the last row of stitches in your cable stitch pattern, following the instructions from Step 2.
  2. Take your working yarn and cut it, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
  3. Thread the tail of the yarn through a yarn needle, making sure the needle is large enough to accommodate the yarn.
  4. Slip the yarn needle through the first stitch on your knitting needle, as if you were purling the stitch.
  5. Gently slide the knitting needle out of the stitch, being careful not to pull the yarn too tight.
  6. Continue to slip the yarn needle through each stitch on the knitting needle, removing the stitches one by one.
  7. Once all the stitches are on the yarn needle, carefully remove the knitting needle from the stitches.
  8. Pull the yarn needle through the last stitch, securing it in place.
  9. Trim any excess yarn, leaving a tail of about 1-2 inches.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully finished knitting the cable stitch. Make sure to give your work a gentle tug to even out the stitches and block it if necessary. Now you can admire your beautiful cable pattern or continue on to the next step in your knitting project!


What is the cable stitch?

The cable stitch is a knitting technique that creates a twisted, braided pattern in the fabric. It is used to create decorative patterns and textures in knitted items.

How do I knit the cable stitch?

To knit the cable stitch, you will need a cable needle. Start by knitting a few stitches, then transfer the next few stitches onto the cable needle and hold it to the front or back of your work. Knit the stitches from the cable needle, then continue knitting the remaining stitches.

Can I knit a cable stitch without a cable needle?

Yes, it is possible to knit a cable stitch without a cable needle. This technique is called “cabling without a cable needle” or “cable without a needle”. It involves rearranging the stitches using your regular knitting needles instead of a separate cable needle.

Are there different types of cable stitches?

Yes, there are different types of cable stitches. Some common variations include the 2-stitch cable, the 3-stitch cable, and the 4-stitch cable. These variations create different patterns and textures in the knitted fabric.

What types of projects can I use the cable stitch for?

The cable stitch can be used for a wide range of knitting projects. It is commonly used in sweaters, scarves, hats, and blankets. The twisted, braided pattern created by the cable stitch adds visual interest and texture to these items.

Where can I find patterns that include the cable stitch?

There are many resources available for finding knitting patterns that include the cable stitch. You can look for patterns in knitting books, magazines, and online websites and forums. Additionally, many knitting designers and bloggers share free patterns that feature the cable stitch on their websites.


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