Hi I am a beginning knitter I catch on very fast. I can already do many different stitches. But I am having trouble with learning cables any suggestions???


What a cable basically boils down to is knitting stitches out of order. Can you specify a little more where you’re getting stuck, or give us the line of the pattern where you are having difficulty?

Um, just practice?
It should come with practice. Maybe do the irish hiking scarf, can be found for free… if I remember correctly.

Or just try your own thing.
Normally it goes like this

For one cable of width y/2: (surrounded by a border of x stitches)

Row 1: Knit x, purl y, knit x
Row 2: purl x, knit y, purl x
(repeat those rows a few times, ending with row 1)
Cable row (a row 2): purl x, slide y/2 to cable needle, hold in front or back, depending on what side you want to cable to turn, knit y/2, knit the stitches from cable needle, purl x

Repeat that as many times as desired for a cabled something…

Hi, Ashley! :waving:

Cables and ropes have been an important knitting design theme for ages, especially in the fisherman knits, since they’re so important in seamanship. Without cables and ropes to tie up your boat, you’d soon lose your dinghy!:roflhard:

Try stepping back and taking a look at what you’re actually doing when making a cable, which is simply twisting some stitches on one row, every few rows, to make a cable or rope-like pattern.

You’ve got, for example, six stitches you’re working with.

What you’re doing is taking the first three stitches and slipping them onto a separate cable needle to keep them secure while you work those second three stitches first.

Then you can either knit those original first three stitches right from the cable needle or slip them back onto your left hand needle and work them from that.

If you hold those first three (on the cable needle) in back of your work while you knit the second three you’ll get a cable that twists to the right. If you hold your first three in front of your work, the cable will twist to the left.

You’ll only do the twist maneuver every few rows (however many rows the pattern calls for) and then your cable will twist and turn its way up the work making a beautiful pattern in the fabric.

The first cables I did felt so awkward but I just kept at it and it got lots easier with practice. :knitting:

I hope this helps and please let us know how it’s going! :hug:

Happy knitting,


Cables are mostly just ribbing -alternating knit and purl - except for the one row out of 6 or 8 where you cross stitches over and knit them out of order. And not all the sts either, maybe one third or one half of them. About halfway down the Advanced Techniques page under Decorative stitches are a couple ways to do cables.

I’ve only done 1 cables scarf, instead of a cable needle, I used a double pointed needle for the cabling. It worked well for me and was less confusing.

maybe this will help

practice, practice, and more practice. It took me 6 weeks to perfect it. You’ll find your own way of doing it. I found out really early to that I had to use a circular needle (knitpicks)to do it. Otherwise the straight needles would fall to the floor or in my lap. Then I had to find the right cable needle, for me. Stores don’t sell straight cable needles…and i wasn’t going to use those other kinds, so I use the thick, blue yarn/tapestry needle. The plastic one. if I used the metal ones the stitches would slip right off. It’s just like when I started knitting…I had to find the right way to do it and you will find yours. I knit nothing but cables now.

You will get it, just keep trying


Thank you for all your advice Im going to practice right now. Im stuck in my house cause of the snow so I will get lots of practice!

Well I dont really have a pattern Im just practicing trying to learn. Patterens confuse the heck out of me Im more of a visual learner so this website has helped.

I got bored one day and decided to try some stitch patterns from my knitting book. Cables caught my eye and I had a ball making them. I needed the practice because I decided to make a cable hoodie by Mari for my son. The pattern is a busy pattern but the cable are awesome! I just recently bought Patons little book on cables and am reading it while I knit and take breaks to crochet. Nice little book.