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Cable Knitting Patterns


Klara Nilsson | Updated on November 30, 2022

If you’re feeling intimidated by cable knitting and you’re not sure where to start, don’t be. The results might look impressive, but at its core, knitting cables is actually very easy.

Basic cables are made by simply knitting stitches out of order to create twists in the fabric. As you knit, you place some stitches on hold at the front or back of the work, knit the next few stitches, then return to work the previous stitches.

This technique allows the different groups of stitches to cross and literally twist around each other, creating a series of raised columns that look like twisted ropes on the fabric.

This is the simplest form of cable knitting, and the most common. However, even the most ornate cable knitting patterns are formed by experimenting with this essential technique. You can vary with the number of stitches you cross over, how often the stitches cross, and even in which direction the cables cross. The possibilities and combinations are endless!

If you want to see the technique in practice, we recommend watching a cabling tutorial on YouTube or reading one of the many cable knitting guides out there. However, if you’re eager to learn to knit cables right now, then why not start with the cable knitting patterns we’ve curated in this collection.

We’ve put together this list of the best cable knitting patterns from designers all over the world – big and small alike. You’ll find knitting patterns for cable sweaters, cardigans, vests, hats, and more, along with all of the details you need to get started.

Variety is everything, so we’ve included a range of different cable knit patterns and techniques including braided, classic, and celtic cables. There are light tops for summer, as well as some chunky cable knit sweater patterns too.

Keep reading to find the patterns listed below, or learn how to knit cable patterns later on in this article.

16 Modern Cable Knitting Patterns (Beginner & Advanced)

The following patterns will teach you how to knit a variety of garments using basic and advanced cable techniques. You’ll learn to knit cables both flat and in the round, and grow familiar with how to work the cable stitch.

In addition to your usual tools, you’ll need cable needles or double pointed needles for almost all of these patterns, though it is possible to get by without one. To make your lives easier, we’ve included a note by each item wherever the pattern recommends using one.

1. “Heart and Soul” Chunky Cable Sweater Pattern

Heart and Soul Cable Knit Jumper
Price$12.46/£10.42
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Heart and Soul” Sweater – BrendaMadeThis on Etsy

Made with up to 7 skeins of super chunky yarn, the “Heart and Soul” sweater features an oversized silhouette with cables across the body and sleeves. The pattern includes simple written instructions and charts for 6 different sizes – making it the perfect introduction to cable knitting.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 15/10mm Circular Needles (80cm Cable)
US Size 19/15mm Circular Needles (100cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity 4-7 Skeins (Color A)
1 Skein (Color B)

2. “Sweater No. 6” Celtic Cable Knitting Pattern

Cable Sweater No.6
Price$9.81/£8.20
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnIrlanda Merino – Campolmi Roberto Filati
Designer’s Website“Sweater No. 6” – EricaGabriellaStudio on Etsy

“Sweater No. 6” is the quintessential cozy cable knit sweater pattern. It’s designed with chunky celtic cables, a slightly oversized silhouette, and bulky yarn for a warm winter knit. You’ll get the option to choose between two different lengths and any color you’d like – simply follow the charts to get started.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
US Size 11/8mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 100g = 120m
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

3. Sweater “No. 20”

Sweater No. 20 Cable Knit Sweater Pattern
Price$6.90/£5.77
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnPeruvian Highland Wool – Filcolana
Alva – Filcolana
Designer’s WebsiteSweater “No. 20” – My Favourite Things Knitwear

Worked from the top down with minimal finishing, “Sweater No. 20” by My Favorite Things Knitwear is another classic cable sweater pattern. Unlike the other sweater patterns in this list, it’s designed with a boxy fit and slightly dropped shoulders, along with a wide, ribbed neckline.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 9/5.5mm Circular Needles (80cm or 100cm Cable)
US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles (40cm or 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m (Yarn A)
25g = 175m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity 600g-750g (Yarn A)
175g-200g (Yarn B)

4. “Snowdance” Cable Hat Knitting Pattern

Snowdance Cable Knit Hat Pattern
Price$4.76/£3.98
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnHip Wool – Hip Knit Shop
Designer’s Website“Snowdance” Cable Hat Pattern – Hip Knit Shop

This is for those of you looking for a classic cable knit hat. Designed by Sigrid M. Blom for HipKnitShop, the “Snowdance” hat comes with instructions for three sizes for children, ladies, and men. It’s worked up using 2 balls of worsted yarn to create a comfy, chunky hat that’ll serve you well for years to come.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 80m
Yarn Quantity 2 Balls

5. Sweater “No. 15”

Sweater No.15 Pattern
Price$6.21/£5.19
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Increasing
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnKid Seta – Gepard (Yarn A)
Wild and Soft – Gepard (Yarn B)
Designer’s WebsiteSweater “No. 15” – My Favourite Things Knitwear

Another elegant and subtle sweater from My Favorite Things Knitwear, the “Sweater No. 15” pattern is worked from the top down with no seaming required. It’s designed using a mixture of ribbing, textured cables, and increasing along the neckline to create a well-fitting cable sweater in a classic Scandinavian style.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles (80cm or 100cm Cable)
US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles (40cm or 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 25g = 210m (Yarn A)
50g = 240m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity 150g-225g (Yarn A)
250g-400g (Yarn B)

6. Vintage Cable Knit Sweater Pattern No.1

Vintage Cable Knit Sweater Pattern
Price$1.91/£1.60
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s WebsiteVintage Cable Knit Sweater Pattern – Carolrosa on Etsy

Cable sweaters have been popular for decades, which means there’s no shortage of vintage sweater patterns out there. We’ve chosen this one for its classic shape and ornate cabling in two designs: diamonds and braids. Best suited to experienced knitters, you’ll need a standard cable needle and enough worsted weight yarn for a sweater in your size.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 5/3.75mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight Aran/Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

7. “Rosette” Cable Cardigan Pattern

Rosette Cable Knit Cardigan Pattern
Price$6.96/£5.82
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Moss Stitch
Stockinette Stitch
Rib Stitch
Italian Bind-Off
Suggested YarnSilk Mohair – Isager Yarn
Designer’s Website“Rosette” Cardigan – Strikkekaffe

This pattern uses silk mohair yarn, cabling, and double moss stitch to create a light, airy cardigan that’s worked from the top down. Along with these techniques, you’ll also need to be familiar with basic stockinette stitch for the sleeves and body, as well as ribbing for the finishing.

It includes instructions for 8 sizes along with detailed measurements for constructing the garment with the right amount of positive ease.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles (80cm or 100cm Cable)
US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles (80cm or 100cm Cable)
US Size 6/4mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight 25g = 212m
Yarn Quantity 250g-425g

8. “Nulato” Sweater

Nulato Cable Sweater Pattern 2
Price$11.00/£9.20
Techniques RequiredBraided Cables
Increasing
Suggested YarnNepal – Drops
Designer’s Website“Nulato” Sweater – Ravelry

If it’s bold, braided cables you’re looking for, then this sweater pattern is for you. It’s a classic relaxed fit with ribbed trimmings, a round neck, dropped shoulders, and a beautiful cable pattern throughout. To finish this pattern, you’ll need up to 1050g of aran weight yarn, two pairs of circular needles in different sizes, and a cable needle.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 9/5.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 75m
Yarn Quantity 900g-1050g

9. Vest “No. 8”

Vest No.8 Cable Vest Knitting Pattern
Price$6.21/£5.19
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Twisted Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnPelsuld 8/2 – Hjelholt Uldspinderi
Soft Silk Mohair – Knitting for Olive
Designer’s WebsiteVest “No. 8” – My Favourite Things Knitwear

Worked up with two strands of yarn held together, this pattern creates a delicate sleeveless cardigan with buttons on the front and knitted cables throughout. It’s worked seamlessly from the top down and is designed with enough positive ease to create a relaxed fit that can be worn comfortably over clothing.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles (80cm or 100cm Cable)
US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles (40cm or 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 100g = 400m
25g = 225m
Yarn Quantity 200g-300g (Yarn A)
100g-125g (Yarn B)

10. “Williamsburg” Cable Cardigan

Williamsburg Cable Knit Cardigan Pattern
Price$10.00/£8.36
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Stockinette Stitch
Increasing
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Williamsburg” Cable Cardigan – KarasKnitEng on Etsy

With cable detailing throughout the front, back, and sleeves, this cable knit cardigan pattern is an instant way to improve your cable knitting skills. It’s constructed both flat and in the round using up to 10 skeins of chunky yarn, circular needles, and a cable needle.

You’ll only need to be familiar with stockinette stitch, increasing, picking up stitches, and knitting in the round – making this a suitable pattern for inexperienced knitters or as your first cable project.

If you like the look of this, you can find similar patterns in our list of chunky knit cardigan patterns, too.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 11/8mm Circular Needles (60cm or 90cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity 7-10 Skeins

11. “The Aran Crop” Celtic Cable Crop Top

The Aran Celtic Cable Crop Top Pattern
Price$8.00/£6.69
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Celtic Cables
i-Cord Knitting
Stockinette Stitch
Suggested YarnShiny Happy Cotton – Wool and the Gang
The Pima Cotton – We Are Knitters
Designer’s Website“The Aran Crop” Top – RobinsHandmadeHygge on Etsy

This light, airy crop top is knitted from the bottom up in DK weight cotton yarn. It features a large celtic cable across the front of the body along with two delicate straps that are made with an i-cord.

The pattern allows you to choose from 3 different lengths, which essentially gives you access to 3 different cable knitting patterns in one. The shortest length resembles a bralette, the second length creates a crop top, and the third creates a top of moderate length.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles
US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles (30cm or 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight DK/Light Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity 200m-415m

12. “Noraly” Cable Blanket Knitting Pattern

Noraly Cable Knit Blanket Pattern
Price$5.78/£4.83
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Noraly” Cable Blanket Pattern – BlageCrochetDesign on Etsy

Cable knit blankets are a rite of passage for any serious knitter, so this list wouldn’t be complete without one. This pattern includes detailed instructions for a gorgeous knitted blanket with cable and diamond designs throughout.

It’s worked up with a blend of wool and acrylic yarn, and measures approximately 110cm wide and 150cm long when finished. For an easy introduction to similar blankets, you can also check out our list of chunky and giant blanket knitting kits for more.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Weight N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

13. “Fridag” Vest

Fridag Cable Knit Vest Pattern
Price$5.71/£4.78
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Double Moss Stitch
Rib Stitch
Decreasing
Suggested YarnVams – Rauma Garn
Soft Silk Mohair – Knitting for Olive
Designer’s Website“Fridag” Vest – Aftenstrikk

The “Fridag” vest is knitted with cables, ribbing, and double moss stitch to create a loose-fitting knitted vest with a deep v-neck. You’ll work the front and back of the vest one at a time in separate panels, then seam them together at the shoulders to create the armholes.

Finally, ribbing is used around the neckline to create the delicate collar you see in the picture above.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
US Size 9/5.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 83m (Yarn A)
25g = 225m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity 200g-350g (Yarn A)
50g-100g (Yarn B)

14. “Snowdance” Cable Mittens Knitting Pattern

Snowdance Cable Knit Mitterns Pattern
Price$4.76/£3.98
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnHip Wool – Hip Knit Shop
Designer’s Website“Snowdance” Cable Mittens – Hip Knit Shop

Hip Knit Shop have released this cute cable knit mittens pattern to complement the Snowdance hat. Created by the Norwegian designer Sigrid Blom, the mittens are worked up with 2 balls of woolen yarn and measure approximately 24cm in length when finished. For more easy mittens, take a look at our collection of mitten knitting patterns for beginners.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 80m
Yarn Quantity 2 Balls

15. “Tulip” Cable Knit Hat Pattern

Tulip Cable Hat Knitting Pattern
Price$4.62/£3.86
Techniques RequiredTulip Cable Stitch
Decreasing
Suggested YarnPronto – Mondial
Designer’s Website“Tulip” Cable Knit Hat Pattern – Through the Stitch

Nothing says winter like a handmade cable knit beanie, and the “Tulip” hat pattern will teach you how to create exactly that. Ideal for beginners looking to learn how to cable knit in the round, it’s an excellent gender-neutral pattern with instructions and sizes for the entire family.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 11/8mm Circular Needles (40cm Cable)
US Size 11/8mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight 100g = 118m
Yarn Quantity 110m

16. Vintage Cable Sweater Knitting Pattern No.2

Vintage Cable Sweater Knitting Pattern
Price$2.78/£2.32
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnDonegal Chunky – Emu
Designer’s WebsiteVintage Cable Sweater Knitting Pattern No.2 – DWCrochetPatterns on Etsy

The final cable knitting pattern in this list and another vintage one to top it all off, this chunky sweater features a classic fit with three braided cables across the front of the body. With instructions for 7 sizes included, you’ll need one pair of circular needles, a cable needle, and some chunky yarn to get started.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 9/5.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 50m
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

What Is Cable Knitting?

Cable knitting is a term used to describe any knitting technique that involves crossing a group of stitches over another group of stitches.

At its most basic, cable knitting simply involves holding some stitches aside as you knit, then bringing them back into the work later on. Crossing the groups of stitches over each other in this way creates the appearance of raised columns on the fabric that twist around each other.

Here’s an example of what classic knitted cables look like:

Cable Knit Fabric
A knitted fabric with cables. (Image Credit: Bosforus Textile)

In the early 20th Century, cable knit sweaters and cardigans became very popular as smart attire for children. By the 1950s, fishermen sweaters had evolved to become a staple item in many male wardrobes, and soon they became symbolic of the upper classes all over the United States and Europe.

Nowadays, cable knit sweaters and other garments are popular with people in all countries and from all economic backgrounds. Wherever you might go, you won’t find it hard to spot a chunky cable sweater, hat, or top somewhere.

There are lots of different types of cable stitch, all of which create different patterns and designs in the fabric. You can create diamond shapes, braided cables, celtic cables, and more – but they’re all created using variations of this same technique.

If you’re going to attempt any of the patterns in this list, it’s worth noting that cables tend to “pull in” the stitches around them. Put more simply, cables tend to make things smaller.

The cabling technique concentrates the number of stitches in any given inch of fabric, which means the knitting gauge or tension for a cable pattern may be smaller than the gauge you’d get using the same yarn and needles with a different stitch pattern.

To combat this, make sure you always knit your gauge swatch in a cable stitch pattern for the most accurate representation of your knitting tension.

What Are Celtic Cables?

Celtic cables are simply another type of design in cable knitting. They’re made by combining increases and decreases with classic cable crossovers, creating intricate braids that weave over and around each other.

Here’s an example of celtic cables on a piece of knitted fabric:

Celtic Cable Pattern
Celtic cables are an ancient form of braided cable knitting. (Image Credit: Ravelry)

Do You Need a Cable Needle to Knit Cables?

Cable needles are small, rounded needles with grooves designed to help you hold stitches aside while you knit. This allows you to cross groups of stitches over one another to create twists in a pattern.

Plastic Cable Needles
Cable knitting needles look like double pointed needles with a small bend in them.

As with all knitting needle types, cable needles come in various different diameters and materials. It’s usually best to choose a cable needle that is slightly smaller than the main needles you’re using to knit your project.

Cable needles can be useful, but they’re not essential for every cable knitting pattern. You can use double pointed needles and get the exact same outcome. In fact, you can use any small object that will help you keep your stitch groups apart. That might be a crochet hook, safety pin, or even a paperclip.

It’s also possible to knit cables without a cable needle at all. Instead of separating the stitch groups with a needle or something similar, you can temporarily slip groups of stitches off your needle and then catch them again, creating a similar effect.

This is an advanced technique that can significantly speed up your cable knitting, but it can take a while to get comfortable with.

How Do You Knit a Simple Cable Pattern?

Simple cables are made by crossing a row of vertical knit and purl stitches and then twisting them around each other. The most basic cable patterns use narrow columns of stockinette stitches against a backdrop of reverse stockinette.

To do this, you simply knit groups of stitches out of order to create layers. As you knit, you place a few stitches on hold, work a new group of stitches, then return to knit the previous group.

For example, if you had three stitches on your needle in the order 1234, you could cross the first two over the next two, so those stitches appear in the order 3412 in subsequent rows.

There are lots of different cables in knitting, but even the most ornate cable patterns are formed by iterations on this one simple technique. This can then be combined with other stitch patterns and styles for more advanced designs and textures.

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