How To Knit The Braided Cable

The braided cable is a great way to add some extra detail to any stitch pattern. The way that we set up the braided cable will really make it pop out from the background stitch that you are using. In this tutorial I will take you through row by row on how to do a single braided cable to start with. After you have mastered the basic braided cable I will then provide you with alternatives, especially on different sizes of cable.

Setup – The Base:

The braided cable can be started from any type of stitch but it is advisable to not start it on a row where there are un-worked yarn overs. In my experience I have found that the cable may not sit right and look a little distorted on the first pattern repeat as the yarn over below will give you too much yarn; this can work with thread or lace weight yarns but for those new to braided cable it’s best to make sure you have a solid knit or purl stitch/combination to work from.

Braided Cable Pattern:

To begin this pattern you will need to set aside 12 stitches (shown below in the Braided Cable Hand-warmer). At this point you can also set up multiples of 12 stitches either in a continuous pattern or at certain points throughout your work (shown below in the Braided Cable Baby Sleeping Bag).

Pattern Repeat:

  • Row 1: p2, k8, p2
  • Row 2: k2, p8, k2
  • Row 3: p2, cf2, k2, kcf2, cf2, k2, kcf2, p2
  • Row 4: k2, p8, k2
  • Row 5, p2, k8, p2
  • Row 6, k2, p8, k2
  • Row 7, p2, k2, cb2, k2, kcb2, k2, p2
  • Row 8, k2, p8, k2,

You have now worked your first cable. As you can see in the picture below you can now work multiple cables repeats to get this braided effect. The pattern really comes together once you have done at least four repeats.

Alternative Braided Cables

The as with any cable you can make it bigger, smaller or asymmetrical. The best way to do this is to start with the basic pattern (as above) and adjust it from there.

Larger Cables:

To make larger cables simply start by adding 6 more stitches (or more in multiples of 6 if desired) to the stitches you set aside: instead of 12 do 18 instead and so on and so forth. Once you have done that your new pattern will look like this:

  • Row 1: p3, k12, p3
  • Row 2: k3 p12, k3
  • Row 3: p3, cf3, k3, kcf3, cf3, k3, kcf3, p3
  • Carry on with the other rows in this manner
Smaller Cables

The smallest cable you can go to is 1 stitch per section and is often worked in delicate or small items such as socks or baby mittens. To work the tiny braided cable you will need to set aside 6 stitches and work the pattern as follows:

  • Row 1: p,1 k6, p1
  • Row 2: k1 p6, k1
  • Row 3: p1, cf1, k1, kcf1, cf1, k1, kcf1, p1
  • Carry on with the other rows in this manner

Pattern Ideas

If you are looking for a knitted item to make then check out some of my patterns:

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