Cosy up with this free cable knit scarf pattern

I used to tremble at the words cable knit – there were so many gorgeous patterns I came across, ooh’ed and aah’ed over before realising cable knit was involved and running for the hills.  The silly thing is I didn’t even really look into what cable knit was.  I simply assumed it was far too complex for a beginner like myself and fled.  However winter is drawing in and one of my New Year’s resolutions was to try and knit something more complicated than a simple square or rectangle!  and yeah yeah a scarf is indeed a rectangle BUT by including a cable knit design I hope I can stand tall and say I’m moved my knitting skills forward a little this year.

Recently the awesome Craft Blog Club (who chat on twitter every Tuesday from 7 – 8:30 – come join us) set a new craft challenge to blog on the theme of firsts.   You could write about the first time you tried a skill, first ever make, or even first blog post – whatever caught your imagination.  I decided to use this theme to make myself do something brand new… and so here I am… trying a brand new skill AND sharing my first ever knitting pattern here on the blog so you can knit-along too!! (fanfares, confetti cannons, elephant parade etc!!)

This is the beautiful scarf I’m knitting!


Cable Knit: the basics

Cable knitting is a style in which layers of knitting will cross over each other, giving a gorgeous twisty texture to your knits.  This style is achieved using a cable needle (you can pick these up super cheap from most craft stores and also Tiger!).  As you knit you transfer sets of stitches over to your cable needle for ‘storage’, you then continue to knit and bring these ‘stored’ stitches back into your pattern, thus creating that layered twisting effect.

When storing your stitches on the cable needle you can hang them to the back or the front – and this will be directed in your pattern to create layering in different directions.

…following so far?

It’s actually very simple and really opens up a new world of creativity in your knitting, particularly if like me you still don’t feel ready to knit items of clothing!

So let’s do this!

For my scarf I’m using Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran in yellow from Black Sheep wools – it’s got a lovely sturdy texture – still soft but not too fluffy.  I’m knitting with 5.5cm needles.


  1. cast on 40 stitches
  2. Knit 1, Purl 1 for the first 10 stitches, Knit 20, Knit 1, Purl 1 for the last 10 stitches
  3. K1, P1 for the first 10, P20, then K1, P1 for the last 10
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 twice
  5. LET THE CABLE BEGIN: K1, P1 for the first 10, move 5 stitches onto your cable needles and hang at the back of your knitting.  Knit the next 5, now knit the 5 stitches on your cable needle. Move the next 5 stitches onto your cable needles and hang at the front of your knitting.  Knit the next 5 and then knit the 5 on your cable.  K1, P1 for the final 10
  6. K1, P1 for the first 10, P20, then K1, P1 for the last 10
  7. REPEAT steps 2-6 until your scarf is at the length you want it.

Part way into this scarf I noticed that the end of my scarf had curled slightly with the cable knit – you could keep this and call it a design feature, but I’m planning to add small tassels or a wool fringe of the end to weigh it down a little and make the design even more cosy.

Bring it on winter, I’m ready for you!



12 thoughts on “Cosy up with this free cable knit scarf pattern

  1. This looks lovely and so bright. Like you I’m a bit scared of new knitting things. I’m also very slow. I’m fine with cable but terrified of using more than one colour!

    1. Changing colours to create patterns is next on my list! I can do stripes but that’s pretty much it! I’m still fairly slow but my next project is using super chunky yarn so I’m excited to see how quickly that progresses.
      Hannah x

      1. It’s great. I managed to do a cable hooded cardigan in massive chunky wool. Still took ages and it’s like wearing a sheep, but I love it (mauve).

    1. Thank you! And yes do try it – as a technique it’s much easier than it looks and it looks really impressive – which is always a win in my book. I’d love to see how you get on!
      Hannah x

  2. Looks fab! You have inspired me to give this a go. I love to knit but like you were I am easily scarred of anything out of my comfort zone. Katie x

    1. Ahh thank you Katie! Honestly once you try cable you’ll be hooked – it makes everything look so gorgeously rich and textured! I’d love to see how you get on!
      Hannah x

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