How to Knit a Mock Cable Pattern

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There's no single right way to make a mock cable. It's a technique that gives the illusion of a cable but doesn't involve crossing stitches. You don't need to use a cable needle. You also don't have to worry about pulling your stitches too tightly or not tightly enough. Here's a pattern that produces what looks like a three-stitch cable using just knit and purl stitches.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 1 ball of yarn
  • Knitting needles

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Go for a light colored yarn that will show off your mock cables. Sport, double-knit (DK) or worsted weight is easier to handle when practicing since you'll be shifting between knit and purl stitches often.

  2. 2

    Choose the needle size suggested on the ball band. Gauge isn't crucial for your practice swatch, but be sure to check it when knitting a garment. Mock cables are perfect for pullovers, cardigans, hats and socks.

  3. 3

    Cast on 32 stitches for your swatch. This mock cable pattern works on a pattern repeat of eight stitches, so keep this in mind when planning for larger pieces.

  4. 4

    Begin on a right-sided row by repeating the following pattern: knit 3, purl 2, knit 3.

  5. 5

    Pay attention to the shape of the stitch on all wrong-sided (even) rows. You must knit the knit stitches and purl the purled stitches. In other words, purl the stitch when you see a bar in front of it.

  6. 6

    Do the following pattern on the third row: knit 2, purl 2, knit 3, purl 1. For the fifth row, purl 1, knit 1, purl 2, knit 3, purl 2.

  7. 7

    Purl 2, knit 3, purl 2 across the seventh row. Repeat the following pattern on the ninth row: purl 2, knit 3, purl 2, knit 1, purl 1. Follow this sequence for the eleventh row: purl 1, knit 3, purl 2, knit 2.

  8. 8

    Repeat Step 4 for rows 13, 15 and 17.

  9. 9

    Knit your mock cable swatch for 36 rows so you get two repeats of the cable pattern. You should see a subtle effect that looks like a three-stitch cable from a distance.

Tips and warnings

  • It's best to write out the pattern row by row, numbering from 1 to 18. This will produce one mock cable.
  • Mock cables use less yarn and are quicker to knit than true cables.

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