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:
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Things you need
- 1 ball of yarn
- Knitting needles
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.
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.
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.
Begin on a right-sided row by repeating the following pattern: knit 3, purl 2, knit 3.
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.
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.
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.
Repeat Step 4 for rows 13, 15 and 17.
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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