How to Knit a Braid-like Cable

Updated April 17, 2017

Learning how to knit a braid-like cable stitch is more difficult than knitting a regular cable stitch. It takes a great deal of counting and concentration, and involves a bit of a twist and turn. It also requires three needles: one to hold the stitches to be cabled, and two to knit or purl the row. Prior to attempting to knit a braid cable stitch, you should first learn the basics of knitting.

Knit the basic cable stitch by crossing one knit stitch over another, every knit row (following the pattern instructions). The stitches crossing the back are held by slipping them onto the third needle (the holding needle) to be knitted on the next ''knit'' stitch, causing a twist in the stitch (the cable).

Knit the ''braid cable'' in a similar manner, except this time crossing one ''knit'' stitch over a ''purl'' stitch (following the pattern instructions). Once again, the stitches crossing the back will be slipped onto a smaller, two-pointed cable needle (a third needle) while the regular needles continue to knit to the end of the row.

Know that ''braid cables'' create'' braid patterns'' when you knit them on every other row (the purl row). Carefully count and follow the knitting instructions to see how many crossing patterns are needed for the specific pattern. As you continue, note that the number of cables will increase as the amount of crossing patterns (knit stitches crossing over purl stitches) increases. Cables, as seen in the photo, make braid patterns.

Knit the braid cable in various patterns, Patterns may call for anywhere from a one-cable braid up to a six-cable braid. They all have vastly different looks and varying levels of difficulty.


Instruction is usually given free of charge in yarn stores that sell patterns, yarn and needles. Most have group classes, which make for a very social hour or so of knitting. Hold the stitches on a very large safety pin (instead of a third needle) and close it to keep the stitches safely intact. This stitch is most accurately known as the Braid Cable stitch.


Do not attempt the braided cable unless you can easily knit and purl and know how to knit a regular cable stitch.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable-knitting needle
  • Knitting needles (regular size)
  • Line counter
  • Yarn
  • Pattern
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About the Author

Brooklyn-born Sondra Crane started writing at an early age and never stopped. She wrote Along Life's Path, her blog and a poetic glimpse into her life. She is a college graduate, piano teacher, classical pianist, copy editor, columnist and now a freelance writer. She has been interviewed in "The New York Times," [Orlando Sentinel," "Maclean's" magazine and in a radio interview by "Growing Bolder."