Not a Knitter? Not a Problem! Knit a Cable-Knit Scarf




Impress your friends and family by spinning out this classic, sexless scarf. This instructable will teach you how to do so. I've put it in video format so that you can watch each step of the process, and follow along with your own set of needles at home.

These instructions are designed to be useful to a range of knitting ability levels.
Somebody who has never picked up a set of needles should be able to follow these steps sequentially to learn every element necessary to complete the scarf.
A more moderately experienced knitter may already know the knit and purl stitches, but wants to learn the cable stitch, for example. They can follow the pattern (as given below) and skip ahead to step five to reference instructions for cables.

The time it takes you to finish the scarf will vary depending on your ability level as well as how long you'd like to make the scarf. Keep in mind that for most, knitting is a hobby to unwind--see it as a marathon, not a sprint!

The first tool you'll need for making this scarf is the following pattern. You may want to copy it down for reference as you watch the following videos.

Cable-Knit Scarf Pattern
     CO: Cast on
     K: Knit
     P: Purl
     CBL: Cable

CO 20
Row 1: [K3, P1, K4, P1, K2, P1, K4, P1, K3]
Row 2: [P3, K1, P4, K1, P2, K1, P4, K1, P3]
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: [K3, P1, CBL 2, K2, P1, K2, P1, CBL 2, K2, P1, K3]
Rest of Scarf: Repeat Rows 2-5 until end

 The following video briefs the remaining supplies you'll need for this pattern.

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Cast On


Step 2: Complete Row 1


Step 3: Complete Row 2


Step 4: Complete Rows 3 and 4

As the pattern states, rows 3 and 4 are the same as rows 1 and 2, respectively.
You may reference the previous videos for help completing these two rows. 

Step 5: Row Five: Cable Stitch

Step 6: Repeat

You now have all the skills necessary to complete the scarf! 
As the pattern states, simply repeat the steps for rows 2-5 until the scarf is to your desired length.

Word of Caution: Be patient. Especially for beginners, knitting can be frustrating when things don't quite look how you want right away. Just take a deep breath and review the instructional videos as necessary for refreshers. Keep the final image in your head and just have fun with it.

Step 7: Cast Off

 You're almost finished!

Step 8: Troubleshooting

Unfortunately, there are many problems you may encounter when knitting. Luckily, with a bit of practice, they're all relatively simple to fix.

Here are some common problems:
-Holes: often due to either a dropped stitch, or accidentally stitching two stitches at once
-Wrong stitch: simply knitting when the pattern called to purl or vice versa
-Twisted cable: most often occurs when the stitches are replaced on the needle in the wrong order when cabling 

Whatever your dilemma, don't panic! The following video shows you how to rework the blemish.
Remember that mistakes are common when you begin knitting. They can be frustrating, but they'll make you a better knitter in the long run (and maybe give your scarf a bit of unexpected character!)

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33 Discussions

Mikey D

9 years ago on Introduction


Thank you for this 'ible.  I teach auto shop and am male so I don't even know if I am allowed to knit,

(however I am pretty darn good with a sewing machine)

(get it ?  Darn - sewing.. I crack myself up!)

but this made me want to try it. 

Everything is clear except step #5 the cable stitch.  I understand that you grab 2 stiches with the giant brass safety pin and then knit right past them...

But then what do you do?  Do you just release them from their brass safety pin imprisonment?  Is there something else that happens at the end of the video that I missed?

Please tell me, the suspense is killing me!

Thanks for the inspiration!


3 replies
sydneys89Mikey D

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

 Hey Mikey,

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you've found this helpful.
It looks like I accidentally uploaded the incorrect version of the cable-stitch video. 
I'm not able to edit the step to include the correct video at the time, but I think it's okay if I include it in this comment box (I did this project for a class and it hasn't been graded yet, so I can't change anything).
Hopefully the new video is more helpful. If not, here it is:

Pull the two stitches off the safety pin, then (like you said) knit the next two stitches on the needle. 
Next take the two stitches that are on the stitch holder, and replace them on the left needle. So pretty much what you're doing is just flipping the order in which you knit the set of four--instead of knitting stitch 1, 2, 3, 4, think of it as 3,4,1,2.

Then just continue as normal: purl 1, knit 2, purl 1. Here, you reach the second cable, and you'll repeat the cable stitch. 

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Mikey Dsydneys89

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thanks Sydney!

You can edit you steps by logging into you account, click the "you" link at the top right of the page, then click on your "instructables" tab in the center of the window.  A list of your published instructables will come up and then just click the "edit" link that shows up right after the name.

I would infer that you are taking a teaching methods class of some sort? 

Thanks again for the step by step.  It did clear things up!



2 months ago

Thanks so much for posting this. Just wanted to say thank you! I hadn’t knitted in a while and never learnt how to cable but your instructions were super clear. Almost at the end of the scarf!


Question 1 year ago on Introduction

I can’t wait to begin. Did you use a yarn weight of 5? Do you remember what brand? Thank you so much.


2 years ago

Hi Sydney, I was hoping for a little advice on double knitting this pattern. More like using. 2 strands if worsted weight yarn as one strand either 2 colors or one. Would I need to adjust it if making for a 11 year old boy. How? Bee g a beginner would this be easy to do with this pattern? Thanks, Ginger!


2 years ago

Mikey D, darn good comments from you. As an electronics eng I think I will be testing every stage before the big knit, a scarf for winter.


4 years ago

Would a bulky acrylic or acrylic/wool blend work?


4 years ago on Introduction

This was easy and fast for me to learn how to knit. Thanks for teaching me so fast.


5 years ago on Introduction

As a newbie knitter, I found this pattern very easy. Thanks!


6 years ago on Introduction

Hi there! This is an awesome instructable. :)

One question though: How did you add the fringe to the bottom of your scarf in the first picture? I'd really like to be able to do that with mine.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

If you haven't learned to add fringe yet, here's how.

1) Cut about 6 lengths of yarn (more if you want really thick fringe and less if you want just a few strands), about 12 inches long. Keep in mind you'll be folding the lengths in half, so measure lengths accordingly.

2) As mentioned, fold your "bunch" of yarn in half so the lengths are as even as possible at the bottom. You can trim a little if you want, but I wait until I put all the fringe on before evening them all out.

You'll need a crotchet hook that's as close to the size of the knitting needles as possible for this next part. If you weave in your ends when you finish your scarf, you should have/get one, especially for use weaving in bulky yarns. But I digress.

3) Starting at one end of the scarf, put your hook through the edge of your scarf.

4) Now that your bunch is folded in half you hold it so you have a loop at the folded end.

5) Take the crochet hook and grab the loop you made and pull it through the edge of the scarf. Just enough so you can put your thumb and index finger through the loop. You'll be making a slip knot with your folded lengths.

6) Now with your fingers through the loop, grab the ends of your bunch of yarn lengths and pull them through the loop, making a slip knot like you did when casting on. Only now your making a slip not with a bunch of yarn, instead of one strand.

7) Pull the ends of your bunch to tighten a bit. No need to pull really hard, because you don't want a pinched look where your fringe connects to your scarf.

8) Trim the ends a little bit so they're even.

You've made a tassel for fringe! Yea! I hope this helps. :)


5 years ago on Introduction

My first cable knit scarf. I enjoyed doing it. And it is very pretty. One problem I edges rolled. (I used a nine needle and bulky yarn.) On a lot of patterns I have seen the instructions say "knit the knit and purl the purl". However on the edges of this pattern we aren't doing that? Any suggestions?

Lonely Assassin

6 years ago on Step 8

Great instructable! Now that I've seen this instructable and feel confidant that I can pick up knitting now, I'll be buying my first set of needles and some yarn this weekend to get started. You've done a great job explaining each step. Thank you.


7 years ago on Introduction

Every instruction you give is so easy to follow! I learnt casting on, knit and purl stitch and cabling just from this! The only thing is, after a few rows, I seem to acquire an extra 2-6 stitches!!! Is there a way to avoid this or rectify it on the project so as to avoid starting over? This is a beautiful scarf and I have promised it as a gift!

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Hi Bjones! I'm glad the instructable worked for you!
Sometimes when I'm knitting I accidentally pick up extra stitches, which I would assume is what you're doing (although I can't be sure). This is an easy mistake to make when you're cabling.
What I usually do to fix this mistake is combine the extra stitches you have with the ones that should be there until you have the right amount of stitches. Do this by knitting two stitches together. The way you do it is the same as when you're casting off: just knit two stitches at a time. Except, until casting off, don't move the gained stitch to the left needle. Just keep on knitting like nothing changed.
This will not fix the mistake in the'll still be able to see the mistake, but it keeps you from having to start over. Honestly, most of my projects have dozens of mistakes in them, but when you give them as gifts, people are so thrilled to get something hand made that they don't notice.
I hope this helps!
Good luck!


7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for the great instructable! Thanks to your great videos I'm finally able to purl without problems, the person I first learned from never showed me and my step grandmother tried to show me once but it was pure confusion.

1 reply

After having such good luck with this project began looking for others like it (though I'm not even done with the first xD ) I have found one scarf I would love to know how to knit it is the cable knit in this pic
I was wondering/hoping someone knew how to do a scarf like that and if they happen to have a pattern or something I can use. Any help would be appreciated! :)