Basic Cables Square for Cabled Afghan Knit Along

Welcome to the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along! Each week we will share a new square pattern and help you learn to make it. Watch videos on Creativebug (sign up for a free account to get access to the videos) and see tutorials here on the blog. 

This week will be be working on the Basic Cables Square (LW4309-B), which you can download the pattern for here.

Today we’re starting with the cable squares! Cabled patterns are made using cables and Reverse Stockinette stitch, which is the back side or purl side of regular Stockinette stitch.

Before we start the square, we need to do a Stockinette stitch swatch. Each cable stitch is going to produce a different gauge, and it can be hard to measure gauge over cabled patterns. But if you get the correct gauge in a Stockinette stitch swatch, you can assume that it will allow you to produce a cabled square that matches the given dimensions. Work a Stockinette stitch swatch at least 5″ square.

Count the stitches, which look like “V”s, in stitches and rows and see if your gauge matches. If you gauge matches, you’re good to go! If you’re not, change needle sizes and make another swatch. You can use different size needles from what you used for Square A.

We’re starting with a cable cast-on. Start with a slip knot on the left-hand needle, then knit into the slip knot.

Instead of taking the loop off of the left-hand needle and putting it on the right-hand needle as you would in a regular knit stitch, make the loop big and put it on the end of left-hand needle like you would for a knit cast-on.

For a cable cast-on, you’re going to insert your needle between the two stitches on the needle and then put the loop back onto the needle.

The pattern calls for 50 stitches, but the video only shows 26 stitches across. Follow the pattern regarding the number of stitches and pattern repeats!

The chart corresponds with the written pattern instructions. It may be easier for you to read one or the other.

Each number on the side is a row number. Row numbers on the right of the chart show that the row is a right side row, and row numbers on the left of the chart show that the row is a wrong side row. You can see that the written pattern starts out by mentioning that Row 1 is a right side row.

To know that the different squares mean in the chart, look at the key (see the PDF for the key). You can see that the grey squares mean to purl on the right side and knit on the wrong side. The white squares tell you to knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side. In other words, the white squares indicate Stockinette stitch and the grey squares indicate Reverse Stockinette stitch. Always read the key to make sure you’re following the chart correctly.

The section between the red lines is the repeated section of the pattern, while the parts to the left and the right are what you do at the start and the end of the rows.

For Row 1, we’re going to start with purling 7 stitches. Then we get to the first part of the 8 stitch repeat, and we’ll knit 4 stitches and then purl 4 stitches. Continue in the knit 4, purl 4 pattern across the square. (Your square will have 5 repeats, while the square in the video only has 2 repeats.) At the end of the row, you’ll have 3 stitches left which you will purl.

Turn your work. For Row 2, you’ll read the chart from left to right since it is a wrong side row. To start knit 3, and then start the repeated section again. You will again knit 4 and then purl 4, so you’re continuing in the pattern of Stockinette stitch and Reverse Stockinette stitch that you established in Row 1. After 5 repeats of the knit 4, purl 5 pattern, knit the final 7 stitches of the row.

Row 3 starts the cable twists!

If you look at your knitting, you’ll see Reverse Stockinette stitch (bumpy) and Stockinette stitch (smooth). The cables will be in the Stockinette stitch sections.

This basic cable is the 2 over 2 Left Cross (2/2 LC).

At the start of Row 3, purl 7 to get over to the first Stockinette stitch section. Slip the next 2 stitches onto the cable needle…



…and let the cable needle dangle in front of your work.


Knit the next two stitches as normal, and then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle. (It’s OK if your cable needle is skinnier than your regular needles.)

You’ve just switched the positions of the two sections of stitches.

Continue across the row, working the 2/2 LC in the Stockinette stitch sections and purling in the Reverse Stockinette stitch sections.

Rows 4-6 don’t involve any cables. You’ll knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches to continue in the Stockinette stitch and Reverse Stockinette stitch pattern.

You may have loose stitches next to your cables. To help prevent them, give a little tug as you transition between the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

To continue making the square, start again from Row 1 and work Rows 1-6 again. Keep repeating them until you get to 10″, ending with a right side row to make sure the cables look OK.

Because cables pull in, your square may not look quite square. That’s OK! We’ll be blocking them later.

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Bias Garter Stitch Square
Snake Cables Square
Checkerboard Cables Square
Stockinette Cables Square
Horseshoe Panel with Twists Square
XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square
Honeycomb Trellis Square
Honeycomb and Braided Cables Square
Seed Stitch Diamonds Square
Lattice Cables Square
Putting It All Together

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