XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square for Cabled Afghan Knit-Along

Welcome to the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along! Each week we 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 we will be working on the XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square (LW4309-G). You can download the pattern for this square here.

Before we start, let’s look at the finished square. We’ll be learning how to keep track of multiple cables at the same time, as there are XO cables on the sides and the Ensign’s Braid in the middle. This square is a little more complicated than our previous squares, so it may not be one you want to do while watching an interesting TV show.

There are three cables in this square: an XO Cable on the left and on the right, and the Ensign’s Braid in the center. The cables have Reverse Stockinette stitch panels in between them, and the XO Cables are identical.

This square has set-up rows, which the other squares didn’t have. The set-up rows will be worked only once, at the beginning of the square. If you are following the chart, the set-up rows are the two bottom-most rows. You will ignore them when following the repeats on the chart.

LW4309-G chart

Before she starts, Edie draws a blue line on each side of the center cable. These are not repeat lines, just lines to help her figure out where the cable is.

LW4309-G chart with blue lines

You’ll see some new cable symbols and names on this square. Don’t get discouraged if you have trouble understanding them just from reading the written instructions and chart — the cable can be difficult to understand without the knitting in your hands, and Edie will guide you through the square.

To start, cable cast on 54 stitches. (For written and picture instructions on how to do the cable cast-on, see the blog for square B.) Edie will only be working one of the XO Cables so she will cast on fewer stitches.

The set-up rows start the pattern of Stockinette stitch and Reverse Stockinette stitch for the cable panels. Follow the pattern of knits and purls as shown in the chart and written instructions.

During the set-up rows, Edie places a stitch marker at the blue lines marking the start and end of the Ensign’s Cable to help her keep the cable neat. As you are working, just slip the stitch marker when you come to it.

Row 1 starts with a purl 5, then work a 2 over 2 Right Cross (2/2 RC) and then a 2 over 2 Left Cross (2/2 LC) to start the first XO Cable. We’ve done these cable crosses before; see the blog for square D here for written instructions.

Purl 4 over to the stitch marker then purl 2 at the start of the cable. Work a 3 over 3 Right Cross (3/3 RC), purl 4, then work a 3 over 3 Left Cross (3/3 LC). See written instructions for 3/3 RC and 3/3 LC here, on the blog for square C.

Complete Row 1 by purling 6 over to the second XO Cable, then work a 2/2 RC and a 2/2 LC and finish by purling 5.

Row 2 is a wrong-side row, so knit the knits and purl the purls across. You will do this with all wrong side (even) rows in this square.

Row 3 starts with the purl 5, and then the next stitches in the XO cable are just in Stockinette stitch. You don’t need to do any cable crosses, just knit the stitches in the cable. Continue to purl the Reverse Stockinette stitches in the panels between the cables.

For the Ensign’s Cable, there are two cable crosses that look different from others you have seen before: a 3 over 1 Right Purl Cross (3/1 RPC) and a 3/1 Left Purl Cross (3/1 LPC).

For the 3/1 RPC, slip one stitch to the cable needle and hold it in back.

LW4309-G 3-1 RPC slip 1 to cn

Knit 3, and then purl the stitch from the cable needle. It was a purl stitch when you slipped it on the cable needle, so you will keep it a purl stitch when you take it off.

LW4309-G 3-1 RPC p1

LW4309-G 3-1 RPC complete

To do a 3/1 LPC, slip the next three stitches to the cable needle and hold in front.

LW4309-G 3-1 LPC slip 3 to cn

Purl 1 stitch from the left needle, then knit the 3 stitches from the cable needle.

LW4309-G 3-1 LPC p1

You’ve maintained the knit stitches as knit stitches and purl stitches as purl stitches.

Purl 2, then do another 3/1 RPC and then another 3/1 LPC. Purl 1 to reach the marker, then continue the row by purling 4, knitting the 8 stitches of the XO Cable, and then purling 5 to end the row.

When you knit the knits and purl the purls on Row 4, don’t forget that you have two “hidden” knit stitches on this row since we did the individual purl stitches on the row before.

Row 5 is similar to Row 3. For the XO cables you are still working in St st, so you just knit those cable sections. For the Ensign’s cable between the markers, work another 3/1 RPC then purl 2. You’ll notice that the cable is starting to move towards the right, and to have purl sts on either side of it so it stands out. Then 3/1 LPC and an immediately 3/1 RPC. Purl 2, then work the final 3/1 LPC. Continue across the row to finish the second XO cable.

Row 7 starts with purl 5, then it’s time for another twist on the XO cable. Do a 2/2 LC and a 2/2 RC then purl to marker. For the center cable, knit 3 and purl 4 then work a 3/3 RC. Then finish the center cable and do the twist on the next XO Cable.

Continue following the pattern and chart. You’ll work Rows 1-24 twice, and then work rows 1-14 a second time. Bind off in pattern on the right side.

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Bias Garter Stitch Square

Basic Cables Square
Snake Cables Square
Checkerboard Cables Square
Stockinette Cables Square
Horseshoe Panel with Twists Square
Honeycomb Trellis Square
Honeycomb and Braided Cables Square
Seed Stitch Diamonds Square
Lattice Cables Square
Putting It All Together

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9 thoughts on “XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square for Cabled Afghan Knit-Along

  1. l

    I don’t know if my previous post about this actually posted…..I’m having a bit of trouble accessing the blog. Anyhow….I’m experiencing laddering in ALL of my cables. I’ve been told it’s all about the tension but is it because it’s too loose or too tight? It’s du scouring me from going forward with the project….what can I do to fix it?

    • redheart Post author

      Hi, It sounds like your tension may be too loose when you are going between the cables and the rest of the square. When you’re doing the transition, tug a little on your yarn to make sure that it stays tight.

      • Anonymous

        I tried that…..it didn’t help and when I blocked the square it got worse!!! Ugh

        • redheart Post author

          You may want to work on a small swatch with a cable on it, and try different methods of holding your yarn and switching between knitting and purling so you can figure out how to make the cables look the way you want. Working on a small swatch will be easier than doing an entire square.

  2. lisa

    They look better when I knit from the back loop….is that acceptable with this pattern?

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Lisa, If you like the way it looks, go for it! You’ll want to be consistent throughout the square so it looks better.

  3. haydaygameonline

    I’ve been told it’s all about the tension but is it because it’s too loose or too tight?

  4. Valerie Holmes

    Hi, I am trying to work this pattern, it appears Creativebug has taken down the pattern and the video only goes to row 8. The link on your site is BROKEN. Please, please help! I will need the last 5 squares to complete my afghan that I started a year ago. I am desperate! I have also reached out to Creativebug, but have not heard from them just yet. Thanks!

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Valerie, We’re sorry for any inconvenience! The full pattern for all of the squares is available on our website as pattern LW4309 Knit Your Cables Afghan. If you search on LW4309 on our website you will find the individual patterns for each square posted separately.

      Which link is broken? And what part is removed from Creativebug? The main page for the knit along on Creativebug’s site is here; you can access all of the videos from that page. Many of the videos only go through half of a row or only through a few rows of the pattern. For the XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square, going through Row 8 shows you all of the techniques used in the square and you can follow the pattern for the rest of the square.

      If you still have any questions, please let me know!

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