cabled cowl scarf

by Amy on 16 November 2010

with weather getting chillier in tennessee, i decided to whip out the ol’ knitting needles + try my hand at making a scarf. i knew i wanted a cowl-style scarf instead of the traditional wrap-it-around-and-tie-it type, + when i didn’t find a pattern online that i loved, i opted to make my own pattern up instead.

if you have never knitted before, don’t be scared off. i taught myself to knit by watching youtube videos (there are tons of learn-to-knit videos out there) + i actually had to learn new knitting skills for this project. thanks to youtube, i now know how to cable knit, do a provisional cast-on + a kitchener stitch. without further ado, here is the pattern!

i used:
size 11 knitting needles
cable needle
1 ball of lion brand homespun yarn in deco (carried at michael’s stores)
blunt point needle for the final kitchener stitch

provisional cast-on of 62 stitches

rows 1-7: slip the first stitch of each row, then stockinette stitch. that is, purl one row, then knit the next. you should be starting + ending with a purl row. (purl one row, knit one row, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl.)
row 8: slip the first stitch, knit 3.
slip 8 stitches on to your cable needle, hold to front. knit 8. knit the cable needle. knit 3.
slip 8 stitches on to your cable needle, hold to front. knit 8. knit the cable needle. knit 3.
slip 8 stitches on to your cable needle, hold to front. knit 8. knit the cable needle. knit 4.

repeat this pattern to your desired length. i repeated the pattern 8 times. once you reach your desired length, kitchener stitch the final row with the provisional cast on row. weave in all ends.

don’t judge, but i couldn’t resist putting the scarf on skylar. she’s really working it, as you can see.

EmailTwitterFacebookStumbleUponGoogle BookmarksShare

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tabitha November 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

Looks like you mastered knitting a long time ago! The scarf looks deliciously cozy.

2 amy November 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm

thanks so much. this is actually my first completed project so i’m thrilled with the way it turned out. + yes, the yarn is super super soft + luxurious-feeling — love it!

3 Marie December 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

HI! I am making this right now for a christmas gift (crunched on time, I know) and I am wondering why, when and after knitting the cable stitches it gets proggressively tighter. It’s making it so much harder to knit so I was wondering if maybe I am using the wrong cable needle? Does it make a difference if the cable needle is skinny or not? I bought mine in a pack of three and just picked the one that looked easiest, but happened to be the skinnest. Each needle was a different shape and thickness. Confusing, right?

4 amy December 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

it does get pretty tight with the cable stitches, especially if you use a small cable needle. i had the same experience (this was my first time cable-ing) but i just rolled with it, + then the next row would return to normal tension. are your subsequent rows tight, too? or just the cable row + the following row? i found that with practice, it does seem to loosen up a bit. i know this isn’t the most helpful response – i wish i was a more experienced knitter! how is it looking?

5 Marie December 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

Yeah, it’s pretty much just the cable stitch and following stitch. It’s okay, any response is helpful! It’s looking pretty good. I chose the yarn in a deep charcoal gray, and it looks fabulous. It’s also way soft! Thanks for this great idea!

6 amy December 24, 2010 at 9:35 am

fantastic! if you think of it, take a pic when you’re all done. i love gray – we recently repainted our dining room with a lovely light gray + i have a ton of gray clothes in my closet. i’d love to see how it turns out! merry christmas. =)

7 Marie December 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Me again, sorry I’m taking up so much of your comments page! I was just wondering, when you said that you did the pattern eight times, did you end it on the last row of cable for the seventh time, or did you end it at the cable stitch for the eighth time?

8 amy December 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

not a problem! i ended it after my 8th cable row. actually, after the 8th cable row, i think i did 2 extra stockinette rows before finishing, because i thought it would be easier to kitchener stitch a regular row rather than a cable row. does that make sense? i hope so!

9 yvette lieberman December 28, 2010 at 9:34 am

What is a kitchner stitch?
What is a provisional row?


10 amy December 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

hi yvette, i taught myself those stitches by searching those terms + watching videos on that’s what i recommend doing – you can watch a video of someone doing those stitches step-by-step, which makes it easy to learn. good luck!

11 Brandi December 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Hello! I am teaching myself how to knit. I love this scarf and I am trying to begin the project. I have been watching Youtube videos on how to do the provisional cast on you call for. There are several different methods and I am wondering which you used. So far it seems as though using a crochet needle or waste yarn are easiest. Either way I am missing the supplies (ie waste yarn and crochet needle) to perform a provisional cast so I was wondering which I should purchase to begin the project. Thanks for your time! Hope to hear from you!

12 amy December 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

hi Brandi! i taught myself, too, + this was my first ever project, so i know you can do it. for the provisional cast-on, i used the method with waste yarn- i found that to be the easiest way + after a few test runs, i had it down pat. let me know how it turns out, + good luck!

13 lera January 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

Ooooh. Thank you for this pattern. It’s adorable and I think I need to try it. As soon as the snow clears and I can get some yarn. I, too, taught myself to knit (last winter when we had four feet of snow in one week’s time) via youtube. Youtube is a great resource. I have not cable-knitted yet and never even comprehended how to do it. As soon as I read your directions, it all made sense. Thank you!

14 amy January 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

you’re welcome! + yes, thank goodness for youtube. i can’t tell you how many things i’ve been able to teach myself thanks to that website. let me know how the scarf turns out – i’m sure it will be fabulous! stay warm!

15 Cat January 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

Hi Amy,
Gorgeous cowl! I too have just recently taught myself to knit watching U-tube videos…if you dont mind I am gonna try knitting your cowl but instead of doing the whole provisional cast on and kitchner stich seaming I am gonna try knitting it in the round .
Will let you know how it turns out.

16 amy January 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

sounds great! i can’t wait to see/hear how it turns out. good luck! =)

17 Laurie January 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

Here is a trick for cables. Use the cable needle ONLY to hold the stitches Before you knit them slip them back onto the left needle. Now knit them as usual. This maintains the tension and it doesn’t matter what size your cable needle is. Keep Knitting!!! Laurie

18 amy January 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

awesome tip – i hadn’t thought of doing that but it makes complete sense + would definitely make cabling a bit easier. thank you!

19 cat January 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

Cool I’ll let you know how it turns out…of course the cables will be running up and down instead of around since i will be knitting in the round..I am curious to see if it looks as good as yours does…if not i guess i will bite the bullet and do it your way even though provisional castons are not my fav.

20 Jo January 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

What is a provisional stitch? Kitchner stitch Thanks

21 MAGGIE January 28, 2011 at 1:39 am

I am on the second cowl scarf pattern and I love IT. I wonder if this cowl could be made without the cable stitch. I am having difficulty doing that. Maggie

22 amy January 28, 2011 at 8:39 am

yes, maggie, this can definitely be made without the cable stitches. it will look a little different, but will still have that slouchy cowl look. hope this helps!

23 Karen September 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I have started and ripped this twice. The cables were so tight and awkward to work with. So I did my own version. I CO 61 stitches. First row–knit. Second row-purl. Third row-knit 1, purl 3 to the end. Row 4, purl. repeat these 4 rows.

24 amy September 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

cable knits can get *really* tight – it definitely takes some getting used to to get them to the correct tightness. glad you found a way to work around it – i hope it turned out wonderfully!

25 Sandy September 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Yes I also do like your beautiful Cabled Cowl Scarf done in Lion Brand Homespun Deco.

I haven’t ever used the Homespun in Lion Brand – so I am wondering first how does it wash up and does it pil when knitting or wearing it??

I also was wondering would it be okay to knit the Cowl in the Round rather than knitting
flat and having to then do the Kitchener Stitch to put it together.

I did go to the You Tube to see how the Provisional Cast On was done and it does appear to be quite easy to do – so now will check down at Michael’s if they have any of the Deco colour in Stock – other wise I can use another yarn such a Bernat Satin. It very soft and easy to knit with as I knitted a Seeded Rib Reversible Scarf in Cream last year and use it for a Scarf.

Thanks again for sharing and will look forward to seeing other pieces as the Fall & Winter approach us.

26 brit September 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Can you tell me the dimensions of this cowl – how wide and how long it is? Thanks :)

27 amy September 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

hi brit, this cowl is 22” in diameter around the neck, 11” in height (stretched or laid flat out) + about 5-6” in height once it’s actually on + gravity slouches it down. hope that helps!

28 Gerri Andrws October 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Did you use more than one skein of Homespun yarn for the cowl cable scarf? Love the pattern.

29 amy October 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

hi Gerri! i was able to just use one skein of yarn for the scarf. =) thanks for your kind words!

30 Judi L November 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

I just finished my first fair isle sweater for my 5 yr old grandson so am using left over 4-ply worsted yarn & the biggest needle i have handy is size 8, so i have no idea how this will finish up, but i love the style! will let u kno how it turns out


31 amy November 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

can’t wait to hear, Judi! i bet the fair isle sweater for your grandson turned out just wonderful, by the way. that’s one of my favorite styles of sweater – so charming!

32 Judi L November 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm

i love patterns that are easy to remember! it’s going to take me longer than it should, as this large cable is playing havoc on my arthritis, prob should have made smaller ones w/these smaller needles, but i really like the way it folds over itself looking like a double cable

tip for the cable needle: i use a double pointed needle. easier to knit off

also, i’m always losing that blasted yarn sewing needle!! lol now i keep it stuck in a point protector (i call them stoppers as they stop the stitches from falling off) if i drop it, easy to spot

hope that helps someone

33 Diane Bakke December 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Just finished that cabled cowl scarf. I guess I should have made mine more than 8 times bc it is tight. My question is: Doesn’t it mess up your hair having to pull it on n off? I really love the yarn I’m working with. I love the way it turned out. I would just like some advice on how to make it more comfortable. Sincerely Diane

34 amy December 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm

hi Diane! mine is actually quite loose, so it sounds like the size depends on how tightly you knit the rows, etc. mine is loose enough that it doesn’t mess up my hair at all when i take it on + off, so perhaps i knit a little looser than you? hopefully it still looks gorgeous on you + hopefully doesn’t mess up your hair too much!

35 Karen January 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I have been inspired to give the cable needle a try. This is a great look.

36 amy January 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

awesome, karen! hope it turns out great, + don’t hesitate to comment or email me ( if i can be of help.

37 eileen librock January 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

would like to know how to do the kitchener stitch to finish the cowl neck scarf

38 amy January 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

hi eileen, i taught myself how to do the finishing kitchener stitch by watching youtube videos on it – here’s a great one that can teach you: -hope this helps!

39 nancy September 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I am up to the 2nd row doing the cable stitch and am confused. Do I knit the next row and all of the following rows with the cable stitch in them, or do I go back to knit a row, purl a row. Thank you for your help. Nancy

40 amy September 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hi Nancy,

I’m not 100% where you are in the pattern, but hopefully I can help!

So, what number row are you on? Basically, you purl one, knit one, etc. for the first 7 rows, then the 8th row is what has the cable stitching as described in the pattern. After that, you repeat the entire pattern again – do another 7 rows of purl one, knit one, etc., then the 8th is the cabled row. And you just repeat that 8-row pattern to your desired length.

Does that help? If not, just email/comment again + I’ll try to help you more!

41 Liz Williams September 23, 2012 at 5:22 am

The pattern for cabled cowl looks easy but I do have one query.

The first rows of the cabled pattern says to hold the 8 stitches on the cable needle to the front and then knit.

The next row says to hold the 8 stitches on the cable needle – but where do we hold them – front or back of knitting. Judging from the looks of the pattern that I can see it appears that all cable rows stitches are to behold to the front.

Am I right?

Many thanks
Liz Williams

42 amy September 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

hi Liz. You are correct! For all of the cable rows, you’ll hold the cable need to the front. You can definitely play around with alternating front to back for a different look, but i did hold them all to the front. I’ll update the directions to reflect that – thanks for pointing it out.

Happy knitting!

43 Sandra Barker October 30, 2012 at 1:56 am

Hi Amy — Wow I love your cabled cowl scarf — I’m just a beginner in knitting n crochet. I want so much to make this but I wish you could make a video or tutorial on your cowl. It sure would help us beginners. Darn if you can’t, but just want you to know how much I like it. Great pattern but I’m not good enough to read it right. Cable??? Sorry to all of your readers sounding like a dummmy, but just new at it… Have a good day—-Sandi

44 amy October 30, 2012 at 9:41 am

Hi Sandra, Thanks for your comment! I will put a video tutorial on my ‘to do’ list, although it might take me a while before i get to it. =) I will say, this was only my second knitting project ever, so I was a novice knitter when I made this cowl scarf. I used youtube videos to teach myself all the stitches, which was super helpful! So it can definitely be made by a beginner!

45 Darlene November 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Can this be done on a knitting board? Love the cowl .

46 amy November 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

hi Darlene – unfortunately, I’ve never worked with a knitting board (+ I’m not familiar with them at all), so I don’t know whether or not this pattern can be done on a knitting board. Hopefully someone with more knitting board experience can answer that for you!

47 helen November 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

love the cowl scarf can this also be knitted with worsted weight yarn i plan on knitting xmas presents

48 amy November 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hi Helen, i definitely think this can be made with a worsted weight yarn. Happy knitting + do report back on how it turns out! =)

49 gretchen November 19, 2012 at 5:34 am

Just finished the cowal scarf, after 8 cables did not know if one has todo 8 rows k/p before binding off?

50 amy November 19, 2012 at 5:58 am

HI Gretchen,

I ended with the cable rows – I did not do another 8 rows of knit/purl before finishing + kichener stitching the final row with the provisional cast-on row.

Hope that helps!

{ 2 trackbacks }

leave a comment

Previous post:

Next post: