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Faux Cable Cowl Knit & Purl





Faux cable cowl free knitting pattern

(this post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend to my readers)
Wow. I’m still amazed by how much this pattern looks like cables. This was one of the most satisfying projects I’ve ever done and here’s why:

1. The pattern was easy to memorize (it’s just knits and purls!!)

2. I could knit this in front of the TV without looking at my knitting (the first time I’ve ever been able to do this)

3. I didn’t mess up once. (The first time this has ever happened.)

I’m so glad I discovered this stitch pattern on Knitting Unlimited! I can see turning this into a longer infinity scarf, fingerless gloves, maybe even a bag or pillow cover….

I think you’ll be addicted to this stitch pattern too as you knit through each row, you’ll start to see how deceptively simple it is. This cowl knitting pattern pairs nicely with a bold merlot, and your favorite binge-worthy show on Netflix.

Ready for the pattern?

Ok, ok, but first you will need:

Size 8US (5mm) 16″ (40cm) circular knitting needles

1 Skein Lion Brand Heartland

Co. 120 sts. & join in the round

In the round:

Rounds 1-4 : p2, k4 to end of round

Round 5: K2, *p2, k4, rep. from * until 4 sts. rem., p2, k2

Round 6: k2, p2, *k4, p2 rep from * until 2 sts. rem., k2

Round 7: Rep. row 5

Round 8: Rep. row 6

Rounds 9-12: k4, p2 to end of round

Rep. rows 1-12 until cowl measures about 12″ tall

Keep warm, and enjoy!

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  1. I love this pattern! Thank You :)

  2. I am doing this as a KAL. But mine is not looking like a cable at all. It is looking like blocks. What am I doing wrong?

  3. Can you knit the pattern on straight needles? I love the look!


  4. How do I use this pattern with straight needles

  5. Suzy Griffin says:

    My sister found your pattern and forwarded the link to me. It’s so pretty. I’m knitting it in the Glacier Bay color. So pretty and easy! Am I wrong or are rows 4 and 5 the same?! I’m knitting all row 5 on rows 5-8. It looks like it’s right.

  6. Stunning. Thanx

  7. Beautiful cowl, very easy pattern. Thanks.

  8. About how big around and high is this cowl? Thanks.

  9. I can’t get this pattern to look like the picture. A friend tried it and said the same thing. I have started it 3 times and the cable rows don’t twist,just look like ladders.
    I really want to knit this so I am wondering if there is an error in the pattern.

  10. Jodi Palmer says:

    I just saw your gorgeous Faux Cable Cowl. How can I turn it into a scarf is it multiple of 8 stitches? It’s for my husband for Christmas. Thanks Jodi

  11. It appears rows 5 & 6 are the exact same rows. Is that a typo?

  12. I am a beginner and don’t know what you mean about round? A round knitting needle?
    I am knew at this, just learnering and teaching myself from books and the internet.

    • Knitting in the round are on knitting needles that have a very thin plastic tube that connects the needles together. You knit continuously in a circle. There are you tube videos that you can watch to get a better visual.

  13. Hi

    I am knitting your patter Faux cable and knit patter is there a typo or problem with row 5 and 6 ?. If so can you help… the pattern doesn’t seam to follow or is that where the pattern changes ?

    Thank You.

    • Hi Sally, the rows look the same, but notice where the * is on the pattern. You should end row 6 with K2

      • Both rows 5 and 6 end in k2 though. If you write both rows out for 36 stitches as an example (since the pattern is a multiple of 6, they are exactly the same.

        R5: k2, “p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4″, p2, k2.
        R6: k2, p2, “k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2″, k2.

        Moving the repeat doesn’t help to differentiate r5 and r6. Please confirm that this wasn’t at typo.


        • So, I read some of the Ravelry projects made using this pattern, and it seems like both rows are supposed to turn out the same! Ignore my last comment lol!

      • But row 5 also ends on a knit 2? Rows 5 and 6 knit out the same way creating more of a block pattern than a cable

    • I think I figured it out- I tried mapping out the stitches for rows 5 and 6 and the truth is… there is no difference. Since the pattern is worked in rows of 4 (work 4 rows the same, then shift it), rows 5-8 should look the same. Row 9 would then begin the shift for the next cluster of 4 rows.
      The different positioning of the * doesn’t seem to matter since the p2 at the end of row 5 becomes part of the repeat in row 6. The p2 from the beginning of row 6 was the beginning of the repeat in row 5.

  14. How are we to cast off? Same as row 12?
    Thank you!

  15. What does it mean “join in the round”? This is said right after how many stitches are cast on. I’ve never knitted in the round.

    • Hi Carla- look on Youtube How to Join in the round knitting- there are lots of videos showing you exactly how to do it! It’s much easier than explaining it in writing 😉 -Margo

  16. Lynda Withers says:

    Love this stitch can I print this off as I don’t no how to save it and don’t no were it go’s when I do save it.

  17. Lynda Withers says:

    Love this stitch can I copy I find I loss the pattern after a while.

  18. This pattern is awesome…I love cable…this is so simple, looks beautiful…will do this for sure.,

  19. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your stunning pattern with us all. The fact that it’s free is a bonus of course. You are a sweetheart.

    Love from Sydney, Australia

  20. Fun pattern!! I’m using larger needles with Redheart Boutique Treasure., and it’s really nice.

    A tip that might help those who can’t get the pattern- put a marker on the needle for the beginning! That way you don’t lose track of the start.

  21. I absolutely love this pattern! I’m going to TRY to connect it and do it in the round (the last several times I tried this it twisted, and I can NOT figure out why) – and so, I thank you SO much for the flat directions! Just in case LOL – so very pretty and thank you so much,

  22. I simplified the pattern to a 4+ round repeat (vice 12 round repeat) as follows:
    Cast on a multiple of six stitches, place marker, join to knit in round, making sure the stitches aren’t twisted.
    *Work (p2, k4) around for four rounds.
    On the next round, remove the end of round marker, knit two stitches, replace the end of round marker and repeat from * until you reach your desired length.

    I’m not too compulsive about cowls or hats. But if it’s important that the piece have exactly the same number of rounds all around, mark the start of the very first round with a split marker or bit of yarn and end the final round at that point.


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