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How to Knit Afghans with Cables, Featuring 5 Patterns & 10 Tutorials

Would you love to knit a beautiful afghan with cables but find the thought intimidating? You’ll learn all you need to know with this guide

Knit Afghans with Cables

Have you found cable knitting intimidating? Do you find it intimidating still?

What about a larger project with cables… like an afghan?

A few years ago, a reader named Lisa told me that she would love to knit a king-sized bedspread with cables. She added this caveat: “…if I could do a cable correctly (tension is not my friend).”

I’ve always thought cables looked both incredibly elegant and disturbingly complex. As a new knitter, I was certain that cable knitting would always be far beyond my capabilities.

Fortunately, I tend to have a willingness to learn how to do most anything if I find a pattern that appeals to me enough! Cables happened to be just such a technique. And when I tried it for the first time (with a pair of fingerless mitts), I realized that not only is cable knitting not difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun.

So if you would love the look of an elegant blanket full of cables, here’s what I’m offering you.

First: you’ll enjoy the following 5 fabulous, cabled afghan knitting patterns. You’ll find these afghan patterns so enticing that I’m quite sure you’ll be eager to learn this business called cable knitting!

Then, once you’re good and eager to knit one of these beauties, you can take a look at the knitting tutorials that follow. You can check out the text-based illustrated tutorials, the video tutorials, or both.

Finally, I think you’ll be completely ready to knit a beautiful afghan of your own, or as a gift that’s sure to be cherished!

Cables  & Ripples Afghan
Cables & Ripples Afghan
Photo: Jen A. Martin

Free Cabled Afghan Patterns

Cables and Ripples Afghan: This stunning design features alternating basic spiral-type cables and more dramatic flared cables.

Knit Quilt: This afghan was designed to alternate between honeycomb panels and cabled panels. If you wish, of course, you can skip the honeycomb panels and stick with the cabled panels.

Teatime Blanket with cables
Teatime Blanket
Photo: Anne B. Hanssen Design

Teatime Blanket: This beautiful, fully-cabled blanket is a lovely choice. You can make the blanket smaller or larger by reducing or increasing the number of pattern repeats.

Cable Knitting: This is a vintage pattern, and I do mean *vintage* — it was published in an Australian journal in 1887. As such, the pattern may be somewhat difficult to follow, thanks to its less-than-modern language. But the result will be a beautiful afghan, after you sew the strips described in the pattern together.

Knit Your Cables Afghan
Red Heart Knit Your Cables Afghan
Photo: Yarnspirations

Cable Sampler Blankets: Take any cabled afghan block pattern, knit as many as you want (with as many variations as you want), and seam them together to make a beautiful blanket! One you might like to try is Red Heart’s Knit Your Cables Afghan; you can also try my own cable square knitting pattern and make up a slew of cabled blocks to suit your fancy!

Cable Knitting Tutorials (Text-Based with Photos)

Cable Block, designed by me

And now, here’s a few tutorials for cable knitting, for anyone who may struggle with cables like Lisa, or have simply never tried knitting cables before and would like to give it a try.

How to Knit the Cable Stitch: First, I’d like to humbly offer my own cable knitting tutorial! When you’ve finished this tutorial, you’ll have a lovely cabled block (like the one you see here), perfect for seaming with other blocks for a beautiful afghan.

Doing the Twist: Basics of Cable Knitting Lion Brand has some terrific tutorials, and this clearly-illustrated and well-written explanation is easy to understand and follow.

Cable Tutorial I love this tutorial; it’s concise and well-illustrated. I also like that it features the use of a plain DPN as a cable needle rather than an actual cable needle. (Cable needles are terrific, but I’ve never used one and have found DPNs work just fine.)

Learn to Cable You can learn so much through this Knit Picks tutorial series! You can learn about 1 by 1, 2 by 2, braided cables, asymmetrical cables, and more! They also feature a fabulous set of video tutorials.

Cable What I love about this Purl Soho tutorial is that the photos are enormous. If you’re not sure of what the needles and yarn are supposed to be doing at any given time, this is the tutorial you need!

Video Tutorials

With new knitting techniques, sometimes photos don’t quite show us exactly what we need to see. That’s when video tutorials come in handy. Try any of the following.

Knitting Beginner Cable Tips and Tutorial

Tutorial: Basic Cable Knitting

How to Knit a Cable

Cable Knitting: How to Cable Knit for Beginners

How to Cable for Beginners

I hope you’re now truly motivated to knit a beautiful afghan loaded with elegant cables!

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