Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reversible Cable Scarf Pattern

A few years ago I saw a scarf in a yarn shop that was reversible cable. I took a quick glance and continued shopping. The theory of that scarf stuck with me and when I was home I decided to come up with a design. I grabbed some Woolease, cause it was hanging around the house and, well, if the scarf didn’t work out I didn’t lose much money in the process. One thing I decided in the process was I should have used a larger needle to make the scarf softer. Every once in a while I pull it out and add a few more rows on it. I’ve never finished the scarf but decided to post the pattern, as is, and let you play with it and decide if I’m crazy or it’s a good design.

The pattern isn’t my normal "completely written out" pattern. You will need to fill in a few blanks on your own. Read through – make a few decisions and make your own version of this scarf. I think you’ll like it if you try it. I made mine in grey planning on giving it to a guy as a present when finished – maybe someday….

Which Way is Up Cable Scarf
Jill Chatelain

Yarn: worsted weight. I used 2 skeins Woolease so far. I think that will be enough to make one long enough
Needles: size 7. Next time I would use a size 9 to make a softer (less stiff) fabric.

Basic design- moss stitch border at ends, garter stitch border with 1 added knit st at edges, background to set off cables in moss stitch, 2 cables worked with k1-p1 base.

Cast on 36 sts. Work moss st 10 rows.
Row 1: k4; p1; moss st 3; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 4; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3
Repeat row 1 every row except – every 10th row work a cable row.
Cable Row (10th row): k4; p1; moss st 3; work cable (place next 4 st on holder in front, k1-p1-k1-p1 next sts, work sts on holder k1-p1-k1-p1); moss st 4; work cable; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3

Repeat the 10 rows to desired length ending with 10 rows of moss st. Bind off.

Update 3/8/10: I've had a few questions about the pattern main row. So I'll try to answer them here. Row 1 is correct. There are 3 garter sts at each end and next to those are a k/p (1 rib)combination to divide the border from the body. The cables are 8 stitches - k-p 4 times. Between the cables are moss stitches - 3 sts on the outsides and 4 sts in between. So a very carefully written out row 1 is:
Update 11/21/10: There was a recent comment about moss stitch. For those who do not know what the moss stitch is - it is a very basic and easy stitch to create a reversible texture. It is also called seed stitch.
row 1 - k1-p1 across
row 2 - do the opposite stitch as the row below so instead of a k1-p1 rib you get little "seed" stitches.
Looking at a moss (seed) stitch panel would would see:
k p k p k p
p k p k p k
k p k p k p
p k p k p k
Hope this helps!
And to the thousands of people who have been stopping by to check out this pattern - Welcome!
The scarf was eventually finished and I posted it on Ravelry as Which Way is Up Cable Scarf.

Update 2/16/2013: This page has had just short of 63,000 hits. I find that totally amazing beyond belief! I've ignored this post other than to come here occasionally to see how many people have looked at it but now - I see the pattern just isn't going away. You really like it so, I will be working on writing this up as a more traditional pattern in the coming days and post a note at the top of this post when it is available. The new pattern will continue to be free.


Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm going to give this a try.

Toni said...

Looks great!

Caley said...

This is a great pattern! I'm an editor for, and I took the liberty of linking to your blog from my roundup blog post of free scarf knitting patterns. You can check it out here. I also just published a collection of free scarf knitting patterns at our website if you are interested. Thanks for sharing!

Nick said...

I am a new knitter and started this pattern. I cast on 36 stitches and did the moss stitch but counting the stitches for the next part only seems to be 28... am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Nick, any chance the pattern is written assuming the first 4 and last 4 are border and continued in the seed stitch the length of the scarf?
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain the moss stitch?

Rebecca said...

This was my first try at a cable scarf and the finished product looks great! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I’m brand new to knitting (have just completed a ribbed scarf) and even newer to reading patterns (yours is the first!)… I was wondering if you would be willing to write out this pattern. I understand the first 10 rows after cast on are moss, but I’m getting lost after that. (Especially how one puts moss into the middle of a row with other things going on…) Many thanks!

Jenny Fealy said...

Made this up as a cowl - gave it a twist and joined it when it was metre long. Looks great!

Jenny Fealy said...

Made this as a cowl - gave it a twist and joined it up. Looks great. Ta.

Carmen S said...

I am halfway done with my scarf and am thrilled at how it looks so far. I modified it slightly. I made the garter st border 5 sts wide instead of 3 and I made the short edge border garter st to match and only did 4 rows because I am going to add fringe when I am done.

This is something I realized while I was working this that may be helpful to those confused by doing moss/seed stitch in the middle of a row: if you make sure all the moss stitch sections are worked over an odd number of sts, it will make it easier to handle because the same pattern of sts will be done on both sides of your work. For this pattern, that would mean changing the center section to either 3 or 5 sts instead of 4 sts in moss st.

To illustrate, if you decrease the middle moss st section to 3 sts, then all of your rows, even when you flip your work, would be:

K3 (outer border), K1 P1 (inner border), K1 P1 K1 (moss st), K1 P1 4x (cable), K1 P1 K1 (moss st), K1 P1 4x (cable), K1 P1 K1 (moss st), K1 P1 (inner border), K3 (outer border).

I hope that helps!

Marge Daboll said...

This is not so much comment, as cat story.
I had a co-worker who thought I was a bit strange by the way I talked about my cat. She had a daughter who brought home a kitten and said "Can I keep it Mommy?" She had to admit that some nights they turned off the TV to watch the cat.
She put the cat out every AM when she went to work. Kitty was usually waiting at the door when she got home, but not always. She would unlock the door, clap her hands at the cat who would run upstairs and "Hide" in the bathtub. One night she had a date, so she asked her baby sitter to keep her daughter a little longer, and when she got home she went upstairs to draw a bath to freshen up - then heard the cat at the door. She went to the door, let the cat in, clapped her hands at the cat who, as was his habit, ran upstairs and proceeded to "Hide" in the tub. He was in mid-air when he realized there was WATER down there. She said she had never seen an animal go into so many contortions to avoid landing in the water, but the inevitable happened and she then had to dry off a cat - and mop up the bathroom before she could freshen up for her date.

Anonymous said...

what is the finished width of this scarf? It's terrific!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pattern, Jill. It's my first cable knit. The moss st was new to me, so it took a few tries, but the scarf looks great!

LadyWhoSews said...

Lovely, and thank you so much for sharing. I have been looking for a reversible cable pattern for years, literally!!!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your site. Have no idea how I got here. LOL I'm going to get started on the scarf right away, looks super! Thanks for posting.

Jean J

Nicola Trumbull said...

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I see you have lots of other great patterns on your site as well and I would be interested in featuring even more! If you are interested in featuring more projects like this one with links to your site, I can create a nice bio page for you as well as one of my Featured Knitting Designers. This page will include your bio and links to your site as well as any social media you would like to promote.

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Please let me know if you would like to get started. Just a reply to this e-mail is all it takes.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Nicola Trumbull, Editor
Prime Publishing LLC
3400 Dundee Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
847-205-9375 Main | 847-513-6099 Fax

Shirley H. said...

I can't wait for the instructions. I had hard time understanding them the first time. I will be looking forward to the pattern. Thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever make this a normal "completely written out" pattern?

Fran said...

I make baby blankets for charity and always make them in a reversible pattern. I've looked at so many cable patterns that weren't reversible that I'd almost given up! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll just call it an extra-wide reversible scarf :)

Connie K. Young said...

Is there a pattern for a Men's / Ladies Hat to match this? Getting ready to make the scarf! Love the looks of it. Thanks, Connie

Nick Q. said...

Thank you for creating this pattern and posting it for free. I loved it so much that I just finished knitting a second one. The first one I made out of a cream tweed and it turned out gorgeous. It is a perfect cable scarf pattern and thankfully it is stored in my memory for when I want to make another.