This year, I made it a goal to learn new crochet techniques. One of things I wanted to learn was how to create crochet cables, so that’s what I did. I expected it to be a little difficult, but it wasn’t. In fact, once you understand the stitches you’re making, creating crochet cables is almost second nature! In this post, I’ll teach you how to crochet cables and how to make a very simple cabled earwarmer! Keep reading for the video, tutorial and pattern 🙂
How to Crochet Cables
Before you start:
To work this pattern, there are only two stitches you need to know: half double crochet (HDC) and treble crochet (Tr).
For HDC, all you need to do is yarn over, insert your hook into the space and pull up a loop, then YO again and pull through all three loops. You can check out this video to see how to do it step-by-step.
For treble stitches, start by wrapping the yarn around the hook twice. Then insert your hook into the space and pull up a loop. You now have 4 loops on the hook. YO and pull through 2 loops. Repeat the last step 2 more times and that’s your treble stitch. It’s sometimes called a triple crochet (TC). Here’s a video on it!
Tr/rf = a treble that is worked around the post of another stitch by inserting the hook under and around the stitch rather than into the space.
Tr/rb = a treble that is work around the post of a stitch on the back/ wrong side of the piece.
Start with a chain of 15 stitches. (So sorry these pictures are a little grainy! You can still see what’s going on, but the video is clearer!)
1. Work a HDC into each space, starting with the second chain from the hook (14 HDCs). At the end of the row, chain 2 and turn.
2. Start a treble stitch by wrapping the yarn around the hook twice, then insert your hook under the first HDC and pull up a loop around the HDC. Finish the Tr normally. This is a tr/rf. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, so take a look at the pictures and the video to help you out!
Now, HDC 2 times, and then tr/rf 6 times over the next 6 stitches. These 6 stitches will be the cables. Next, HDC 2 times, work another tr/rf, and HDC into the turning chain. This is the first row. Chain 2, turn.
3. For the second row, we’ll be working into the trebles in the same way, but from behind. So, with the wrong side facing you, tr/rb by wrapping your treble stitch around the post of the treble behind (on the right side).
Now, finished the row. HDC 2, tr/rb 6 times, HDC 2, tr/rb and HDC into the turn chain. Chain 2, turn.
4. This row is where the cables cross over each other. Start off normally with a tr/rf and the 2 HDCs. To make the cables cross over, skip 3 trebles and work 3 tr/rf into the next 3. This brings the cables from the left side over to the right.
Then, work 3 tr/rf into the 3 spaces you skipped. You don’t have to do anything special, just go back and work those stitches to bring the right side over to the left.
Now, finished the row with HDC 2, tr/rf and HDC into the turning chain. Chain 2, turn. See how the cables met at the center and crossed?
Okay, now for the last row.
5. Tr/rb around the post of the treble below, and HDC 2. For the 6 trebles in the middle, keep in mind that they’re crossed over now and to work straight across, you need to keep them in the right order. Follow the lines of the cables and tr/rb 3 times, starting with the ones closest to you.
Then work 3 tr/rb stitches into the trebles that are behind and slanted. They may be a little hard to see but you can feel them. Finish the row with HDC 2, tr/rb and HDC into the turn chain. Chain 2, turn.
And there you go, that’s how you work crochet cables! It sounds like a lot of complicated steps but you’re really just using raised trebles as your cables and guiding them in the right directions. If the written instructions and the pictures seem hard to follow, I highly recommend you take a look at the video that goes along with it. It’s kind of long (about 20 minutes!), but you can see every step and work along with me.
Here is the same piece after I’ve worked 3 repeats.
You can see the pattern much more clearly after you’ve made it longer. For this, I just repeated steps 2-5 a few more times. Another tip I noticed while working this is that the cables show up much better with lighter colored yarn than on darker colors. I practiced with navy yarn at first, and although it was nice, it wasn’t as pronounced as with this baby pink.
Cabled Earwarmer Pattern
Alright, now that you know how to make cables, let’s put that sample piece to use! I hate working up swatches and having nothing to do with them afterwards, so I like to come up with little things that are good for both practice and as actual items. So, I turned this crochet cable sample and turned it into a snuggly earwarmer/headband! It was super easy and didn’t involve anything new to worry about.
This is basically just repeating the cable pattern above until you have a strip that’s long enough to go around your head, but I’ll write it out in a more concise way here.
Holding two strands of yarn together (or one strand and a 4.00mm hook), chain 15 and turn.
1. Starting with the second chain from the hook, HDC along in each space. Then, chain 2 and turn (14 stitches).
2. Tr/rf around the first HDC, HDC 2, tr/rf 6 times, HDC2, tr/rf and HDC into the top of the turning chain. Chain 2, turn.
3. Tr/rb around the first treble, HDC 2, tr/rb 6 times, HDC 2, tr/rb and HDC into the top of the turning chain. Chain 2, turn.
4. Tr/rf, HDC 2, skip the first 3 trebles and tr/rf into the next 3. Then, tr/rf into the 3 trebles you skipped, HDC 2, tr/rf, and HDC into the top of the turning chain. Chain 2, turn.
5. Tr/rb, HDC 2, tr/rb 6 times making sure to follow the new order of the cables, HDC 2, tr/rb, and HDC into the top of the turning chain. Chain 2, turn.
Repeat steps 2-5 until you have a strip long enough to go around your head. You’ll notice that the crochet cables become more obvious as you go. You can leave it a tiny bit short if you want a snug fit, but it should be able to go around your head comfortably.
6. Bind off, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail yarn through a tapestry needle and use it to seam the short ends together. Weave in any loose ends and you’re all done!
And you’re done!
I love the way it looks and crochet cables are pretty easy to recreate once you get the hang of it. The blue one was actually my first attempt at cabling and although it’s a little shaky in places, I think it came out wonderfully! I really encourage your to take a look at the video; it’s long but it really helps and it’s much clearer quality than the pictures. I have a Youtube account where I posted other tutorials before I moved to The Blue Elephants, and I’ll be working on adding more videos in the future. Let me know what else you would like to see and be sure to subscribe down below for updates and freebies like concise PDFs of patterns, extra guides and other bonuses in the resource library!
See you soon <3