Thursday, July 18, 2013

Free Pattern: Able Cable Cowl

This is where it all began--well, maybe not "all," but at least my free Able Cable blanket pattern began here, with my simple Able Cable Cowl pattern.  It's the "yes, you can cable!" which is especially kind to beginners, i.e., easy.

Feel free to scroll down for the free pattern--or indulge me and read on as I discuss cowls and related topics, like double chins.

You could probably check out the blanket pattern and do the math and figure it out for yourselves, but since I've already done it for you, why not take advantage?

The cowl is actually a little different from the blankets:  there is no extra line of stockinette ribbing in between each cable.  I love it with self-striping yarn, as it makes a vertical stripe, which is so slimming for the Neck of a Certain Age.

I can just hear you saying, "Oh, yes, it's our necks we're all worried about."

(Btw, the double-chin-free young woman pictured above wearing the cowl is not me!)

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with someone the other day.  She was waxing poetic about a certain garment which was so very slimming compared to a similar sort of garment which was not made of the same magical fabric.  (Okay, it was a swimsuit, and we all love to go swimsuit shopping, don't we?  If only they would stop putting those funhouse mirrors in the dressing rooms.  Not to mention the garish lighting that makes us look even pastier than we do in real life, as if we are a species of albino cave-dwellers who would be scorched and blinded by daylight.)

She said how much better the magical fabric swimsuit was than any other swimsuit she tried, and I said, "So it's basically a girdle," and she agreed.

But of course, no one calls it a girdle these days, because that is terribly old-fashioned, and if we call it something else, like, "Magic Pants," or "The WonderSuit," we can pretend it is some miraculous new fashion-forward type thing instead of an inner-organ-compressing, blood-flow-curtailing, mercilessly uncomfortable how-can-you-breathe-wearing-this-thing?

Luckily, she just barely stopped short of telling me I ought to rush right out and try one on, which would have sounded an awful lot like saying, "And by the way, you're fat, and you need this."

I use a good old Speedo swimsuit, a style I buy without even trying it on anymore.  No funhouse mirrors for me.  I know this style sufficiently covers all my bulges so I can swim laps and stay healthy without anything immodest flopping out inappropriately, and I couldn't care less whether I look slimmer in it, but that's just me.

I do know someone who crocheted a swimsuit for herself, or rather, a lie-on-the-beach-and-look-gorgeous bikini, and she could pull it off, if you'll pardon the kinda-pun.  Meaning she was cute enough.  She couldn't swim in it, as it would have sagged and probably fallen off, but swimming in it was not the goal.

Anyway, fall will come--cowl weather!--so all my friends who say they haven't put on a swimsuit in years, take heart!  And here, at last, is the free pattern.

Sign up to follow my blog and be among the first to know when I post a new free pattern!


© 2010, 2013 Reyna Thera Lorele
Ravelry: captainhook

I made this cowl with James C. Brett Marble Chunky, which has enough yarn in one huge ball to make 3 cowls!  One place you can find this yarn is The Yarn Attic.  They are on Facebook as well.

Finished size: 7.5 inches high by 25 inches circumference

Gauge:  3 sts per inch

110 yds. chunky yarn
Size 10.5 needles
Cable needle

k = knit
p = purl
sl = slip
st, sts = stitch, stitches
WS = wrong side

Special Stitch:
C4L = sl 2 sts to cable needle, hold in front of work, k2, then k2 from cable needle

Cast on 28 sts.
Knit 3 rows, increasing 2 sts on 3rd row (30 sts total).

Begin Pattern:
Rows 1, 3, and 5 (WS):  k6, (p4, k3) 3 times, k3
Row 2:  k3 (p3, C4L) 3 times, p3, k3
Row 4:  k3, (p3, k4) 3 times, p3, k3
Row 6:  Same as row 4.

Repeat rows 1 - 6 until length is around 24 inches, ending by working a WS row.
Knit 3 rows, decreasing 2 sts on first row.
Bind off.
Join beginning and end together to form cowl.  Weave in ends.  Block if needed.  Enjoy!

If you like this free pattern, you might also like this easy, inexpensive one, the Christina Cowl.


  1. Great pattern. I think I'll try and make a matching headband for my daughter with just one cable ........... emphasis on the try but - that's why knitting unravels so well - you can remake your errors :-)

  2. I am knitting this for my daughter - I'm using a thinner (cheaper!) wool really, as I am new to cable knitting - it looks great already. Thanks for the pattern!

  3. love cables, and need a project that I can knit in the car, meaning not alot of looking up and down. Would this fit the bill? I would probably also leave it as a scarf rather than sew it up as a cowl. Do you know anyone who has done this?


    1. Hi, yes, you could definitely make this as a scarf, but you will need more yarn to make it long enough. If you're comfortable with cables, it could be a car project, though I prefer not to bother with cable needles in the car. It's up to you--let us know how it goes! Have a great trip!


I love getting your comments. Thanks for sharing!