Jen Lucas

Owl Cable Stitch Pattern

Jen Lucas
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Duration:   16  mins

The Owl Cable is a popular motif used on top-down sweaters, hats, knitting baby items, and more. In this video, Jen Lucas demonstrates how to work the Owl Cable stitch pattern.

Jen begins by noting that there are several variations of the Owl Cable, and she is working a common one that is used in many knitting projects. Variations of this motif include, working a longer head or body section of the owl, using another stitch pattern like seed stitch for the center of the owl’s belly, and adding buttons for the eyes.

The stitch pattern is worked with a combination of knit stitches, purl stitches, and basic four-stitch cables. The cables used are the C4F (cable 4 front) and C4B (cable 4 back), which are worked as follows:

– C4F: Cable 4 Front. Slip 2 stitches purlwise to cable needle, hold in front. Knit 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

– C4B: Cable 4 Back. Slip 2 stitches purlwise to cable needle, hold in back. Knit 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.


The owl motif is created by working over 8 stitches. Jen has added a column of purl stitches to each side of the owl, so the pattern is being worked over multiple of 10 stitches. She has added some garter stitch to either side of the motif. She works the owl cable stitch pattern over 10 stitches, in between the stitch markers on her swatch as follows:

Row 1 (RS): P1, C4F, C4B, p1.

Row 2 (WS): K1, p8, k1.

Row 3: P1, k8, p1.

Rows 4 – 7: Rep rows 2 – 3 twice.

Row 8: Rep row 2.

Row 9: P1, C4B, C4F, p1.

Row 10: Rep row 2.

Row 11: Rep row 3.

Row 12: K1, p1, k2, p2, k2, p1, k1.

Row 13: P1, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1, p1.

Row 14: Rep row 2.

Row 15: Rep row 9.

Row 16: Rep row 2.

Rep rows 1 – 16 for pattern.

Once the 16 rows are complete, Jen explains how to work some different variations of the owl cable. She discusses how to change the rows for the eyes if you plan to sew on buttons instead of working the Reverse Stockinette stitch eyes that she demonstrated. She also explains how this motif can be worked in the round.


C4B: cable 4 back
C4F: cable 4 front
k: knit
p: purl
rep: repeat
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side

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