Free cable socks knitting pattern for men

A free knitting pattern for cable socks for men – top-down, with an inverted cuff, and mid-calf high

Lately, I have been traveling a lot. And since planes, cars, and trains are not especially the best place for big projects and complicated repeats, I felt compelled to start an easy cable socks knitting pattern. You know, something you can knit without thinking too much, but not so simple it looks boring.

a free cable knit socks pattern for men modeled on feet

Now, these cable socks are based on my Socke 2 knitting pattern. So, the general recipe is exactly the same. The only difference is that I exchanged the 4×2 rib with a 2×2 rib and added some cable stitch details in the middle. But for your convenience, I included a download form here directly in this article as well.

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the free cable sock pattern hot of the knitting needles

I love inverted cuffs. They don’t only look amazing, you can also use them to insert a rubber band for an extra neat fit around the calves. You could, of course, skip the instructions for the cuff altogether, and start with the chart right away. As everything is done in a 2×2 rib stitch, it will fit quite snuggly either way.

a beautiful cable knit sock pattern modeled on feet so you can see all sides

Depending on your cast-on, you could also add the cable pattern one more time on the backside. For men’s socks, I usually try to avoid fancy embellishments. I think a little detail is nice but too much and it will look too playful. Like most sock patterns, this is pretty much unisex, so do whatever you feel works for you.

Note: You could even skip the cables altogether and just knit the ribbing.

Materials you need for the cable socks

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.

different view of the cable knit boot socks from the ankle

If you have been following me for some time, then you might have noticed that I published a very detailed sock knitting course a couple of months ago. I basically used the scraps from these socks to knit these cable socks here. So, remember that this can be an option.

That being said, this is a pattern for intermediate knitters who finished more than just one sock.

The cable sock pattern

Men's cable sock knitting pattern

cable knit sock pattern for men seen from above

Please note that I can only provide you with a general recipe here. There are tons of resources here on my blog that can teach how to knit socks. So, here I just want to write down the general instructions and my notes for a men's size 9 (EU 41.5). The tutorial will show you how to figure out how many stitches you need to cast on for your size.

Basically, you could pick any other sock knitting pattern as well and paste the cable chart on it. If you need step-by-step instructions, then this easy sock pattern will be a very good start.

Active Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours


  • Fingering weight yarn for needles size 2.5 mm in 3 colors


  • DPNS size 2.5 mm. I am using the Knitter's Pride Karbonz here. You will need to sets (one set can be a needle size smaller, you only need it to pick up stitches)
  • A sharp tapestry needle


    1. Cast on 68 stitches (or however many stitches you need) with color A and a provisional cast-on.

      Round 1-24: *k2, p2*
      Round 25: Change to color B and knit across
      Round 26: Purl
      Round 27-51: Knit
      Round 52: Start by weaving in the ends from round 25 on the wrong side
      Change to color C
      Pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on and knit them together with current row; a bit like a 3-needle bind-off
      Round 53: *k2, p2*
      Round 54: Continue the 2x2 ribbing and start knitting according to the chart in the center of your socks.
      chart for these cable socks

      working on the cable socks knitting pattern
    2. Start with the heel-flap once you are satisfied with the length of your leg:

      Join in color B and knit across half of your stitches (rounded down to the next number dividable by 4; 32 in my case), turn the work around without finishing that round to start the heel flap, and put the remaining stitches on hold. Make sure that the cable motif is right in the center of the other half of the stitches.

      Row 1: *Sl1, k1*
      Row 2: *Sl1, p1*

      Repeat rows 1+2 19 more times or however many you need to cover the distance from your ankle knuckle to your sole (5.5 cm in my case).
    3. To turn the heel, knit to the exact center of your heel-flap continuing the slipped stitch pattern. And then:

      Row 1: K1, SL1, SSK, K1
      Row 2: SL1, p3, p2tog, p1

      Every right side row: SL1, knit up until 1 stitch before the gap, SSK, k1

      Every wrong side row: SL1, purl up until 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1

      From here, pick up color C again (and cut color B), place a stitch marker, pick up one stitch from the gap between the last needle and the heel-flap, and then pick up one stitch through every edge stitch of the heel flap (20 in my case) using a crochet hook. Knit across the heel, then pick up stitches from the other side of the heel-flap edge as well. Pick up one additional stitch from the gap, place a stitch marker, and then knit across the remaining stitches you put on hold before you started the heel flap following the cable/2x2 rib stitch pattern.
    4. Knit the gusset of your sock:

      Row 1: Slip the stitch marker, SSK, knit across up until 2 stitches before the next stitch marker, k2tog, knit the remaining stitches.
      Row 2: knit
      Repeat rows 1+2 until you are back to the original number of stitches (68 in my case)
    5. Knit the foot

      For the FOOT, knit the sole in plain stockinette stitch and continue the cable pattern surrounded by 2x2 ribs on the instep. You can stop knitting the leg once it reaches the middle of your pinky toe. You may consider carrying the stitch markers along, as they mark the places where you need to decrease the toes (but maybe attach them one row below so you don't have to slip them all the time).
    6. Knit the toes

      finishing the cable knit socks with a kitchener stitch

      Join in color BA again (and cut color c). Make sure you have an equal number of stitches on the top and bottom two needles (34 in my case; I need to shuffle around 2 stitches).

      Row 1-2: Knit

      Row 3: K1, SSK, knit across the first and second needle until there are only 3 stitches left, k2tog, k2, SSK, knit up until 3 stitches before the end of the fourth needle, k2tog, k1

      Row 4: knit
      Repeat rows 3+4 until you halved the number of stitches (17 in my case), then decrease in every row until you halved the number of stitches again (8 in my case).

      Finish the cable socks with a Kitchener stitch. And weave in the ends on the inside.


You can finish with the heel and toes of your choice. I always finish my socks with a Kitchener stitch and I do prefer a standard flap and gusset heel as it's a bit roomier and I feel more comfortable for men. But if you like it a bit easier, you could also knit it with a German Short Row Heel.

If you need the chart in a higher resolution or want it as a pdf, you can download that here.

Please note that these socks have not been test knit (unlike all my other patterns). So many asked me to provide a quick recipe and chart, and that’s why I did here. Given enough interest, I might develop a full pattern with different size options.

Anways, Those are my new my cable sock. Comment below if you need help or would want a full knitting pattern.

a free knitting patterns for cable socks for men

16 thoughts on “Free cable socks knitting pattern for men”

  1. I think you need to substitute “FOOT” in the paragraph between the gusset & the toes. . .

    Love the cable pattern so planning to use it for my first cabled socks. Usually I knit lace ones.

  2. I do hope you make a pattern as I am a little confused right now on the first read-through. Im also curious if i could knit this toe up and still get the two color cuff

    • Probably..i mean, you won’t be able to knit them together for a super invisible seam, but you could graft the two sides together.

  3. Hallo Norman,

    Ich möchte mein Deutsch üben, aber andere Zuschauer könnte vielleicht nicht verstehen, deshalb schreibe ich auf Englisch fort.

    This pattern is wonderful. I just finished my first pair, and I love them. The pattern is easy to read and understand and a joy to knit.

    All the best! Alles Gute!
    Viel Glück in Wien!



  4. I’ve never seen an inverted cuff before and I love it! I always hate the way a cuff looks for some reason, and I tried every which way. I am ready for yours!

    They look lovely and will make (if I manage to complete them) Christmas gifts for my in-laws. I do have a question about picking up stitches from the provisional cast-on and how to fold the cuff. Is there any way of getting some photos added on this in way of a tutorial, or more detailed instructions?

    • No…i would have to re-knit the whole socks so that’s not quite that easy. But if you follow the link for the provisional cast-on I show you how to do that there

  5. Hi Norman,

    In the chart (nearly) all the rows have 10 purls and 10 knits total. Then there’s row 25 with a small mistake – one purl is missing and it’s not symmetric.

    But I wonder about rows 30 (6 purls total) and 31 (8 purls total) – is it intentional that the some of the stitches between the cables turn from to knits? (Rows 44-45 otherwise mirror that vertically but keep 10 purls each – it’s interesting to see it not actually being symmetric)

    • Row 25 is “obviously” a mistake. Thank you for catching that.
      As for rows 30 and 31, that too is a mistake, it should be purl cables. Ill update the chart accordingly. thank you!

  6. I’m having trouble with the cables in your pattern. From what I understand, a Cr2F is a 2 stitch cable, but your graph seems to show it covering a 3 stitch space. Same with the Cr2B. The first Cr2F seems to start at stitch 8 and go to stitch 10, but when I follow the instructions out on the Web, I wind up only covering Stitches 8 and 9. The purl stitch at #10 is still there, looking at me. How does that #10 purl stitch get used in the Cr2F? All the rest of them make sense. I’ve already knitted the cuff. I love that. I’ve never seen or knitted one like it. Thanks for a beautiful pattern. One other question. What was your gauge? You didn’t say and no one else has asked.

  7. Hi, love the pattern, however I’m having the same problem as Elaine did with the first set of cable stitches. I’m wondering if it should it be Cr3F if it’s covering three stitches. All the tutorials online say “slip next stitch to cable needle, hold at front of work, P1 from left needle, K1 from cable needle”. That’s two stitches, right?

    • Well, there is no international standard for cables crosses. Typically the number counts the knit stitches only.
      Either way, it’s covering 3 stitches but only 2 of them are knit stitches. So you cross 2 knit stitches and purl one.

      • Thanks for clearing that up. It’s a bit like sign language and crochet stitches with respect to non-standardised practices!


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