The Honeycomb cable stitch knitting pattern

A step by step tutorial on the honeycomb cable found in so many sweater knitting patterns.

You will find it in most Aran sweaters and many hat patterns have it, but how do you actually knit the honeycomb cable stitch? It looks quite intricate and complicated, doesn’t it? But here’s the good news: It’s only a very easy 8-row repeat and quite easy to memorize.

A close-up of a swatch knitting with the honeycomb cable stitch in bright orange wool

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to knit this amazing pattern step by step. I wouldn’t say this is the best knitting stitch for bloody beginners, but it could be a fun idea for your third or fourth project.

Cables look best with good wool and other, non-fuzzy yarns industrial yarns. Anything that is hand-spun, shows irregularities, or blooms (like cashmere), is not the best choice for cable patterns like this one. It can still have its charm, but the pattern will be less clear to see.

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A swatch knitted with the honeycomb cable stitch in orange wool

Instructions:

Cast on multiples of 8 stitches.

  • Row 1: Knit (K) across all stitches
  • Row 2: Purl (P) across all stitches
  • Row 3: *Cable cross 4 back (C4B), Cable Cross 4 Front (C4F)*
  • Row 4: P
  • Row 5: K
  • Row 6: P
  • Row 7: *C4F, C4B*
  • Row 8: P

Repeat those 8 rows over and over again to create the beautiful honeycomb cable stitch,

Note: Repeat the stitches between the two asterisks (*) over and over again; I explain the different cable stitches here in case you need to catch up.

a swatch in honeycomb cable

Variations of the honeycomb cable

So, if you are looking a bit closer at the pattern, you are actually combining multiple 2×2 cables in a row and alternating the crosses every 4 rows. Once you understood this, you can create even bigger honeycomb stitches.

You could also cast on multiples of 12 and then alternate between right and left cross every 6 rows. Then the repeat will look like this:

Also, if you pay close attention, you can also cast on multiples of 6 (or 4 in the above example). The pattern just needs a certain width of at least 12 (or 8) stitches to start showing. Otherwise, you just get a tiny weeny meandering cable. If you cast on 18 stitches, you obviously will have to adjust the repeat in row 3 and 9 accordingly.

There is one thing you need to know about the honeycomb cable stitch, though. It is not a reversible pattern. That being said, the wrong side does look quite regular and somewhat interesting as well. For a blanket, I’d actually say it’s somewhat charming. For a scarf or a shawl, I guess it will depend on your personal preferences.

A very similar stitch is the Horseshoe cable stitch.

The wrong side of the honeycomb cable stitch. It's not a reversible pattern, but it kind of looks okay
The reverse side of the honeycomb stitch

Honeycomb cable in the round

You can easily knit the honeycomb cable in the round. It can be a great pattern for a hat. In this case, the repeat will look like this:

  • Row 1: Knit (K) across all stitches
  • Row 2: K
  • Row 3: *Cable cross 4 back (C4B), Cable Cross 4 Front (C4F)*
  • Row 4: K
  • Row 5: K
  • Row 6: K
  • Row 7: *C4F, C4B*
  • Row 8: K

It’s basically the same repeat. The only difference is that you can skip the purl rounds as you won’t be knitting from the wrong side. It’s even easier, eh?

So, that’s it. That’s how you knit the honeycomb cable stitch. Let me know in the comments how you like this pattern and feel free to ask your questions!

How to knit the honeycomb cable stitch pattern
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