Friday, March 5, 2010

14 Cable Hat Knitting Pattern

Last summer, Keith bought me a skein of alpaca yarn from a farm we visited on Martha's Vineyard. The wool has character. It is not uniform thickness, but is still rich and soft and a pleasure to work with. I wanted to create something fun to showcase the beautiful texture. I present to you the 14-Cable Hat; with a ribbed brim for warmth and 14 different cables around the crown. The 14 Cables include: Braided Cable, Mock Wavy Cable Rib, Cable with Bobbles, Traveling Rope, Claw Cable, and Little Pearl Cable.


  • 1 Skein 100% Island Alpaca, Herd Mates Worsted Weight, 2 ply. About 40 yards/ounce. 5.89 Oz ($41.23). This yarn is from the Fleece of Peitro, Luna, Afteil and Tranquility. With 5.89 ounces, I should have 235 yards (according to the label).
  • Size 6 round needles.
  • cable needle
  • tapestry needle or crochet hook to weave in loose ends
  • Gauge: 9.5 sts/ 2 inches, 7 rows/inch. in stockinette

The Pattern:
  • Cast on 100 sts on circular needles
  • Join, Work in a 2x2 ribbing pattern (*K2, P2* repeat) for 33 rows or until the work measures ~5 inches.
  • Starting with row 1 of the chart, work Rows 43 rows of the cable chart . I would recommend placing markers before each P2. This should make it easier for you to keep track which cable you are on. The cable portion of the project should measure ~6 inches.

    The 43-row cable chart. You should open this file in a new window to see the details better. Alternatively, you can view the chart in higher resolution over two pages in the following PDF file. Please note that this PDF is on over-sized at 11x17., not standard letter paper.

    Key for the chart. This should also be opened in a new window and saved. Cables are shown color coded in addition to symbols to facilitate the translations.

  • Next Row: *P2tog, P1, Yo, K2tog* repeat across. (80 sts) (NOTE: Because of a question received I wanted to clarify that this decrease happens AFTER you are done working the cable chart.)
  • Work in a 2x2 ribbing pattern (*P2, K2* repeat) for 8 rows (just over 1 inch)
  • Bind off, keeping with the ribbing pattern.
  • Weave a piece of yarn through the YO's at the beginning of the ribbing, and tie tightly closed.
  • Weave in all loose ends, and Enjoy!
Images of the Project:

Stitchmarkers placed in between each of the cables makes it easier to keep track of your progress.

Demonstration of how to weave a piece of yarn through the YO's at the top to cinch the hat crown together. I used blue yarn in this picture to illustrate it better, but you would want to use yarn the same color as the rest of your hat.

Different views of the 14 Cable Hat

Rotations of the 14 Cable Hat. See it from every angle!

When I was working on my sampler afghan, I hated the complex cabled squares. It would have gone differently if these cables had been charted, rather than reading line by line instructions. If you want to extend the cable chart beyond the 43 rows, then you need to make sure that you end on an odd number row (when you have 100, not 101 sts) before you begin the decrease/YO round.

This chart is extended to 49 rows. The extra rows are shown in Red.

I wanted this hat to be as functional as it is fun. I designed a large ribbed brim so I would be able to stay warm while waiting for the bus. I also knit it tight since I have had other hand-knit hats stretch out a lot.

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:

Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
K - knit
P - purl
YO - Yarn Over
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.
P2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.

CN - Cable Needle
Key to Cable Charts

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2010 ChemKnits


  1. Nice-- both the finished project, which looks classy, and your write up with everything all organized for your readers. I'll bookmark this pattern to come back to later. Thank you for your time investment and generosity in sharing!

  2. That hat is beautiful. I think I'm going to try it for myself. Thank you for sharing. You do nice work. Eileen

  3. Actually, this hat is quite amazing! And must have taken LOTS of work to organize patterns and pics and a video for all of us. Thanks so much! Can't wait to cast on----

  4. Help!! The chart is for 80 stitches. I have 100 cast on and knitted in 2x2 ribbing. Do I work the decrease row BEFORE the chart?

  5. You're doing everything correctly! There are 100 stitches per row in the chart (I just counted to double check). You decrease the 100 stitches to 80 stitches AFTER you are done with the chart.

  6. A million thanks to you, Rebecca. I discovered on closer inspection that my printer had not copied ALL of the chart. Thank you so much for your quick response. I am using this pattern to teach my intermediate class the art of cableing. Love the pattern and am so excited to solve my dilema... You are the greatest.

  7. I was a bit worried there for a minute! I'm very happy to help!

    I would love to see some pictures of the final products (chemknitsblog at I hope you guys enjoy the cables. :)

  8. Wanted you to know, R, that my knitting group is totally non profit and we knit for pleasure and to help others. It is in no way business oriented; strictly fun and fellowship. Thanks again, so much for your help. When the hats are done I will get some pics and pass along to you. Sending you Christmas greetings and best wishes for the new year.

  9. It is my pleasure to have a pattern help out a knitting class. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

  10. Thankyou for the beautiful pattern! I made two hats and you can see the photos from Ravelry or from my blog

    Riina from Finland

  11. Ripsu, Thank you for sharing the link to your blog! The hats are beautiful!

  12. This just showed up today on my computer. What a beautiful pattern. Thank you so much for organizing so well for all of us knitters. I am eager to make one. It is a beautiful hat!
    Susan in Minnesota

  13. Hi, Love the hat EXCEPT the top area, any way you could just round it off. How could that be done?

    Could anyone make a suggestion and email me at

  14. In many cabled hats, you can use decreases to seamlessly let the cables flow into the top of the hat (eg. In this hat that would be more difficult because the cables are asymmetric.

    So without the ribbing, I might just do decreases at the top like in many other hat patterns:

    *k8, K2tog* repeat across (90 sts)
    *K7, K2tog* across (80 sts)
    *K6, K2tog* across (70 sts)
    ... etc until you get to 10 sts and then I'd K2tog across, pull yarn through remaining 5 sts and weave in loose ends.

    I haven't tried this, so I cannot say if this changes the length of the hat in a good or bad way, but it is certainly a way to finish the hat without having the bobble on top. Good luck!

  15. Are there any written directions for the 14 Cable Hat? I do have the charts, but they are
    blurry and many of the symbols are extremely hard to read and understand. Thank you so much...the hat is absolutely beautiful.

  16. Unfortunately I do not have written instructions for the hat, just the chart. I color coded the different cables in addition to using the symbols because they did come out a little hard to read.

    I have created a PDF so you can see the charts in higher resolution. The page size is not standard, but hopefully this will help:

  17. I have written out the directions for this hat. Please let me know if I can make it available for those who asks for it. Of course, all credits for the design of this lovely hat is stated in my written directions to Chemknits.

    M Gill

    1. M Gill,

      I do NOT give permission for my patterns to be re-published on any other website. I appreciate the effort that translating a chart can take, and understand that others would find these instructions useful. I would be happy to publish your written instructions on ChemKnits (giving you credit.) Please contact me via email to discuss this further.

      I am able to offer the majority of my patterns for free because of the ad revenue visitors to ChemKnits generate. Allowing instructions for one of my most popular designs to be hosted elsewhere would cost me money.

      Thank you for contacting me directly. I am glad that you have enjoyed my designs!

    2. Sorry that I was not clear. I meant that I will gladly convert the directions and send them to you for YOU to make available to others. As I re-read my post, I did not write it correctly what I was trying to say...I was recovering from surgery at the time and was on pain meds. lol. If you are still interested, I can send you the file. :)

    3. M Gill, I am definitely interseted! I think that other readers would find the written instructions useful, since the chart is pretty complicated due to the lack of repeats. Please email me the file at :) Thank you so much!!

  18. Hi, i would love the written pattern, as i have trouble with my eyes and I seem to be straining them with the patern

    1. Unfortunately I do not currently have written instructions to the pattern. Have you tried looking at the high resolution PDF of the chart? It is a huge chart because the hat is asymmetric.

  19. Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for this beautiful pattern! I'm knitting this as a Christmas gift and just about to finish up the cabled section. It looks great #humblebrag. Just one question. I'm a little confused though. If I finish the cables with row 43, I will have 101 stitches, but your directions say end on an odd numbered row so you have 100 stitches. Am I missing something? Thanks for your help!
    PS. I'm a visual learner so I found having a chart vs. a written pattern to be a wonderful tool!
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Matt,

      It looks like you're right... I must have ended someplace strange in my sample. If you end up with 101 stitches then I would start the next round with a P3tog before continuing the eyelets. (Since it gets gathered at this point it won't harm the overall appearance of the hat.)



    After ten tries. I've knitted for a long time but I normally don't do cables so I wanted practice and found your hat pattern. I love it! Might make another one eventually.

    1. I love the yarn that you used! The rainbow on the cuff and top is adorable, I think I'll have to do something like that on a project in the future. Thank you so much for sharing the picture, I LOVE seeing them!

  21. I loved the pattern and the yarn. I have never read a chart and would love the knit directions if they become available so that I can make one for myself. Please advise if they come available. The chart looks so complicated.

    1. Unfortunately I do not have written line by line instructions for this pattern at this time. Almost every single round is different and there are no repeats across the row, which would make writing out the directions fairly complicated. I am personally a visual person so the chart helps me keep the instructions organized. I like to cross out rows as I go with a highlighter to keep me on track. I always print out the key on a separate page so I have it as a reference as I go.

      If I ever write out directions I'll make sure to let people know!

  22. Do you think this would be a good hat for someone who just lost their hair via chemo?

    1. If knit with a very soft yarn then sure! Although it depends on the style preferences of the recipient, too.

  23. If M. Gill has sent you the written pattern, I would love to have them, as I cannot read charts yet. Where would I get them if you have them. Love this hat and cannot wait to try it. P.S. I would love to share them with my non profit knit group, "The Knit Wits".

    1. Unfortunately I don't have any written instructions for this pattern. If I ever do they'll be posted up in big bold letters at the beginning.

  24. I am not savy enough to do as you suggested to print the chart to a new window. I am 92 years old and love to knit and have made numerous sweaters with multiple cables but never a hat. I tried to print but of course I was unable to read it. The chart is much to small. It does look interesting. Thank you for the pictures, perhaps I may be able to figure it out sometime.

    1. I'm sorry that the file is so hard to see large. With 14 unique cables the chart is huge! The following is a link to the chart in a high resolution PDF over two pages. This can be zoomed in further. Hopefully it will help some.

  25. I wish I could read charts. I love the look of this hat. I'm new to knitting . I think I'll have to watch some video's on how to read charts. I'll be back. hopefully sometime some.

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