How to Knit a Horseshoe Cable Cowl with Buttons

This cowl, knit widthwise, is an excellent way to practice cable twists. The best part? Because you knit it widthwise, you can stop knitting whenever you feel you’ve had enough practice — or when the cowl is as long as you want it to be.

[Credit: ©Matt Bowen]
Credit: ©Matt Bowen

Here are the materials and vital statistics for this project:

  • Dimensions: 7 inches x 24 inches, but you can change the dimensions as you work

  • Yarn: 100% acrylic, 131 yards per 7 ounces (200 grams), 1 skein

  • Needles: One pair of US size 13 (9 mm) needles

  • Other materials: 4 buttons

  • Gauge: The horseshoe cable is 3 inches wide, and the seed stitch gauge is approximately 8 stitches and 10 rows per 4 inches with yarn listed here

Create the cowl:

  1. Using cable cast-on, cast on 50 sts.

  2. Follow this stitch pattern:

    Setup row (RS): P1, (k1, p1) twice, place marker, k8, place marker, (k1, p1) to end.

    Row 1, 3 (WS): (P1, k1) to marker, slip marker, p8, slip marker, (p1, k1) twice, p1.

    You have now begun seed stitch outside the markers and stockinette stitch inside the markers. This division remains the same throughout the pattern on every row except the cable row.

    Row 2 cable row (RS): Maintain the seed stitch pattern to marker, slip maker, sl next 2 sts to cn and hold in back, k2 from LH needle, k2 from cn, sl next 2 sts to cn and hold in front, k2 from LH needle, k2 from cn, slip marker, work established seed stitch pattern to end.

    Row 4: Maintain the seed stitch pattern to marker, slip marker, k8, slip marker, work established seed stitch pattern to end.

  3. Rep Rows 1–4 until cowl is approximately 7 inches, ending with a Row 3.

  4. Bind off all the stitches in pattern on the next row.

Create the button band

  1. Working along the side of the cowl without the cable, with RS facing, pick up and knit 14 sts along the edge.

  2. Follow this stitch pattern:

    Rows 1 and 3 (WS): Purl

    Row 2 (RS): K2, (yo, k2tog, k1) four times.

    Row 4 (RS): Bind off as if to purl.

Make sure that one yarn over makes a large enough hole for your button to go through. If you need a larger buttonhole, yarn over the needle twice in Row 2 to create a double yarn over pair. Then, on Row 3, drop one of the yarn overs in the double yarn over pair and purl the remaining yarn over. This approach keeps the stitch count the same on your row but allows the buttonhole to be larger.

  1. Finish by weaving in all the ends. Sew the buttons to the opposite side of the cowl adjacent to the buttonhole.

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