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How to Knit Reversible Cable Ribbles

Learn how to knit Reversible Cable Ribbles with this easy technique. Have you ever wished your cable patterns looked identical on both sides of your work?

Ribbles are double-sided rib stitch cable textures. They look great in scarves and blankets, no matter which side is showing.

Please continue reading to see all of the knitting techniques with up-close photos and step-by-step video tutorials — along with printable written instructions — to knit this free pattern today.

Comparing standard one-sided cables to double-sided reversible cable samples.

We will first take a look at a standard rope cable, then see how to modify it as a reversible design with sample variations. Once you see the basic construction of double-sided cables, I hope you’re inspired to knit up your own swatches and knit new project designs!

Table of Contents

💖 About Reversible Cable Knitting

What are Ribbles?

  • RIBBLES = RIB + CABLES
  • This ribbing technique creates a reversible cable texture, pulling in the stitches with purl stitches hidden within the knit stitches on both sides.

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Project Ideas

Because this pattern is visually identical on both sides, reversible cables are a great choice for scarves and blankets that typically show the right and wrong sides during use.

Hands holding Reversible Cable Stitch Ribbles on Seed Stitch Background in pink color yarn.

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Reversible Ribbed Cable Stitches

  • The samples are knitted in the 4/4R cable stitch, which is a technique with four stitches crossing right over the next four stitches.
  • Rather than knitting all stitches as we do in many standard cables, we will be using the 1×1 stitch to create our reversible cable samples.
  • To modify standard cable stitches into a double-sided texture, it is preferable to choose even-numbered techniques such as 2/2, 4/4, or 6/6 cables. It is possible to make reversible cables with an odd number of stitches, but they will not look quite as symmetrical.

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Reversible Backgrounds

  • Not only are our ribbed cables reversible, but the background texture is a design that shows identically on both sides.
  • Sample patterns are knitted in the following reversible knit stitch backgrounds: Garter, 1×1 Rib, and Seed.
Reversible Cable Backgrounds with Garter, 1x1 Rib, and Seed Stitch knitting patterns.

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Placing Stitch Markers

Stitch Markers with yarn to section background and cable textures on knitting needle.
  • It’s helpful to place stitch markers on either side of your cable section.
  • This allows you to best keep track of the location of your background stitches and cable texture as you knit row-by-row.
  • I simply use little scraps of yarn to mark my stitch sections… so easy and free!

📺 Watch Video Tutorial

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🧶 Knitting Supplies

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Feel free to use any size yarn and needles for your creative project. My samples were knit in Cascade 128 Superwash yarns with size 10 US knitting needles. For my cable needle, I simply use a short double-pointed needle.

Knitting supplies with Cable Ribbles, yarn, knitting needles, cable needle, tapestry needle, and scissors.

💖 Sample Cable Knitting Patterns

The following swatch samples include both written and charted pattern instructions, along with close-up photos of their right and wrong sides.

ONE-SIDED: 4/4R Cable Stockinette Stitch on Reverse Stockinette Background

  • To easily understand how to create double-sided cables, let’s first look at a standard one-sided pattern of an easy rope 4/4R cable design.
  • You can easily see that this non-reversible cable stitch is knit in the smooth stockinette stitch with a visually distinct dimension.
  • The cable stitches are all knitted and its background is the reverse stockinette texture.
One-sided 4/4R Cable Stitch Rope on Reverse Stockinette Background with right and wrong sides.

Knitting Instructions:

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches.
  • Rows 1, 3, and 7: P8, K8, P8
  • Rows 2, 4, 6, and 8: K8, P8, K8
  • Row 5: P8, 4/4R, P8

One-Sided 4/4R Knitting Instructions: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches from your main needle, then knit four stitches from your cable needle.

Repeat Rows 1 – 8 to the length desired.

Knitting Chart:

Knitting Chart of Basic 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

DOUBLE-SIDED: Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1×1 Rib on Garter Stitch Background

  • Next, let’s look at a swatch knitted with the two-sided reversible cables for a 4/4R cable stitch.
  • This reversible cable stitch is created with 1×1 ribbing and is less distinct.
  • Its background is the Garter Stitch texture.
Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch on Garter Stitch Background with right and wrong sides in green color yarn.

Knitting Instructions:

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches
  • Rows 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8: K8, K, P, K, P, K, P, K, P, K8
  • Row 5: K8, 4/4R, K8

4/4R in 1×1 Rib Knitting Instructions: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

Repeat Rows 1 – 8 to the length desired.

Knitting Chart:

Knitting Chart of with Garter Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

DOUBLE-SIDED: Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1×1 Rib on Seed Stitch Background

  • Here’s another swatch knitted with the double-sided reversible cables for a 4/4R cable stitch.
  • This reversible cable stitch is also created with 1×1 ribbing.
  • Its background is the Seed Stitch texture.
  • As a result, the cable pattern pops out of the background, making it a great choice.
Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch on Seed Stitch Background with right and wrong sides in pink color yarn.

Knitting Instructions:

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches
  • Rows 1, 3, 7: * K1, P1 *
  • Rows 2, 4, 6, and 8: P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K2, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
  • Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, 4/4R, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1

4/4R in 1×1 Rib Knitting Instructions: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

Repeat Rows 1 – 8 to the length desired.

Knitting Chart:

Knitting Chart of with Seed Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

DOUBLE-SIDED: Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1×1 Rib on a 1×1 Rib Stitch Background

  • Here is the last swatch example knitted with the two-sided reversible cables for a 4/4R cable stitch.
  • This reversible cable stitch is created with 1×1 ribbing.
  • Its background is also the 1×1 Rib Stitch.
  • As a result, the cable texture is less distinct, blending somewhat into the over swatch design.
Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch on 1x1 Rib Stitch Background with right and wrong sides in blue color yarn.

Knitting Instructions:

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches
  • Rows 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8: * K1, P1 *
  • Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, 4/4R, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1

4/4R in 1×1 Rib Knitting Instructions: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1×1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

Repeat Rows 1 – 8 to the length desired.

Knitting Chart:

Knitting Chart of with Rib Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

Printable Knitting Instructions

Reversible Cable Stitch Ribbles on Seed Stitch Background in pink color yarn.

Printable Knitting Instructions

Yield: 3 Variations of Reversible Cable Ribbles
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate

Learn how to knit Reversible Cable Ribbles with this easy technique. Ribbles are double-sided rib stitch cable textures. They look great in scarves and blankets, no matter which side is showing.

Materials

  • Yarn - Any gauge

Tools

  • Knitting Needles – Appropriately sized for your yarn
  • Cable Needle
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Scissors

Instructions

    Garter Stitch Background
    Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1x1 Rib

    Reversible Cable Stitch Ribbles on Garter Stitch Background in green color yarn.

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches
  • Rows 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8: K8, K, P, K, P, K, P, K, P, K8
  • Row 5: K8, 4/4R, K8

    4/4R: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

    Knitting Chart of with Garter Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

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    Seed Stitch Background
    Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1x1 Rib

    Reversible Cable Stitch Ribbles on Seed Stitch Background in pink color yarn.

  • Cast On: 24 Stitches
  • Rows 1, 3, 7: * K1, P1 *
  • Rows 2, 4, 6, and 8: P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K2, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
  • Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, 4/4R, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1

4/4R: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

    Knitting Chart of with Seed Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

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    1x1 Rib Stitch Background
    Reversible 4/4R Cable Stitch in 1x1 Rib

    Reversible Cable Stitch Ribbles on 1x1 Rib Stitch Background in blue color yarn.

    • CO: 24 Stitches
    • Rows 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8: * K1, P1 *
    • Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, 4/4R, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1

    4/4R: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

      Knitting Chart of with Rib Stitch and Reversible 8-Stitch Right-Crossing Cable stitch 4/4R.

    Notes

    KNITTING TECHNIQUES

    • COCast On Long Tail
    • KKnit Stitch
    • PPurl Stitch
    • 4/4R in 1x1 Rib Knitting Instructions: Slip four stitches on your cable needle and hold back. Knit four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your main needle, then four stitches of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1, K1, P1) from your cable needle.

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    REPEAT ROWS 1 - 8 to the length desired.

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    I hope you are inspired to knit up reversible cable ribble designs in your next knitting project.

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