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How to stitch a cable stitch

How to stitch a cable stitch | Hello! Hooray!

This week in The Happy Stitch Project, I’m showing you how to stitch a cable stitch. It’s a bit like stem stitch from week 8, but you alternate the sides of the loops when making the stitches and this gives a slightly thicker effect.  Cable stitch is also known as alternating stem stitch or side-to-side stem stitch, and that makes complete sense! Although it is a bit confusing when stitches have a lot of different names isn’t it?! Just knowing that there are a few different names can help when it comes to identifying them.

The design that we’re working on from this week is something that we’re going to be building on over the next few weeks. I really wanted to learn some knots, because I only know one and that’s the French knot (from week 4). It felt like a good time to learn a few more! I thought it would be fun to stitch them all on one project, and this is a fun way to display them in a sort of sampler. As I said in this week’s project tutorial video, I wanted to come up with a snazzy name for it but I couldn’t – so ‘knot sampler’ it is!

How to stitch a cable stitch: materials list

A 15cm (6″) embroidery hoop

Some white linen fabric, or quilting cotton

An aqua trick marker pen, or another semi-permanent method of design transfer

Some DMC thread – I’m using shade 3810 here


Sharp scissors

Templates (click here to download)

Cable stitch knot sampler | Hello! Hooray!

Watch the tutorial videos

Watch the cable stitch tutorial here:

Watch the video for this week’s hoop here:

Step 1

Trace the design onto your fabric, and then place the fabric in your hoop. Thread a needle with 3 strands of embroidery thread, knot the end and trim the excess.

Step 2

Stitch a cable stitch around the edge of each circle as shown in the video. I have found that smaller stitches work best for curved edges – have a play around and see what works best for you!

What’s next?

So over the next few weeks, we’ll be learning different knots each week and filling in the circles. You could choose one of the circles this week and fill it in with French knots if you like – it doesn’t matter what colour you choose, just pick a circle and get stitching! If you want to see any of the other posts from The Happy Stitch Project, you can find them all here or via my links page.

How to stitch a cable stitch knot sampler hoop | Hello! Hooray!

You may also like…

See how we added French knots to the geo hoop earlier in The Happy Stitch Project:

Adding French knots to the geo hoop

Make your own floral buttonholes:

Make your own floral buttonholes

Or have a go at painting some simple watercolour birthday cards:

Watercolour birthday cards




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