An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.
Lace and Cables Table Runner
I have to admit that I create most of my knitting patterns simply to make something for myself. And this is certainly the case with my latest free knitting pattern, the lace and cables table runner.
I had wanted to make a table runner for a long time. I wanted a runner with an interesting pattern of stitches that would fit in a formal environment but would also look at home in a casual setting. I think this design does both: using columns of different design motifs, this runner will look great in any room, for any occasion. And just for a little fun and color, I wove a ribbon up each side through the eyelet stitches. I've included directions at the bottom for how to add this ribbon detail, but it is completely optional.
Some Helpful Hints Before Starting
This pattern uses a variety of stitches and is probably best suited for an experienced knitter or an adventurous beginner. It may seem a bit complicated at first, but the pattern features only eight repeating rows, and you'll quickly get the hang of it.
- In describing this pattern, I think of it as a series of designs moving across the width of the table runner. To make it easier to follow the pattern while knitting, I've grouped these design motifs in parenthesis. Although this does not follow the standard structure of knitting patterns, I found that this helped me identify which stitch I was on when working each row.
- This pattern features a double yarnover (for example, k2tog, yo, yo, ssk) that I've used before in some of my other designs. For a video tutorial on how to knit through the double yarnover, please visit my blog.
- The center motif of this runner has a pesky purl stitch that goes into a yarnover. On Row 1 of the pattern, the center design reads "p1, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, k3, p1". For the first yo, just bring your yarn over the needle, then go right into the purl stitch. Do not bring the yarn forward and wrap it 360 degrees around the needle, as you might in other patterns. When working this center design on Row 2, that purl stitch and yarnover might look a little weird. Just be careful to follow the pattern, and it should be alright!
- Two skeins of Caron Simply Soft (5 oz, 250 yards) in grey heather: I used one and 1/4 skeins because it's what I had, but I wished I had more.
- Size #7 needle (or the correct needles to get gauge)
- Tapestry needle to weave in ends
- About five yards of Athena ladder novelty yarn (optional) to weave up the sides
- Gauge: 20 sts x 24 rows = 4 inches (10 cms) in Stst
- Size: 9 1/2 inches wide by 31 inches long (unblocked)
- 13 inches wide by 36 inches long after blocking
Abbreviations Used in Pattern
- k = knit
- p = purl
- pm = place marker
- k2tog = knit 2 sts together
- ssk = slip 2 sts (separately) knitwise, then knit together through the back loop
- tbl = through the back loop
- sl 1 = slide one st purlwise
- psso = pass slipped st over last knit st
- LT = go behind 1st st , knit 2nd st tbl, then knit 1st st tbl, slip both sts off the needle
- RT = from the front, skip 1st st, knit 2nd st, then knit 1st st, slip both sts off the needle
I chose not to put a bottom and top border on my runner to give it more of a casual look. To do this, I just cast on and started knitting from Row 1 of the pattern.
However, if you'd like to put a border all around your runner, cast on 65 sts. Work 12 rows is seed st, starting and ending each row with a knit stitch. Then begin the pattern below.
CO 65 stitches
Row 1: (k1, p1, k1) p1, (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), pm, (p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1, p1), pm, (LT, p1, k2, p1, RT), pm, (p1, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, k3, p1), pm, (LT, p1, k2, p1, RT), pm, (p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1, p1), pm, (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), p1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 2: (k1, p1, k1), k1, (p4), (k1, p7, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p6, k1, p6, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p7, k1), (p4), k1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 3: (k1, p1, k1), p1, (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), (p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog tbl, p1), (k2, p1, k2, p1, k2), (p1, k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, yo, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, p1), (k2, p1, k2, p1, k2), (p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog tbl, p1), (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), p1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 4: (k1, p1, k1), k1, (p4), (k1, p7, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p6, k1, p6, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p7, k1), (p4), k1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 5: (k1, p1, k1), p1, (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), (p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1, p1), (LT, p1, k2, p1, RT), (p1, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, p1), (LT, p1, k2, p1, RT), (p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1, p1), (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), p1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 6: (k1, p1, k1), k1, (p4), (k1, p7, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p6, k1, p6, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p7, k1), (p4), k1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 7: (k1, p1, k1), p1, (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), (p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog tbl, p1), (k2, p1, k2, p1, k2), (p1, k2tog, k1, yo, k3, p1, k3, yo, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, p1), (k2, p1, k2, p1, k2), (p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog tbl, p1), (k2tog, yo, yo, ssk), p1, (k1, p1, k1).
Row 8: (k1, p1, k1), k1, (p4), (k1, p7, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p6, k1, p6, k1), (p2, k1, p2, k1, p2), (k1, p7, k1), (p4), k1, (k1, p1, k1).
Repeat Rows 1 through 8 of Lace & Cables pattern until you reach your desired length, ending with Row 8.
If you added a bottom border when you began the pattern, knit 11 rows in seed stitch, beginning and ending each row with a knit st. Then bind off in pattern.
If you decided not to put a beginning and ending border on your runner (same as I did), I suggest you finish using the half-stretchy bind off. This will give you an ending row that looks similar to your cast on row. To do this:
First, work one more right side row by knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches. Leave out all the fancy increases, decreases, and twisted sts.
Then begin half-stretchy bind off on WS row. To begin, knit the first st, then follow the steps below:
- Slip 1 st to the right needle.
- With these 2 sts still on the right needle, knit them together tbl.
- Knit 1 st (or purl 1 st, staying in pattern).
- Bind off as normal.
Continue these four steps until you have 1 st left. Cut your yarn and pull the end through your last st.
Then weave in your ends and give your runner a light block. I would suggest pinning down your runner while it is dry and spraying it to wet it down rather than soaking it.
Adding Woven Detail
Adding the woven ribbon detail to your table runner is completely optional but easy. I used some ladder ribbon yarn, and I like the hint of color and texture it adds. I doubled this ladder yarn because the spaces between the colored steps were so long, but you could also use any thin ribbon, lace trim, or contrasting yarn as your woven detail. Just be sure it will fit through the eyelets that run up the sides of your runner.
First, when blocking your runner, be sure to stretch the length a little bit to open up the eyelets created by the k2tog, yo, yo, ssk.
You want to weave your ribbon or yarn in after your runner has dried after blocking, but while it is still pinned down. Thread your ribbon/yarn through your tapestry needle and leave about a two-inch tail at your starting point. Then starting from under your runner, begin to weave your detail ribbon through the eyelets, going in and out of them.
Finish by bringing your ribbon or yarn through the last eyelet and to the underside of your runner. Cut your ribbon, leaving a two-inch tail. Unpin your runner, turn it over, and use a needle and thread to tack the ribbon ends to the backside of your runner.
If you want, you can also add some fringe to the ends of your runner, using the same ribbon or yarn as your woven detail.
I'm very happy with my finished table runner. I hope you enjoy this pattern!
© 2014 Donna Herron
Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 02, 2016:
Thank you, craftybegonia! I really wanted to create a design that was interesting to look at, but simple enough to use everyday. So glad you like this knitting pattern! Thanks so much for your comments!
craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on February 01, 2016:
That is really pretty! I love the different kinds of cables and their textured quality. The neutral color of yarn does not compete with the beauty of th cables and it doesn't look busy. Really nice job!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 25, 2014:
Hi Heather! Thanks so much for your comments and pin!!
Heather from Arizona on January 24, 2014:
This is so lovely and homey for the colder months. I love the peekaboo effect from the woven detail. Pinning to my craft board :)
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 23, 2014:
Thanks, Suzanne! You might enjoy this pattern because it features an interesting mock cable stitch and a variety of decrease stitches that are always good to know.
Thanks for commenting! I appreciate your thumbs up and tag!!
Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 23, 2014:
What a gorgeous project, you must have spent HOURS on it! I'm only a beginning knitter, but I can see that you've done a fine job creating a wonderful pattern with lots of intricate-looking patterns in the design. Well done! Thumbs up and "awesome"!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 23, 2014:
Thanks, Tina!! I like how to photos turned out too! They make my house look cleaner than it really is :)
Tina on January 22, 2014:
This is awesome. Great pictures.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 22, 2014:
Hi Audrey and Phyllis - So glad you like this pattern and I'm happy to share it with others. I love all the different patterns too :)
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 22, 2014:
Hi Joelle - Thank so much! I'm really happy with how this table runner turned out. It works great in our living room. As for how much yarn I use in a year - that's a secret I'll take to my grave :) Thanks again for reading and commenting! Always great to hear from you!
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on January 21, 2014:
I bookmarked this hub as soon as I saw the picture of your beautiful table runner -- I love it. I also love the choice of patterns you used. The texture and appearance they make is very nice. Thank you for this lovely pattern.
Audrey Howitt from California on January 21, 2014:
This is just beautiful!
kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on January 21, 2014:
Your runner is beautiful! I love the special touch with the ribbon that goes along both sides of your runner! It's a nice way to also use a variety of stiches! Very well done, Donna!
PS : You must go through miles of yarn each year... as I go through liters of paint ;-)