3D Cubes – Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

Now, that we are getting into the “scarves-cowls-blankets” season (at least here, in Northern Hemisphere), I want to share with you a beautiful stitch pattern that creates a highly textured fabric. It looks like lines of 3D cubes carefully arranged next to each other. 

I accidentally found this stitch on Pinterest. There was a photo of the fabric and a hand-written chart with a couple of lines of basic instructions in Russian. The pin led to a post on a forum and there was no mentioning of the author or the name of this stitch, so, unfortunately, I can’t credit the talented person who made that hand-written chart.

The original chart had a few mistakes, but those were easy to fix thanks to the decent quality of the photo of the swatch. I test-knitted this pattern a few times to make sure the instructions below are mistake-free.

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

This pattern has a big 14-stitch and 40-row repeat, so it looks best on big projects like blankets, wraps, stoles and other types of wide scarves. You can also work this stitch pattern in the round, and that makes it perfect for voluminous seamless cowls

If you are a brave soul, you can even use this pattern to make a sweater or a cardigan, but unless you are very good at “shaping in pattern”, I would not recommend choosing projects with shaping. This stitch is not an easy one to shape.

Otherwise, this pattern is fairly easy to make. Even though it does look a bit intimidating, there is a logic behind it. The texture is created by lines of decreases and yarn overs. To make things easier for you, I broke the pattern down into four sections, each shaped by either decreases or yarn overs. These sections are explained in the written instructions and marked on the chart.

A FEW NOTES

  • The instructions only explain how to work odd-numbered rows. It is done to save space and avoid confusion. The even-numbered rows are easy – simply purl all stitches in rows 2, 4, 6 … 36, 38 and 40.
  • Every decrease we make in the pattern is balanced by a yarn over. That means that the number of stitches does not change throughout the pattern. Count your stitches every few rows to make sure the number of stitches is the same as the number of stitches you cast on. To make the process of correcting mistakes (if they do happen) less painful, use a lifeline.

WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS

Cast on a multiple of 14 stitches + 1 stitch. For example, if you plan to make a piece of fabric that is three repeats wide, cast on 3 x 14 stitches + 1 stitch = 43 stitches.

I will make a swatch that is one repeat wide, so I’ll cast on 14 + 1 = 15 stitches.

In the first section of the pattern, we’ll set up the pattern in row 1, and then we’ll be forming lines of decreases while keeping the yarn overs stacked on top of each other in simple vertical lines.

Row 1: [purl 6, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 5], work the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 2 and every even-numbered row: purl all stitches

Row 3: [purl 5, knit 2 together (right-slanting decrease), make a yarn over, purl 1, yarn over, SSK (left-slanting decrease), purl 4], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 5: [purl 4, knit 2 together, purl 1, yarn over, purl 1, yarn over, purl 1, SSK, purl 3], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 7: [purl 3, knit 2 together, purl 2, yarn over, purl 1, yarn over, purl 2, SSK, purl 2], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 9: [purl 2, knit 2 together, purl 3, yarn over, purl 1, yarn over, purl 3, SSK, purl 1], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 11: [purl 1, knit 2 together, purl 4, yarn over, purl 1, yarn over, purl 4, SSK], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Here’s how the pattern looks at this point:

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

In the second section of the pattern, yarn overs become the stars of the show and form diagonal lines that go parallel to the lines created by decreases. At the same time, decreases remain quiet forming simple vertical lines.

Row 13: [purl 1, SSK, purl 3, yarn over, purl 3, yarn over, purl 3, knit 2 together], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 15: [purl 1, SSK, purl 2, yarn over, purl 5, yarn over, purl 2, knit 2 together], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 17: [purl 1, SSK, purl 1, yarn over, purl 7, yarn over, purl 1, knit 2 together], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 19: [purl 1, SSK, yarn over, purl 9, yarn over, knit 2 together], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

We are half-way through the pattern, and here’s how the swatch looks now:

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

The third section of the pattern is very similar to the first section – one set up row (row 21) without any yarn overs and decreases, and then we’ll use decreases to form diagonal lines while keeping the yarn overs in neat vertical lines. The rest of the stitches are all purls, purls, purls.

Row 21: [purl 1, knit 1, purl 11, knit 1], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 23: [purl 1, yarn over, SSK, purl 9, knit 2 together, yarn over], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 25: [purl 1, yarn over, purl 1, SSK, purl 7, knit 2 together, purl 1, yarn over], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 27: [purl 1, yarn over, purl 2, SSK, purl 5, knit 2 together, purl 2, yarn over], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 29: [purl 1, yarn over, purl 3, SSK, purl 3, knit 2 together, purl 3, yarn over], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 31: [purl 1, yarn over, purl 4, SSK, purl 1, knit 2 together, purl 4, yarn over], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Now we can clearly see the pattern forming on the needles:

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

In the last section of the pattern, we’ll set up the middle part of the next cube by creating diagonal lines with yarn overs and vertical lines with decreases.

Row 33: [purl 2, yarn over, purl 3, knit 2 together, purl 1, SSK, purl 3, yarn over, purl 1], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 35: [purl 3, yarn over, purl 2, knit 2 together, purl 1, SSK, purl 2, yarn over, purl 2], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 37: [purl 4, yarn over, purl 1, knit 2 together, purl 1, SSK, purl 1, yarn over, purl 3], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Row 39: [purl 5, yarn over, knit 2 together, purl 1, SSK, yarn over, purl 4], repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Here’s a fully formed 3D cube with half of the next cube on top of it. That’s the look we get after we finish one pattern repeat.

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

As you see, the side edges are not exactly straight. When you use this stitch pattern to make a blanket or a scarf, add a border at each side of the work, or finish the project with an i-cord edging to give your masterpiece a perfect framing.

CHART

As is the case with most stitch patterns with big pattern repeats, it is usually easier to follow a chart than written instructions. The chart provides a visual representation of the pattern as a whole and allows us to clearly see how each row should look on the needles. Plus, a chart is way shorter than the written instructions.

If you’ve never used charts before, read this tutorial, and give this chart a try. 

Use a magnetic guide (this tutorial will show how to make it yourself), a ruler, a big paper clip, or just a small piece of paper to separate the rows you’ve already knitted from the rows to be worked. This way you can easily keep track of your current row on the chart.

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

The chart shows only odd-numbered rows. In all even-numbered rows, purl all stitches.

I haven’t labelled any rows as “right side” or “wrong side” because this pattern looks equally good on both sides.

See for yourself. Here’s the front of the swatch:

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

And here’s the back:

3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls

If you want to work this stitch pattern in the round (for example, to make a seamless cowl), cast on a multiple of 14 stitches, and work only the repeats marked by brackets in the written instructions and by a red frame on the chart. Knit all stitches in every even-numbered round (instead of purling them).


If you like this tutorial, you will LOVE e-books and charts
in the Library of Free Knitting Resources


Here are a few more things you might like:

Happy knitting 🙂


3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls | 10 rows a day
3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls | 10 rows a day
3D Cubes - Highly Textured Stitch Pattern for Blankets, Scarves and Cowls | 10 rows a day