The swatch sample shown was worked in 24/7 Cotton yarn using a G/6 (4mm) crochet hook.
(Chain a multiple of 4 sts + 3)
Row 1: 1 Single crochet in the 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across. Turn.
Row 2: Chain 3 (counts as 1 double crochet), *skip next single crochet, 1 double crochet in next 3 single crochet, yarn over, with hook in front of work, go back and insert hook from front to back into skipped stitch before the 3-double crochet group; loosely draw through a loop and bring it up to the height of the 3-double crochet group; yarn over and complete double crochet (Cable st ); rep from * across, end double crochet in last stitch. Turn.
Row 3: Chain 1, 1 single crochet in each double crochet across. Turn.
Rep rows 2 and 3 for pattern.
Stitch directions reproduced with permission, from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary: Volume Four, Sixth & Spring Books, 2007
You know the stitch, now what do you use it for? Allover repeats such as this crochet cable pattern can easily be adapted into stoles, scarves, cowls, hats, and garments. Shaping, if required by the item, can be worked on the single crochet rows. Simply make sure you have the required multiple of stitches for the next patterned row.
Not confident with changing stitch counts? You can still use the crochet cable pattern in items without shaping and end up with stunning results. Anything with a square or rectangular shape is fair game. Think blankets, scarves, stoles, and seamed ponchos.