Make a Mug Cozy: An Easy Cable Knitting Pattern

Knit up a Bunch of Mug Cozies for Holiday Gifts With This Beginner Knitting Project

Make a Mug Cozy: An Easy Cable Knitting Pattern

I love giving hand knit gifts for the holidays. I’ve made hats, mittens, scarves, stuffed toys — you name it. This year, I’ve got a new plan: I designed a new knitting pattern—Cocoa Cozies—and I’m giving my friends a cute mug and a cozy.

These cozies are all over the place in the knitting world, and they’re both useful and fun to knit. And fast! I made two of these easy knitting patterns in one evening, so if you’re looking for a quick bunch of gifts, knit several of these, buy a set of coffee mugs, and you’re all set. I can see knitting one of these for each of the gals in my knitting group, and they would love them!

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I like knitting these from wool because it holds warmth. So, while protecting your hands from a too-hot mug, gentle heat still comes through to warm your hands. Lovely! If you’re worried about washing these, you can use a superwash wool, which is machine washable.

Two versions of the Cocoa Cozy

If you’re new to knitting cables, this is the perfect beginner knitting pattern. After working through this cable knitting pattern a couple of times, you’ll be a cable knitter without fear.

A mug cozy really does make an adorable gift—with built-in packaging! In each mug, put an envelope of cocoa, a small baggie of mini marshmallows, and a candy cane, and you’ll have a bunch of smiling gift recipients!

Cabled Cocoa Cozy Knitting Pattern

Needles: Size 6 US (4 mm)
Yarn: Any worsted-weight yarn. The green sample is knit with Cascade 220 Superwash (Green Apple #802), and the turquoise sample is knit from Lamb’s Pride Worsted (discontinued color, but Teal Haze M158 is close).
Notions: Tapestry needle


CO 15 sts.

Rows 1-3: Knit.
Row 4 (increase row): K3, m1, k3, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1, k3, m1, k3—20 sts.
Row 5: K3, purl to last three sts, k3.

Cable Section

Row 1: K3, pm, p4, pm, k6, pm, p4, pm, k3.
Row 2: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.
Rows 3 & 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2 again, slipping markers instead of placing them on Row 1.
Row 5: K3, sm, p4, sm, c3l, sm, p4, sm, k3.
Row 6: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.
Row 7: K3, sm, p4, sm, k6, sm, p4, sm, k3.
Row 8: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.
Row: 9: K3, sm, p4, sm, c3l, sm, p4, sm, k3.
Row 10: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.
Row 11: K3, sm, p4, sm, k6, sm, p4, sm, k3.
Row 12: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.
Rows 13-16: Rep rows 11 and 12 two times.
Row 17: K3, sm, p4, sm, c3l, sm, p4, sm, k3.
Row 18: K3, sm, k4, sm, p6, sm, k4, sm, k3.

Repeat rows 1 through 18 until you reach seven inches. If you reach seven inches and haven’t completed a repeat, that’s okay. Stop at seven inches. (The samples are about two and a half repeats.)

Decrease row: K2, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K2tog, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K2—15 sts.
Knit three rows of garter stitch.
Bind off knitwise.


Fold the cable strip in half, right-side out. Sew the first three stitches and the last three stitches of the cast-on and bind-off edges together firmly.

You can block this if you want to, but don’t stretch it out or it’ll be too loose on the mug. It’s meant to fit very snug so that it doesn’t slip around and cause you to spill your cocoa!

Knitting Pattern Abbreviations

c3l: Slip three sts onto cable needle and hold in front. Knit the next three stitches, and then knit the three sts held on the cable needle.
k: Knit
k2tog: Knit two stitches together —one stitch decreased.
m1: Make one increase—Insert left needle from front to back under the ladder between the two stitches. Knit into the back of the stitch. One stitch increased.
p: Purl
pm: Place marker
sm: Slip marker
sts: Stitches

© Kathleen Cubley 2017

Putting on the Cocoa Cozy

As mentioned, this is designed to fit very snugly. To get the cozy on your mug, slip it onto the bottom of the cup and pull the opening over the handle. You might have to give it a good tug! Once it’s on the mug, it should be very stretched out and not slip around.

How the handle fits through the opening in the cozy

If your cozy loosens up after a few uses, wash it and it’ll snap back into shape.

Interested in more handmade gift ideas? Check out my knitted dishcloth pattern (which would be great tucked into a mug that’s “wearing” a Cocoa Cozy!). Did you know you can make mittens out of old sweaters with our sweater mitten pattern? And finally, learn how to knit socks so you can whip up everyone’s favorite stocking stuffer!



P.S. What’s your favorite type of knitting pattern for gifts?

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