Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cable Tutorial

If you've never attempted a cable knit, I think understanding the concept before you embark on your project is helpful. Hannah talked me through the cable concept one night on a pool run this past summer, so when I finally cracked open my Celebrity Scarves 2 book to start my own, the pattern actually made sense (more or less - it helped that Hannah was sitting next to me when I started knitting).

The information in this tutorial is based on the scarf that I am currently knitting, as that seemed the best way to detail everything, but the concept is obviously universal.
For my current project, rows 1/3/7 are basic knit and rows 2/4/6/8 are purl. Each row is 24 stitches.
The fifth row is the cable row. Here is how it works:
Knit the first 6 stitches.

Slide the next 6 stitches onto the cable needle and hold in back. The "cable needle" doesn't actually have to be anything special - I am using a dp needle of the same size as the needles I am using to knit the scarf.

Knit the next 6 stitches (stitches 13-18 on the main needle). The cable needle should remain in back.

You will now have 12 stitches knit for this row, 6 remaining on the cable needle, and 6 remaining on the other needle.

Now you want to knit the 6 stitches that are on the cable needle.
When you are done with this step, you won't need your cable needle again until you reach your next cable row.

Last, but certainly not least, you knit the final 6 stitches.

Repeat those 8 rows, and the cable pattern emerges!

I believe (Hannah please correct me if I am wrong) that some cable patterns will call for the cable needle to be held in front, instead of the back, but I'm sure it's all spelled out in the pattern.

Since I last posted about this scarf, I've come a long way. Not far enough to call the scarf done for Jill's birthday tomorrow, but close enough that I can probably convince her that I won't extend her birthday too long. I don't have too much length to add to the scarf, but I need to add the icord edging. The scarf actually did a lot of twisting in on itself, so I'm hoping the edging will minimize that (I also some heavy books to hold down the edges so they would drive me a little less crazy).


kzwick said...

Christine has officially out knit me. This is a sign that I should either (a) give up, or (b) learn some fancy tricks to turn into gifts for the approaching holiday season. I don't suppose I can give you all mittens again...

CH said...

I don't think that cable knit is particularly complicated, so I don't know that you can claim that I've out knit you. And, you can always give me mittens. Speaking of mittens, I think the masses are still waiting for your mitten tutorial.

Elizabeth said...

I was super impressed when I first saw this entry and remain so today.

Also, I can't wait to see what this scarf looks like with the border! Give a tutorial on that. Because I've heard of I-cords as borders, but I don't understand them.

HEB said...

Yay! I-cord tutorial! Share the skills!

Zitrone said...

I have never attempted to knit cable patterns because they looked too complicated to me. With your tutorial I am about to start a test swatch. Reading American patterns (I learned to knit in Germany), has always been a challenge for me, but his seems simple enough - even for me.

Zitrone said...

I meant to say 'this' not 'his'. Sorry.