Are You Cabling Yet?

Cabling is a technique that creates rich complex looking fabric that is (for the most part) a snap to accomplish.  New knitters are often daunted by cabling and postpone learning how. We'd like to share a few tips that may make this technique more approachable for newer knitters.

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The little secret (that cabling is less mysterious than it first appears) can take your knitting to a whole new level.Cabling changes the sequence of your stitches as you work them.  Instead of knitting the stitches in the order they appear on your left needle, you can use a cable needle to hold the next few stitches either in front or behind your work, and work the following stitches first.  By crossing the stitches as you work them, a lush fabric is created.

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General information:  

The back cable slants, or crosses, to the right. The front cable slants to the left. Think “I’ll be right back” and “I left the front door open”!

Abbreviations:

CF: Put the indicated number of stitches on your cable needle and hold to the front of your work.

CB: Put the indicated number of stitches on your cable needle and hold to the back of your work.

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Chart reading:

Following a chart with confidence opens up a new world of knitting patterns, whether it’s a lace chart or a cable chart. You’ll find that charts give you a visual representation of what your work should look like and can be much easier than following a long row of written instructions. Charts show what your work will look like from the front. Therefore, purl stitches that you work on wrong side rows will appear as knit stitches on the chart. Unless otherwise noted, charts should be read from the bottom to the top.  On right side rows (or odd numbered rows), read the chart right to left. On wrong side rows (or even numbered rows), read charts left to right. When knitting in the round, read charts from right to left for all rows.

To keep track of what row you are on, use highlighter tape to cover the row just above it. This allows you to see what you did on the row below and also helps you to stay on track!


Using colored pencils to highlight the different patterns in the chart can make your progress flow a bit more smoothly. Typically, patterns will never have you crossing your stitches on every row. So you'll get a break from the stitch acrobatics for a row (or a few) before switching things up again.There is a stunning selection of FREE cable patterns available on Ravelry. You'll find hats, socks, scarves and more.

We'd love to help get you started with cables. We can even get you comfortable cabling without a needle! Stop by the shop and we'll help you begin comfortably knitting projects that will dazzle you, and amaze your friends!