The Excitement of Cables

cabelsThere’s still so much in knitting that I don’t know how to do, and I’ve got a feeling that even if I were to knit every single day for the next couple of years, I would still be learning new techniques. Each instructor and pattern has their own way of doing things in order for your piece to turn out the way the designer intended. I’ve slowly been picking up the basics, moving beyond the simple knit and purl, and into working with colours (that post will be coming tomorrow) and cables. I’ve always really admired cables. They’re beautiful, the intricate patterns that just seem to draw your eye around the piece. Little did I know that getting into cables would be VERY easy.

I wanted to make a bulky scarf as a Christmas gift, and had 10 skeins of a Fairy Tale brava bulky yarn waiting for a project. I decided to find a very simple cable pattern that also looked pretty neat. I was really excited to begin this part of my knitting, and little did I know that it would be much easier than I had thought.

Cables in essence are just about knitting in a different order. Why always knit every stitch that comes up next on the needle after all. Honestly, I had no idea that that’s all there was to cables (at least the basic ones, maybe there’s more to the complicated ones, I’m still learning). The pattern I’m using for my simple cable is really plain. I work the pattern until I get to the part where the cable begins, then I slide 4 stitches purl-wise onto a holder that I then move behind my piece. I had to google what was meant by ‘move the needle behind’ because I had no idea. Turns out it means just that, just put it behind and keep on knitting. So once I’ve slipped my 4 stitches off to the holder, I keep knitting 4 more stitches that are on my needle. Then I slide those 4 stitches back onto my left hand needle (some people don’t do this step, they just knit right off of the holder which is fine too but I don’t feel I’m quite there yet), and then you knit those 4 stitches. You continue on with the pattern from there.

Knitting them out of order makes the glorious bumps in the piece that you can see above. Moving the holder to the front will make the cable curve to the left, moving it to the back will make it curve to the right, like in my piece. They’re all right hand curves.

I can already tell the piece will also need to be blocked properly once it’s completed too. You really want those stitches to pop properly, and since it’s a scarf I’ll want to make sure my edges are all neat and tidy. There’s a huge difference between a blocked piece and an unblocked one. Thanks to the bulk of the yarn the pattern is really quick to work up, and the scarf shouldn’t take too long to make. Of course I need to pay a bit of attention so that I’m following the pattern correctly, but I’m able to read the knit / purl stitches now so I know how to fix my mistakes at least.

I absolutely love the world of knitting that I’ve explored so far. I’ve found myself spending more and more of my off time knitting, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Everyone has their hobbies after all. I’m sure listening to me blather on about it gets pretty boring, but I’m hoping that some people share in my enthusiasm.


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