Cables can intimidate a lot of knitters; they look complex and seem difficult. There are huge variations in cable patterns but to start with learning how to do some basic cable stitches can open up a world of new patterns. One of the reasons I love cables so much is the texture they create. The stitches are moving across the surface of the work so it changes it from flat to three-dimensional.
I still remember the first cable I ever did, I was astonished at how straightforward it was! I had built cables up in my mind as a huge milestone and difficult skill to master! I was working on a basic stockinette stitch baby sweater and I just added one single four stitch cable to the front. It wasn’t complex but it was enough to allow me to jump in and it opened up the world of cables for me!
So what is a cable?
At it’s most basic cables are just stitches crossed over each other. You do this by moving some stitches to an extra needle (the cable needle) and holding them to the front or back of the work. Then you knit (or purl) the next few stitches, and go back to work the stitches that you had held. These cables can be worked over any number of stitches, either crossing an even or uneven number of stitches.
So you can see that cables don’t have to begin as a complex, difficult skill. This is something you can work up to as you begin to understand how they work. Cables begin increasing in complexity when you introduce purl as well as knit stitches. This is because your cables can now start travelling across your work as well as just being in a straight line vertically. From there you can also start using cable crosses to ‘hide’ a change from a knit to a purl stitch so that you can create stitch patterns that appear and disappear within the cable panel.
Here are a few examples of all of these different types:
In the first of my cable tutorials I’m introducing a basic 2 by 2 knit cable crossed to the right and the left. I’ve explained how you work it in the video and the text describes what that particular cable would look like when drawn in a chart.
Helping Hand or Knit-curious?
Do you need a helping hand with a new technique? Are you curious about other techniques or are you ready to get a little spicy with your knitting? Come check out our extensive free tutorial collection here!
We have easy step by step guides/video tutorials on everything from casting on, bind off, short rows, cables and more. As is Carol's style, everything is ready for you in bite sized videos of ten minutes or less so that you can make the most of the time you have available. So what are you waiting for? Let's dive in now:
Abbreviations got you stumped?
Starting your knitting adventure can be a little daunting especially when it comes to knitting terms and abbreviations. Don't worry, we've got your back. Check out our list of common abbreviations here so that you can take your next knitting steps with ease and confidence.
Finally we come to putting it all together!
On this page you'll find a collection of patterns that will be suitable for a newer knitter. Here you'll find garments and accessories that help you take your knitting skills to the next level.