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Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Solving Problems & Making Progress Together

December 11th, 2008

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This last week I have learned the true definition of “knit-along.” When I was asked to host this KAL, I thought I would only be showing my progress on making the Cable Luxe Tunic and also give some advice along the way. What I have found, to my surprise, is how we really are doing this together, and those of you working on this project are not only asking some great questions, but answering others’ questions, giving great advice, and even finding a couple of “hiccups” in the pattern.


The first part of this back has raised more than a few questions, so I will explain why certain parts of the back are worked the way they are – and give a few hints on increasing. After I picked up the stitches for the back, the instructions ask for increases at both sides of back. The increases are done one stitch at a time on each side for a few rows, and then the pattern calls for casting on a number of stitches all at the same time.

Here is a picture of the left side of my back (as I am looking at it) and you can see the stitches that have increased on the edge. This increased edge will later be sewn to the same increased edge of the adjacent sleeve to create a nice seam under the arm. Although this looks a little unusual, it will give the tunic great shape under that arm!

Now, many of you have asked about that slipped stitch that is between the cables. It is simply made by slipping the stitch on the right side of your work and purling it on the wrong side. When I increased for the underarm, I placed one more slipped stitch 2 stitches away from the edge cables. It is in these areas where there are 2 purl stitches (between the slipped stitch and the cable) where I will work the increases to make the tunic start to flare.

Here is where that “hiccup” is in the pattern. After the “Shape the Waist” section of the pattern, the instructions tell you to work your increases on row 3 of the Center Cable Pattern and on row 3 of the 3/3 cable. The increases should be worked on row 3 of the second repeat of the Center Cable pattern, but that makes that row actually row 7 of the 3/3 cable. I’m sure many of you just kept working your cable patterns repeats as written, but the pattern has been corrected.

Some of you have asked where to work your increase in the purl sections between the slipped stiches and the cable patterns. I did a “make 1” purlwise (raised-bar increase) on each side of the cable patterns. This picture shows how invisible this increase can be — the bottom part of the picture has 2 purl stitches between the cables and the slipped stitches, and the top has 3. If you have never done the “make 1” increase, the Lion Brand Learning Center has a great tutorial to show you. Click here for instructions.


I will increase like this for the next 2 times I am on row 3 of my center cable pattern. Then I will increase no more on the back and can just work up straight. It’s all downhill after this point, because the front is the same as the back!

In New York City for the holidays? Stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see our Cable Luxe Tunic on display!

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  • Liane Wobito

    well I have finally started and so far so good. Only had to rip it up once and that for the yoke cable. I am not sure about the wool. I chose Vanna’s choice, in silver blue. I don’t like thick yarn too much, I would love to make this in a Bernat Satin. Maybe the next one…lol

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the input, Sarah. I’ll keep going now. It’s great to have people out there who will help out.

  • Aleta

    I’m working on the back and trying to figure out the pattern. I have typed out what I need to do for each row; it is the only way I’ll be able to keep track! Could somebody tell me if this looks right for the small size for rows 2-4?

    ROW 2 (WS): K2, P1, P6, P2, SL1, P2, P6, P2, SL1, P2, P6, P2, SL1, P2, P12, P2, SL1, P2, P6, P2, SL1, P2, P6, P2, SL1, P2, P6, P1, K2 (84 sts)

    ROW 3 (RS): inc 1, K2, p1, 3/3 lc, p2, sl1, p2, 3/3 lc p2, sl1, p2, 3/3 lc, p2, sl1, p2, k4, 4/4 lc, p2, sl1, p2, 3/3 lc, p2, sl1, p2, 3/3 lc, p2, sl1, p2, 3/3 lc, p1, k2, inc 1 – 86 sts

    ROW 4 (WS): k3, p9 sl1, p10, sl1, p10, sl1, p16, sl1, p10, sl1, p10, sl1, p9, k3

    The other question I have – do I slip the slipped stitches each time through?

    Someone mentioned a correction for the center cable pattern but I never saw that. I’m using the one on the pattern that I downloaded. I hope that works.

  • Betsy

    I’m also doing the small. Yes, you do have to slip the stich on all the odd rows than purl it on the even rows.
    I’m quite confused myself on the first couple of rows. I have purl stiches at the edge of my back. Now I am at the part that says Inc row: k5 p2 sl 1… on the right side. I think the knit would look very wrong with the purl. Does anyone else know what to do here? #34 talks about the same problem. How did knittting all the stiches look?

  • Joann

    I had a lot of trouble picking up stitches from the yoke to form the back, mostly because I have never done this before. What I finally wound up doing was using a number 4 bamboo needle which had a smaller diameter and a sharper point to pick up the stitches and then knit off of that.

  • Marlene

    I fell a bit behind with the holidays & have been trying to read through the post but being that this is my first sweater I am having trouble comprehending how the pattern reads. I completed my yoke (yeah)!!! I even did a seamless seam, very impressive. I learned to pick up stitches, fascinating. I am now going to start the foundation row & row 1. My questions are: for sl 1 am I just slipping the stitch from left needle to right needle? Question 2 – After row 1 what do I do to complete the back, I don’t seem to get this part. Please help so I can move on. Thanks.

  • Christine W

    I’m hoping you have already worked this out, but here some answers for your questions if not.

    1. Yes, just slip that stitch as to purl from left needle to right. Remember to hold yarn at the back of the work though so it doesn’t show on the front.

    2. Row 2 is farther down the page. The header reads “All sizes:”
    “Shape Armhole”
    “Row 2 and all WS rows”
    This is a section of increases that makes up the seam under the arm allowing the armhole to be large enough once the sleeve is made.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Once you complete that section of instructions continue with the section that reads “Shape Waist”

  • Christine W

    #54 Betsy-

    I just read a post near the finish line that stated someone knitted all those stitches and that it made the underarm less bulky. She thought it looked really nice and was very comfortable.

    I think some people are adding cables here. I think it is mostly what you think looks or feels better.

  • Sandra Peters

    I completed the back in December – I only had to take it out twice in order to have the cables going to same way – I found I had to really concentrate instead of visiting.
    The front is going great – I plan on having it finished by month end.
    I have really enjoyed this as my first knit along – let’s get really complicated for the next knit along – how about a lace shawl.
    I have found tips and comments really helpful – thanks to everyone

  • Christine W

    Yeah, it sure has been handy to have others to help out when the instructions haven’t quite made sense or I’ve needed encouragement to not give up.

  • Erin

    Ok I know this is really late in the KAL, but I find it helpful when picking up stitches to use a crochet hook. I found the size zero works pretty well because it is small enough to fit into the stitches but big enough to hold the yarn you are pulling through. Hope this helps someone.