Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Cables, Sleeves, and Sewing

December 18th, 2008

Pin It

Cable Luxe Tunic KAL BadgeI’m now into the heavy-duty knitting part of this tunic. I really like looking at the cables going in different directions in this sweater, and I’m also having a great time seeing pictures of some of your tunics grow as well! Have I made mistakes along the way? Well, I always do! But I tell my students that in order to be a good knitter, you have to be a good ripper. When I was working a couple of 3/3 cables instead of 4/4 cables in that center cable panel, back I ripped. I’m glad I did as it would have been one very uneven center cable if I hadn’t fixed it.

After I finished the back I could have worked the front (which is identical to the back) between the sections that I marked off for it. Instead, I decided to work on one of the sleeves, so that we could look at how the sleeve grows from that original cable yoke strip. For the small size, I needed to pick up 46 stitches between areas marked for the front and back. I started with what will be my right sleeve and picked up my first stitch right next to the back. Unlike the back, the sleeve does not have a center cable, just 2 slipped stitches between the smaller cables as you can see in the picture.

The increasing at the sides of the sleeve is identical to the back. I wanted to get going on this sleeve to show something that will be very important to finishing the tunic and make the sleeves fit correctly. Some knitters who have done this tunic have had a problem with the armholes ending up much too narrow. After looking at some of the pictures of the finished tunics on Ravelry, I think the problem is in the finishing of the underarm seams. Before sewing up the side and sleeve seams, make sure to sew together the front and the backs to the sleeves along the areas where you first did all the side increases and ended up casting on stitches.

I have sewn the first of these 4 underarm seams here to show you, and once again I sewed them together with right side facing me. This seam will be under your arm and will give your tunic great shape and enough width.

My first sleeve is going very well, and I was surprised to see that after you do those first side increases and cast on stitches, that you just work evenly from that point on. Only the front and back flare, while the sleeves stay the same width all the way to the end. Now with the sleeves and the front to be finished, I will be keeping extra busy with the two weeks that will pass until my next post in the New Year. Thanks to those of you who have been answering (and asking!) questions, and I wish you all the best this season! Keep Knitting and Happy Holidays!

Related links:

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube
  • Traci

    Betsy,honey right now you’re doing better than me as you have at least p/u the right amount of sts. for your size. That said, Renee, you and Connie are in agreement about p/u sts. between rows. Do you mean be any chance, p/u sts along the edge of the yoke and maybe sts. behind or in back of the edge sts.? Or do you mean p/u twice or more(as necessary) in one edge stitch to get the appropriate number picked up?

  • Connie

    Renee, I love the way you worked it out- when I did mine I didnt worry about rows either, however your way would have made it a bit easier! Thanks for the tip- Ill save it to use next time.

  • Connie

    Traci, I have always just worked along the p/u edge, using any spot necessary to p/u the stitches evenly. I really wish I was still at that part because if I was I would pay more attention to exactly how I was doing it. I have also never worried about rows, just started picking up stitches evenly. When I pickedup my stitches though, I know I had to use every available hole to get enough. And like I said earlier I was one short on the sleeve. I dont think it works to p/u 2 sttches in the same hole, as it just ends up as a loop around the needle.

  • Dianne

    Patti, Renee, Connie: Here’s how I handle keeping track of the rows… my Granny taught me this when I very first started learning to knit…

    Write the instructions for each row on index cards, one card per row. As you complete a row, put that card on the bottom of the stack. Keep the cards together with a paper clip.

    For the two cable patterns, I ended up with 24 index cards, which equated to 2 repeats of the 4/4 center cable and 3 repeats of the 3/3 side cables. I’m also keeping tick marks on each card to keep track of how many times I go thru the stack to help know how many times I’ll need to go thru them for the front.

    I’ve never used row counters. Wouldn’t even know where to start with one!

  • Christine W

    Hello Girls-

    I’m using a row counter but learned a trip from an avid knitter I work with.

    I wrote down the number of rows needed for the larger repeat. Next to it I numbered down 1-8 for the shorter repeat. Two repeats of the 12 row pattern equal three repeats of the 8 row pattern. I also marked off when to do my increases in a third column.

    Of course, I have to keep track of which how many times I have repeated the 12 row pattern (4/4) but I am placing stitch markers down the side every 12 rows.

    4/4 3/3
    1 1
    2 2
    3 3
    4 4
    5 5
    6 6
    7 7
    8 8
    9 1
    10 2
    11 3
    12 4
    1 5
    2 6
    3 7
    4 8
    5 1
    6 2
    7 3
    8 4
    9 5
    10 6
    11 7
    12 8

  • Christine W

    How about it was supposed to be a tip-not a trip.

    I’m still working on the back too. I also had to rip back about 15-20 rows. I had a number of “small” errors. They had also reached that critical point of any one of them would have been ignorable for me but all told they were too much. Especially when I saw that I had forgotten one of the twists on the 4/4 cable. Way to big a boo boo to leave alone.

  • Aleta

    I’m working on the back and I find the pattern confusing, but I think I’ve got it. I wonder if someone could just tell me if I’m on the right track. Here is what I have 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

    Also, a correction for the Center Cable pattern was mentioned earlier, but I never saw that anywhere. Is it important? I hope I don’t have to redo anything!
    Also, one more question — do I continue to slip the “slip 1” stitches when I work this pattern for the back?
    Thank you!

  • Traci

    Connie and Renee,a million thanks! I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m going to experiment with p/u sts. where I can(as evenly as possible)and see what that looks like.

  • Betsy

    #10 why am I going to have 140 st (for the small?)after I knit 1-12 2 times than row 1 and 2. Do I have to keep increasing? The pattern implies that I will have 112. The 98 after the shape armholes + 14 increased.

  • Connie

    Aleta, definately that doesnt sound right, what size are you making and I’ll try to work it out for you.

  • Connie

    Betsy, your first increase row for ‘shape waist’ should be on row 14, it would be after your third increase row that you would have that many stitches. After this first increase row, you will again increase every 12 rows twice more, which is what the reply refers to I think.

  • Connie

    Sorry that should be row 15, not 14.

  • Aleta

    Connie –
    I’m making size small.
    If I could just get on the right track, I’d be okay.
    Thanks SO MUCH!!

  • Christine W

    Size small does pick up 14 stitches 2 more times.
    First time row 14, second time row 26 and the third time at 38.

    On an interesting, but unrelated note, I started by doing my slipped stitches as “slip as to knit”, instead of just slipping them as a if to purl. I liked how it made that row of stitches have a more twisted look that was kind of neat (if my stitches had been more even.) I tend to be a conformist though, so I put them all back the way they are supposed to be.

  • Christine W

    Correction for reply 64. I based my count on Connie’s first comment. Rows to increase are 15, 27 and 39.

    This instruction is down (on page 4 for me of original free download) under a heading called “All sizes” after the “Shape Waist” section. The next group of instructions is for the “Front”.

    Also, be sure to increase in the stitch closest to the cable so it is a little more hidden. I didn’t do that the first time. When I redid that part it looked nicer closer to the cable.

  • Christine W


    That isn’t quite it. First, the stitches that are slipped on row 1 are purled on the wrong side rows.

    Row 2 (WS) -K2, p6,k2,p1,k2-3 times p12 k2,p6,k2,p1,k2-3 times k2

    I’ve got to go to work but if no one has been able to help you more by this afternoon. I’ll finish working it out when I get home. I’m sorry.

  • Pingback: Lion Brand Notebook()

  • Aleta

    Thanks, Christine! I’m still puzzling over this. Other than the pattern stitches for the 3/3 LC and 4/4 LC patterns which I’m following per the chart, for row 2, I am knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches BASED ON WHAT WAS DONE IN ROW 1. Perhaps that’s where I’m wrong. Also, what did you do with the p1 that was at the beginning and end of row 1? It looks like you put each in the MIDDLE of row 2 next to the p12 and made them two knit stitches, and I’m not sure why. I’m also not sure how you know to purl the slipped stitches.
    I really appreciate everyone looking at this for me. I’m hoping not to have to give it up but I don’t want to take up everyone’s time over this if it is just me being unable to follow the pattern! I’ve knitted quite a few things over the years but this seems a lot more complicated than ones I’ve done in the past!!
    Thanks again

  • Aleta

    But I do want to add that even though I’m confused at this point, I’m really enjoying it! It is FUN to try to figure it out!

  • Connie

    Aleta- here goes, Row 2- wrong side facing should be -P the increased st,(K2,P6,K2,P1) 3 times K2 P12 (K2, P1,K2, P6)3 times,K2,P the new stitch.
    Row 3- Increase 1 st,sl1,P2,(work 3rd row of3/3 cable pattern -3/3LC, p2,sl1,p2)3 times, Work row 3 of 4/4 centre cable pattern, reverse for rest of row,(the corrected version has 3/3RC cables for the other side I believe.
    The centre cable correction is a version of the pattern that was given-its basically the pattern inverted. If you like the one you are doing it looks very nice done.
    Ive tried really hard to get this exact, hopefully it is- just make your increased stitches to follow the rest-this will be easier once you cast on for the underarm.
    Try those 2 rows and see if it makes sense- otherwise get back to me-Im no guarenteeing 100% accuracy-but you ca compare yours to Heathers photos when you get through those 2 rows.

  • Connie

    Oh and Aleta, don’t give up, once you get started correctly you will just do the same for the back and the front. The sleeves go really fast- then youll be done and wearing your beautiful sweater.

  • Christine W


    Once you get started you will be OK. After you get the pattern started correctly you can really tell that you “knit in the V’s and purl on the bumps” and that really helps with keeping the pattern.

    Let us know how your doing!

    By the way, now I know. When a pattern says “Experienced” it really is referring to how much interpretation of the instructions there is. Knitting is just knitting and purling its figuring out the instructions that can really make the difference in difficulty

  • Michelle

    I may have missed a post on this question. Can anyone help? I’m about ready to bind off on the back. Does it matter where you are in the cable sequence to do it. Right now, I’ve finished row 2 on both sets of cables and wonder if I bind off on row 3 whether or not it will look strange.

  • Christine W

    Good question! I’m sure I’ll be wondering that by this time next week.

  • Aleta

    Thank you Connie & Christine for your help! I’m going to print up your posts then sit down and ponder on it. I won’t give it up. I have made sweaters before and there have been some complicated directions but somehow these are getting me mixed up, but I’ll keep on trying! Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Connie

    Michelle-I had the same question. I just watched to see where it looked best to me- which in my opinion was row 2 was the best. Right after working the cable didnt look right to me, and one of the rows midpoint between cable row I thought looked odd as well. This was just my observation, Idid ask the experts, and they didnt have an opinion.

  • Michelle

    Thanks, Connie. I was going to rip row 2 and bind off on that row as well because I thought the small cables would look too long if I did the bind off on row 3. It helps to have someone confirm my observation.

  • Christine W


    The way the pattern is written for row 2 is one of those things that will work for some people-and look totally backwards to the rest of us. You’ll get it.

    Two things to remember, you have to include any increase stitches as knit stitches on those wrong side rows. And, those slipped stitches have to have fresh yarn fed into them, that is why you have to purl them on the wrong side. I suspect that it probably isn’t possible to slip the same stitch for more than a couple rows.

  • Liane Wobito

    done!!! However… I am considering undoing the sleeves as they are a tad too short for me. I think I’d like the whole sweater to be a bit longer as well, so I might undo that as well. We’ll see how I feel about it in a couple of days.

  • Betsy

    Thanks for the help picking up the stiches!

  • Pingback: Lion Brand Notebook()

  • Miryam

    Christine #55 and anyone trying to keep track of more than one pattern with different row repeats:

    What I did for the 3/3 8 rows and the 4/4 12 rows was find how to evenly match them up. So, just like you laid it out, Christine, it’s 24 rows. 3 8 row patterns and 2 12 row patterns. Row 13 the way >I< would do it would then be Row 1 of the 12, and Row 5 of the 8. You can do this with multiple numbers of different patterns.

    If you have one pattern that is 5 rows long, one that is 16, and one that is 12, you’d multiply 16 until you can divide that number by 12 and 5 both. Well, this turns out to be 240 rows. 15 repeats of the 16 row pattern, 20 repeats of the 12 row pattern, and 48 repeats of the 5 row pattern. I know….this sounds ridiculous. But if you’re on Row 42, for instance, you would know that you are on Row 10 of the 16 row pattern, Row 6 of the 12 row pattern, and Row 2 of the 5 row pattern.

    I guess the idea is: if you count how Many Rows You Do, you can figure out which row of each pattern you are on. Just let your Row Counter keep going higher, rather than starting over for one or another pattern.

    In the case of the Tunic, you can count 24 rows, and then start over at Row 1 of each.

    Have I now made myself sound totally insane?

  • Laura S

    OK all. I’m way behind everybody but I’ve finally finished the yoke and have started on the back. I am making a small in Blush Heather. The posts have been very helpful. I have always been intimidated by the seams in knitting but Heather’s instructions for sewing from the front of the knitting were great!

    I am worried about missing pattern corrections. For example, my pattern shows only LC cables on the back and I can tell from the picture that half of them should be RC. I didn’t find any specific comments about this mistake. I also read comments about mistakes in the center cable and I don’t know if I have the good or bad version of that cable. I would like my sweater to be perfect. Does anyone know if we can get an updated (corrected) version with all the corrections or do we just make notes as we go along? Thanks.

  • Christine W

    Miryam (#82)-

    Thanks so much for the tip! What I typed in post #55 was working great for me-then I had a mindless day or so where I knitted a way with my mind on too many other things…..ACK! I had to rip out a lot and re-do but was having trouble locating exactly where I was in the pattern. Your post should be a great help.

    (I’ve also found that it is easier for me to count the rows using that slip stitch as a guide-then I work my way up 2,4,6,8…)

    Thanks bunches!

  • Christine W

    Here is the site to download the corrections:

    It was located in one of the other sections of posts. I think “Solving problems & Making Progress together.”

    Also, if anyone has questions that don’t seem to be getting answered in the section you are in. Maybe you should try reposting in a section that is more recent. I have coming back to recheck answers on things and finding lots of cool new comments. But I don’t know how many other people are coming back to things from previous weeks.

    I try to let others know there are still new things to see in the previous sections.

    Good knitting to all!

    Heather says: “Hi, Christine – You can access all the posts to this Knit Along (as well as the first KAL on the “Tree of Life” afghan”) at this link: Under each post you can click on a link for all the responses.”

  • Sheri

    Ok, I am WAY behind, but still plugging away. I am starting the “Shape Waist” section, and just want to confirm that I begin the increases on the WRONG side. I seems that the slip stitches are not on the correct side of the fabric. Seems that the slipped stitches should be on the right side. I have started and ripped this row a couple of times, and would really appreciate the input. Thanks! Sheri

  • Christine W


    The Inc Row is a right side row. Those first 5 knitted stitches are from the armhole increase.

    So the slipped stitches are on the right side as well as all the cable details, which are the rest of the instructions for that row.

    That also means the increases are in the purl stitches. They will be less noticeable if you do them right next to the cable. The bulk of the cable makes them less noticable to the eye. I did a “purl” into the front and the back of the stitch to make my increase and it sounds like that has been working best for people.

    I’m still working on the back. I think I have 3 or 4 more inches to go. We all have our own pace-and amount of free time.

  • Sheri

    Thanks, Christine. I think what was throwing me was the first 5 knit stitches. So there will be a stockinette panel down the side.

    I really love the cables, I am addicted! I completed the Tree of Life KAL and have not stopped knitting cables since.

    Thanks again for the quick response.


  • Christine W


    Glad that helped you out. There is a panel down the side. I think some people elected to change it to purl, some left it flat and a few people added a cable it the number of stockinette stitches for their size allowed it.

    One of the cool things about make it yourself-each one is unique.

    Christine W