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

December 18th, 2008

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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!

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  • Connie

    The sleeves seem to go really fast after the body, but Ive put mine aside til I get my daughters christmas gift finished- and hopefully avoid Christmas eve panic!

  • Grace

    Hi Heather,
    I’m catching up from last week on the back section. It’s been very helpful to stay a step behind you so I can benefit from your tips.

    Are you using the “knit in the front and back” increase for the underarm increases? The pattern doesn’t exactly specify, although it does say to “inc 1 st in 1st(last) st”, which I think usually means to knit in the front and back of the stitch.

    Also, I noticed that for the size M the number of stitches increased & cast on at the sides of the front and back are enough (16) to add another 3/3 cable plus 2 purl stitches at each side. Do you think this is what the pattern means for me to do when it says “continue in pattern”?

    From your last post it looks like you are knitting the sides of your sz S in all rev stst. I’ve decided to go ahead and make the cables since I have the room on my size M. I’m curious to see/know what other people are doing at the sides. Once I get far enough along I’ll post a progress picture up on ravelry/flickr.

  • Patty

    Where are these photos of others work that you are seeing?????

    Heather says: “Hi, Patty – You can see pictures of the Cable Luxe Tunic on our Flickr group:

    Also, you can see many other knitters working on the Cable Luxe Tunic on

  • Jennifer in OH

    Grace – I am working on the medium too. The back increase for mine is just as you describe: one more 3/3 cable and 2 purls per side. Good work!

  • Connie

    How many of us are there in this KAL? Any idea?

  • Andrea

    I love this tunic but I’m stuck. I’m on the back, getting ready to do row 3 on a M size. Do I increase to start the row? If I do, my knits and purls don’t match up to make straight cables. I counted and have 90 stitched after doing row 1 and 2 (WS).
    Now what?

  • Grace

    Jennifer in OH – YUP, and I reallized that in the next section the pattern expects you to add the cable. I’m glad to know we’re right on track!

    Andrea, I think you are right on track also. If you are on row 3 you are at the “All sizes: Shape Armholes” section that reads: “Continue as established, inc 1 st at beg and end of each RS row, working new sts in pattern until there are ___ sts.” Row 3 should is a RS row, so increase at each side.

  • Connie

    As well Andrea, you dont need to worry about adding that extra cable until after the underarm cast on stitches are done as you wont have enough stitches until then. Just keep track of the row you are on so you can begin to cable the extra cable on the right row-3.

  • Dianne

    Hi! I am so excited about this sweater! I haven’t knitted in several years and this sweater and this KAL are just what I needed to get me started again. I’m making the small in avocado green.

    I just got started good on the back after several rippings to get the center cable centered better. Here’s my question… on Shape Armholes, the pattern says “work even in pattern as established until Row 2 of second rep of Center Cable has been worked”… Is that actually the 3rd time through the 12 rows for the center cable????

    Thanks! This is fun!!!

  • Nicole

    Hi Dianne,
    I’m doing the small as well and
    yes, that’s right it’s basically the 3rd time through…once you’ve done that you should end up with 140 sts.

    Happy Knitting & Happy Holidays!


  • Betsy

    What’s the best way to pick up the stiches for the back from the yoke?

  • Dianne


    Thanks, Nicole! I’m just about to that point now, and I plan to take ‘progress’ pictures then to put up on my website.

    I just realized a uniqueness that my sweater will definitely have… I’ve been doing 3/3LC’s where the pattern says 3/3RC’s and 3/3RC’s where it says 3/3LC’s!! Oh, well… At least it is consistent…

    Merry Christmas everyone!!

  • Christine W

    Wow, I’m really impressed with all the progress everyone is making. I’m also glad to see a few posts from some people who are only a little bit ahead of me.

    Yesterday, I was really feeling like a slow poke. I still have about 16 rows left to go on the original cabled yoke. Today I decided I am probably not alone.

    So, for anyone who is working at a slower pace or got a late start-keep going! We have the benefit of everyone’s hard work to help smoooth any rough spots before we get there.

    I hope everyone is having fun. I sure am. But I got thinking that if I felt like I wasn’t keeping up there might be other people out there too.

    Happy Knitting everyone-enjoy the journey!

  • Dianne

    I’m not moving very fast on mine either. The weekend has given me a chance to knit more than I can during the week.

    Just found another boo-boo. I didn’t catch the corrections for the 4/4 center cable. I kept thinking it was looking odd… now I know why. I’m ready to start increasing for the waist shaping, so I don’t think I’ll rip out, unless it really looks bad once I start doing it correctly. At least it’s the back and not the front.

    I’ve posted a couple more pictures on my website. Taking the pictures is when I really noticed that the center cable was lop-sided. Helps to get a different perspective….

  • Jennifer in OH

    Betsy – If you go to one of the previous posts (I think the second one…), there is a good picture of where she picked up stitches on the yoke to start the back. I hope this helps! There are some pictures on Flickr, and I can put one on there about how mine looks after the pick-up. I didn’t photograph it during that time – too focused!!!

  • Dianne

    I went back and read some of the posts and see where Nicole and Connie both did the center cable as it was written before the corrections and theirs was still pretty. I did a few more rows on mine and agree. I’m sticking with the pre-correction instructions, too.

    This is SO great to be able to share while making this sweater. I’ve never done this before and it is so much help and fun!!


  • Renee

    Rats! After reading #9 and #10, I realized I began the armhole shaping on row 14 instead of row 26 for the back. Sounds like I need to rip back to that point – do others agree?

  • Donna Williamson

    I am sooo far behind everyone. I am still working on the yoke. I have about 10 more inches to complete on a shawl that is a Christmas gift before I can work on it. Had about 40 people over for a family gathering on the 19th and company all weekend. I cannot wait to get back to my tunic. Maybe I’ll make fewer mistakes as a result of this KAL.

  • Connie

    Renee- You began on the correct row, row 14 sounds right to me. That is where mine is, and if you go back to Heathers picture you can probably doube check it on hers, that looks about where hers is too.

  • Betsy


    Thanks I found out haw to pick up the stiches. Now, I just need to do it. I hope small pieces of yarn will work for markers because I don’t have any!
    I love being able to ask questions and see other people doing the same pattern!

  • Christine W

    Well, I went to block my yoke and discovered it is about 8 inches too long. So now I’m waiting for it to dry so I can go back and rip out all the extra. I had placed stitch markers at the end of each pattern repeat, so I measured back to where I am supposed to end and moved one of the markers to that point so I know where I shoud be. Those markers really saved the day because otherwise I would need to figure out where in the pattern I was after I ripped out (not impossible, but not fun either.)

    On the plus side, this part was really fun to make. I was having a great time with the cable. And I’d rather have to take away rather than add more after I thought I was done.

    Last sweater I made had really long sleeves for the same reason. I better start measuring better!

  • Connie

    I have never owned stitch markers. I always save my tails from sewing my knit items to use. It has worked fine for many years, and I dont need to worry that I will misplace a few between projects.

  • Miriam

    I’m still struggling with the yoke. I seem to always make a mistake with the cable–it’s usually row 11 or 13, and end up ripping out. Just when I think it’s going great, and I don’t need to use a “lifeline”, I end up ripping out to the start of a previous cable which I do mark.

  • Betsy

    I found out with some calculating that for the small if you knit rows 1-16 for the yoke (the cable pattern) 16 times you come out with the right number of stiches to pick up. This came out as a little less than 44 in. 42 to be exact.

  • Christine W

    I’m sure my husband loves finding stitch markers in the living room when he cleans. And at least he knows to put them on my dresser when he finds them.

    I don’t think he will ever be very tolerant of my yarn scraps.

  • Marilyn

    Has anyone started on the sleeves? I’m wondering if there is an error in the instructions for the 2 stitches between the 2 slipped stitches or am I doing something wrong. Looking at Heathers pictures it looks like she has 2 purl stitches, yet the instructions say 2 knit stitches. When using the 2 knit stitches it does not look right.
    Happy Holidays to everyone.

  • Dianne


    I haven’t started the sleeves, but I looked at the pattern that I downloaded during the ‘free period’ and it does have k2 between the two slip stitches. It must be a mistake. I would think it has to be p2. I just checked the corrections page on the website and don’t see a correction listed though.

  • Karen

    HELP! Thr rush of Christmas is not over and I’m ready to get started, only to find when I copied my pattern to Word, I didn’t carry the portion of the table over that lists the quantity of yarn needed for each size! Can someone please give me the number of skeins I should be purchasing (ASAP?!?)


  • Traci

    Karen,for the small,medium,large,1x,and 2x sizes,you will need 7,7,8,10 and 10 skeins respectively. Happy holidays and knitting!

  • Connie

    I dont know what others have done with the sleeves, but I changed the K2 to P2 to be consistant with the pattern for the large size at the underarm. If it was supposed to be K2-mine isnt. For those who have K stitches at the underarm seam edge, they may find the K2 to be more consistant with their pattern.

  • Christine W

    Wow, I finally started the back and all the posts have been so helpful. I didn’t have any problems at all.
    I did need to make my self a little graphic to demonstrate how the 3/3 cable repeats relate to the 4/4 cable rows. I knew I would lose track of where I am supposed to be otherwise.
    And I did put stitch markers on either side of those slipped stitches, I have trouble seeing them on the wrong side row and I did forget to slip them on row 3 the first time.

  • Traci

    OK,truth time. I started the KAL probably some time after it started. I managed to get the pattern in the wee hours of the morning on Nov.27(to my surprise),the last day it was available. I started the yoke some time later and after(eventually) getting the hang of it,I began to worry about what problems might be ahead concerning the back of the tunic -the increases etc. So I put 88 sts. on my needle and proceeded from there. I did the incs. until I got enough sts. to do the extra 4th cables(for the med. size),on either side and increased the p sts. until I got 132 sts. I erroneously posted 140 previously. Then when I was satisfied that I could handle the body(front and back at least),I went back to the yoke. For the life of me, I don’t have enought inches for the front and back and each sleeve. At one point the yoke was to long. At another I ripped back too much. Last night I got 47″. Earlier I sewed it together,yet again, and I still don’t have enough sts. for the front,back and two sleeves. I have 18 cable repeats when joined. And I thought the yoke was the easiest part. Any ideas about where I went wrong?

  • Connie

    I found the pick up stitches were really tight, and I had to use every possible spot available to get them all in. For one sleeve I actually had to increase one on my first row as I just couldnt find an extra spot for it on the pick up row. The problems I had trying to measure for the pickup stitches for the front, back and sleeves was why I blocked the yolk first- until then I had a lot of trouble trying to put marks on the yolk for the body and sleeves. It wasn’t a breeze after blocking, however it was more managable.

  • Connie

    Traci, I have a couple of ideas that you might be able to use if you cant pick up enough stitches, Unless you have used too long a chunk of your yolk for the back. Mark for the sleeves and the front out of what remains of the yolk- even if its not exact, but its good to get the front close to the size of the back, and the sleeves should each be the same as the other. Pick up as many of the stitches as possible for your size, and increase to the correct number on your first row- you will totally be able to do it this way unless there is a large difference in the number of stitches you pick up, and the amount you need. Now if there is alarge difference in the amount you are able to pick up, and the amount you need, it may be possible to make the small size sleeve instead of the medium as the only difference is a bit of width and unless your arms are proportionately large for your size, you could possibly do that without it affecting your garment in a negative way.

  • Traci

    Thanks,Connie for your help. I am at my wits end because of the yoke. My 1st attempt had a back that measured 15″,8.5″ for each sleeve,and 17.5″ for the front. The yoke at that point measured about 48-49″ before blocking. Being inexperienced with blocking and cabling etc, I thought that I could block the yoke to 47″. But that meant of course,uneven measurements for the body. I was not able to block out 2.5″. As things stand now,I may be able to p/u enough sts. for the back and front(88 each for the med. size),and 54 sts. for one sleeve. But I have a measley 41 sts. for the last sleeve. That said, looking back when my yoke was longer then it should have been, perhaps I could have made each sleeve section 1.25″ wider, and skipped some sts. while p/u 54 sts. Or I could have p/u all the sts. along the length decreasing to 54 sts. on the following row. Is that “doable”?

  • Connie

    If you have enough space to p/u enough stitches, I would just adjust the distance between each p/u stitch and only p/u the amount you need. Avoid having the sleeves different from each other- so start with the same length of yolk for each. For instance, its better to have them each 1/2 inch smaller than to have one an inch smaller than the other. If you decide to make the yolk longer, you may want to follow the size larger when you finish the garter stitch section above the yolk. This pattern is really good for adjusting this way as all sizes are similar. If its doable, the best thing is to get as close as possible to what it should be.

  • Connie

    Trace, if you do decide to make your yolk a bit longer, I would try to distribute the extra over all the body sections if possible- lets face it- it wouldnt even be noticeable over the whole length of the yolk, as it is quite long. Then just adjust the spacing of your pick up stitches- this should be doable, and not noticeable. And as I mentioned earlier, you can adjust at the shoulder, neck later if you need to. The only thing you would need to watch for would be the yolk being puffier than you want it to be, however if you can share the extra equally around the body and sleeves this should be fine. I really feel for you and hope you can sort it out and move forward.

  • Connie

    And for my own good new My sweater is done!!!! I just neew to sew in the tails and block it! I am sooooo happy!!!!

  • Traci

    Thanks again Connie. I’ll try to distribute evenly the extra length of the yoke across all the parts of the sweater. And congratulations to you for finishing! Oh I’m so jealous.

  • Connie

    Dont feel bad Traci, unfortunately I cant do too much else other than knit, as two years ago I went from being a very busy active person to overnight being unable to move. I have improved some from that, however if I didnt knit and crochet I would go insane. It does allow me to knit most of the time though so I have an unfair advantage!

  • Aleta

    Oh my I feel so behind everyone. I’m almost done knitting the yoke and just looked up on line how to pick up stitches so I can start the back. I’ll just keep plugging away. At this pace, it is unlikely that I’ll be able to wear it THIS winter!

  • Traci

    Connie,if you’re still out there,I’ve done a few more rows on my yoke-which now measures 49.5″. It’s really-really wide around my shoulders. I may either put this down for awhile or start over again-perhaps I missed some rows w/o knowing it. But an entry by Betsy #24(she’s doing the small size),got me to thinking. She said that each yoke cable repeat is 16 rows long. And when repeated 16 times,there are 256 sts. to p/u. The small size has 82 sts. to be p/u for the front and back,and 46 for each sleeve-sure enough that amounts to 256. According to some bloggers here and at flikr who are doing the med. size,there are 17 cable repeats. But 17 times 16 equals 272-out of which must come 88 sts. for the back and front, and 54 sts. for each sleeve. I get 284 sts. then, to be p/u for the medium size. Where did they get enough sts. to p/u? What gives?

  • Connie

    They probably did what I did, picked up between rows to get enough.

  • Patti

    I am working on the back, I did great on the cable yoke, but i am having a hard time with the cable pattern on the back. what I’m confused about is the cable patterns. The 3/3 cable pattern is 8 rows and the 4/4 cable is 12 rows. Should I do the 3/3 cable in 12 rows instead of 8? Am I reading the pattern wrong?
    I need help!

    Heather says: “Hi, Patti: The 3/3 cable is an 8 row repeat pattern, so for this pattern you keep repeating rows 1-8 of the pattern. The center cable pattern is a 12 row repeat pattern, so you keep repeating rows 1-12 of the pattern. You may want to mark down which row you are on for each cable pattern or use row marker to help you.”

  • Betsy

    Hi Traci, I found out I had the right number of stiches to pick up (#24) but I still haven’t been able to do it! I have ripped out my pick up row at least three times now.

    Does anyone know if the back seem of the yoke needs to be in the middle of the picked up stiches? I think it would be better but I can’t seem to make it work.

  • Patti

    Hi Heather, So what you are saying is that I should keep track of both patterns? I have been following the 4/4 pattern and doing the 3/3 pattern twists on the same row of the 4/4 (row 3 & 9)If I following each pattern sep I will be doing the 3/3 cables twist on different rows than the 4/4 cable twist and there will be more 3/3 than 4/4. Is this right, if so then I’ll have to rip out the 12 rows I have done and start over.

  • Renee

    Connie and Traci: I’ve learned never to worry about matching the number of rows to picked up stitches in patterns like this where you’re picking up along the side of the yoke. Instead, mark out the sections evenly first, as Heather suggested. Make sure you have the same number of inches for the front and back, and equal length for both sleeves. Then use markers to divide each section in half, and in half again and again until you have markers every couple of inches. Heather described this process too in an earlier post, but I use even more markers. For the small size, I picked up 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10. Sometimes you end up picking up one stitch per row, other times you make room between rows.

  • Renee

    Patti, I’ve been using two separate row counters: one for the 3/3 cables, the other for the center cable. It’s a bit of a hassle to move both counters at the end of every row, but it sure beats ripping out!

  • Patti

    Thanks Renee & Heather, I compared the patterns next to each other and I only have to rip out the last 4 rows and then keep count of them sep. I have never done two diff. patterns at the same time but I love this, you learn something new every day. I hope I didn’t confuse too many of ya

  • Connie

    Betsy, yes the back seam should be in the middle of the large 12 repeat cable on the back.