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Archive for January 18th, 2013


Doing the Twist: Basics of Cable Knitting

January 18th, 2013

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Author, knitting teacher, and erstwhile crochet-along/knit-along host Heather Lodinsky joins us for an article on cables.

This season, style sections of newspapers and magazines are once again telling us that cables are a hot trend in fashion, showing up in all sorts of knitwear for women, men and children.   In knitting, there are those trends that appear again and again, such as lace, fair-isle knitting and cables.   It is safe to say that if you have never tried to knit a cable before…now is a great time to learn!

Cables in knitting look much more difficult than they really are.  I remember as a girl, looking at a cardigan my mother had knit with cables.   I was positive that she must have cut her knitting, and then twisted it to form the “ropes” in her knitting.   Well, I had half of the technique right, as cables are made by twisting  or moving your stitches as you knit, but no cutting of those stitches is necessary.

Choosing the Right Tools for Cable Knitting

In addition to the knitting needles you need to knit your project, you will also want to find the right cable needle for your project.   Cable needles come in various shapes and sizes, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they have two points like a double-pointed needle.   Some knitters do use a double-point needles as a cable needle, but there is a very good reason why cable needles are shaped the way they are.   Some cable needles are shaped as hooks, or simply have a bend in the middle of the needle.   But both work the same with the stitches being “moved” held on the bent part of the needle.

Cable Needle

Frequently cable needles come in a package with 2 or 3 sizes.   It is best to use a cable needle close to the size of the needle you are using to knit your project.   If a needle is too thin, the stitches may slide off as you are working your cable.  Alternately, if the cable needle is too thick, then your stitches will be stretched as you try to slip them on.  Choosing the right size cable needle will make your cable knitting a fun and rewarding  experience.

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