Simple Cables

Probably no pattern in knitting is capable of so much variation as the Simple Cable. But the cable action is always the same. It consists of taking half of the stitches composing the cable on a double-pointed needle, holding them in back or in front of the work, knitting the other half of the stitches, then knitting the first group from the double-pointed needle. This creates the cable twist. If the double-pointed needle with the slipped stitches is held in back of the work, the twist will be to the right (back cross); if the double-pointed needle is held in front of the work, the twist will be to the left (front cross). Whenever two Simple Cables are used on either side of a common center, one of them should be crossed in front and the other in back, to give symmetry and balance to the design.

The variations depend upon the number of stitches composing the cable, and the number of rows between cabling rows. Generally speaking, the most shapely cables are created by having the same number of rows to the pattern as there are stitches in the cable (i.e., a six-stitch cable would be crossed every 6th row, etc.) But this is hardly a firm rule. Many knitters prefer the slightly looser cable made with two more rows than there are stitches. And the number of rows may vary in the same pattern (See Eccentric Cable, below). Five possible variations on the Simple Cable are given, but there are dozens more. How you arrange a Simple Cable is largely up to you.

Eccentric Cable Stitch

Simple Cables left to right:

  1. Four-Stitch Cable crossed every 4th row.
  2. Six-Stitch Cable crossed every 6th row.
  3. Six-Stitch Cable crossed every 8th row.
  4. Eccentric Cable
  5. Eight-Stitch Cable crossed every 10th row.

Simple Cables left to right:

  1. Four-Stitch Cable crossed every 4th row.
  2. Six-Stitch Cable crossed every 6th row.
  3. Six-Stitch Cable crossed every 8th row.
  4. Eccentric Cable
  5. Eight-Stitch Cable crossed every 10th row.
  6. FOUR-STITCH CABLE CROSSED EVERY FOURTH ROW

Panel of 8 sts.

Rows 1 and 3 (Wrong side)—K2, p4, k2. Row 2—P2, k4, p2.

Row 4—P2, si next 2 sts to dpn and hold in back (or in front); k2, then k2 from dpn, p2.

2. SIX-STITCH CABLE CROSSED EVERY SIXTH ROW

Six stitches is the most popular size for cables, though it is by no means necessary to stick to this number.

Panel of 10 sts.

Rows 1 and 3 (Wrong side)—K2, p6, k2. Row 2—P2, k6, p2.

Row 4—P2, si next 3 sts to dpn and hold in back (or in front);

k3, then k3 from dpn, p2. Row 5—As 1 and 3. Row 6—As 2.

Repeat Rows 1-6.

3. SIX-STITCH CABLE CROSSED EVERY EIGHTH ROW

Panel of 10 sts.

Rows 1 and 3 (Wrong side)—K2, p6, k2. Row 2—P2, k6, p2.

Row 4—P2, si next 3 sts to dpn and hold in back (or in front);

k3, then k3 from dpn, p2. Rows 5 and 7—As 1 and 3. Rows 6 and 8—As 2.

Repeat Rows 1-8.

4. ECCENTRIC CABLE

This is only one example of the many ways in which the pattern rows can be varied in the same cable. A long "wrapped-ribbon" effect can be had, for instance, by cabling only once in 20 or 30 rows. Or two cable rows may be placed close together and then three or four times as many rows worked plain in between. Once the principle is understood it can be applied at will.

Panel of 10 sts.

Rows 1 and 3 (Wrong side)—K2, p6, k2. Row 2—P2, k6, p2.

Row 4—P2, si next 3 sts to dpn and hold in back (or in front);

k3, then k3 from dpn, p2. Rows 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17—As 1 and 3. Rows 6 and 8—As 2. Row 10—As 4.

Repeat Rows 1-18.

5. EIGHT-STITCH CABLE CROSSED EVERY TENTH ROW

This is a bulky, bold cable suitable for heavy sports sweaters and for coats.

Panel of 12 sts.

Rows 1 and 3 (Wrong side)—K2, p8, k2. Row 2—P2, k8, p2.

Row 4—P2, si next 4 sts to dpn and hold in back (or in front); k4, then k4 from dpn, p2. Rows 5, 7, and 9—As 1 and 3. Rows 6, 8, and 10—As 2.

Repeat Rows 1-10.

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  • veneranda
    How to knit eccentric stitch cable?
    8 years ago

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