The cable stitch in knitting, which usually looks more like a twisted rope or even a crisscrossed trellis, adds a certain texture to whatever fabric you’re knitting in a cable pattern.
Cables are versatile, and you can make a large number of intricate patterns from them – from intermediate-level snake cables, to complicated arched cable, and intriguing woven lattice cable, to numerous tiny cabled designs that are best attempted by advanced knitters, or super enthusiastic ones!
These lush looking cables also help in thickening the fabric; that is what helps keep those hats, scarves and sweaters you’ve knitted for friends and family snugly warm.
Twisting with cable patterns is easy!
If cabling is putting the fear of knitting in your heart, and that gorgeous cabled raspberry vest knitting pattern in your favorite knitters’ magazine is making you lose sleep at night, then quit worrying and follow our beginner’s guide for super easy, no-fuss cabling techniques.
Whatever your knitting level or circumstances, learn all our twisty cabling tips and tricks, and soon you’ll be cabling like a pro! Follow the listed steps and don’t lose heart, hope or yarn if you make a mistake or two. Once you get the hang of it, cabling can be quite fun!
Cable Knitting for Beginners – What You Need for Beautiful Cabling
Start by gathering everything you might need to stitch a cable.
• Knitting needles – use according to yarn size and pattern recommendations.
• Cable needles – These particular needles come in myriad shapes and sizes, but the one thing that all cable needles have in common are two pointy ends – pretty much like your regular DPNs, or double pointed needles.
You could go for a DPN, but there’s ample reason to benefit from the bent shape in a cable needle; specially for beginners who might be prone to dropping stitches and making some knitting errors in the beginning of cabling rows.
You can also find cable needles in your knitting store that have a ‘hook’ shape on top – the concept is the same – which is moving stitches easily, so you could go with either.
Pro Tip – Pick cable needles closest to your recommended yarn size, to avoid slipping off stitches or stretching them.
• Yarn (pure wool or wool blended yarn will work fine with the thick, non-elastic cable braids)
• A cable pattern for beginners
• Stitch markers (if necessary)
Cable Knitting for Beginners – What You Need to Know Before Knitting a Cable
Before you start with the cable stitch you would need to know:
• casting on,
• the knit stitch,
• the purl stitch.
How to Knit a Cable – The Basic Cable Pattern
The most basic of the cable knitting patterns is what is called a ‘rope’ cable. This type of a cable stitch is basically worked over a pre-defined number of stitches, which are usually worked in a straight column, without disturbing the background stitches. You’ll understand better once you knit a couple rows.
Knitting Cable 1st – 3rd Row:
Start by casting on 14 stitches and then begin your work on row 1.
• Purl 4 stitches, then knit 6 and purl 4 – this is what constitutes your first row.
• Row two: knit 4, purl 6 and then knit another 4, followed by row 3 which has a purl 4, knit 6 and purl 4 again, same as the 1st row.
Knitting Cable 4th – 6th Row
• The fourth row follows the same pattern as the 2nd row with a knit 4, purl 6 and a knit 4 again.
• Row 5: this is the row where you make a turn. Purl 4, slip 3 stitches to the cable needle and hold in front of your knitting piece.
Continue with a knit 3 pattern, from the needle in your left hand, and then finish the row by knitting the 3 stitches on your cable needle.
• Continue to hold these three stitches in front of your work, and then keep knitting 2 stitches that follow from the left needle to the right needle.
• Now, knit the three stitches on your cable needle on to the right hand knitting needle, and continue by purling the remaining 4 stitches, and consecutively transferring them from the left needle to the right one.
Repeat all the steps from Row 2 till the last step stated above, and continue and repeat as many times as required for you to perfect the basic ‘rope’ cabling technique.
Cabling Tips for Beginners – Cable like a Pro!
Always remember, when you are going from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, bring the yarn in front between the needles, before you proceed to make the next stitch. And when you go from a purl stitch to a knit stitch, bring the yarn between the needles toward the back of your knitting work.
For beginner mistakes in a cable going down several rows (or even repeats) and you don’t like it one bit, then take a deep breath and instead of unraveling all the rows down to your mistake, insert a DPN just below the annoying mistake, and work your way up to it, dropping only the stitches you need to.
When learning to knit cable, always start off with patterns that have juts ONE cable or rope design in it.
Experiment with More Complexly Pretty Cables
Once you have learnt the basic cable stitch there are many interesting and fun cable patterns you can try like the Durrow Cable pattern, the Double horseshoe, the crisscross cable with twists, or even the beautiful honeycomb cable pattern – perfect for a child’s sundress.
Take a Cable Knitting Class for Perfecting this Twisty Stitch
If you are still confused as to what all you can do with a cable stitch and do not want to experiment and stumble your way through myriad cabling patterns, plus, you desire a more hands-on expert help with proper guidance through complicated and gorgeous cable patterns, then an ideal thing to do would be to join a beginner’s cable knitting class.
Knitting classes, apart from being immensely helpful, are fun and you get to learn a new knitting technique with fellow knitters to help you out. From being introduced to the a variety of textured, lush cable designs that you’ll knit with trained help, to gorgeous cabled scarves, an easy-to-make cabled hat and even guidance from a certified knitting instructor on how to read and understand knitting patterns and charts. Join this class and learn to knit cables fast:
|Find Out How To Learn Cables In A Fun And Easy Way|
You can even learn how to cable without a cable needle! The ‘explorations in cables’ class will make cabling super fun and easy!
We hope this beginner cabling guide has started you off on a knitting journey which will only become more varietal and diverse as you play with the cabling technique.
These simple steps will help you learn how to do a cable stitch easily and make you proficient in the art of cabling.