The “Dream Scarf” by Blue Sky Alpacas features a wide ribbed cable that adds subtle texture to this scrumptious reversible scarf. The cable blends beautifully with the rest of the fabric by continuing the pattern while the cable is made. If you’re new to cables, or haven’t done them in a while, here’s our handy guide to knitting cables in pattern.
There are a few things about cables you should keep in mind before we begin the tutorial. First and foremost, cable terminology varies from pattern to pattern. When you see ‘C6F’ that could mean the width of the cable is six stitches and the cable needle is held to the front, OR, it could mean six stitches are held to the front on a cable needles. Always read through the definition for the cable abbreviations in whatever pattern you’re using.
Also, in order to make cables you will need a cable needle. Or an extra DPN. Or, if you’re dextrous, there are ways to cable without a cable needle. The shape of the cable needle doesn’t matter so much, but it helps to find one that is about the same gauge as the needle you are knitting with.
OK! Let’s get started! Here we have a simple ribbed swatch with two selvedge stitches on either end. We are going to demonstrate how to cable front and cable back in pattern.
HOW TO CABLE FRONT IN PATTERN
Knit to the first stitch of the cable, stop, and slip the number of cable stitches specified by the pattern (in our example six sts) to your cable needle. Hold the cable needle in the front.
Reach over the stitches held on the cable needle and work the first stitch on your left hand needle. Pull your working yarn to close the gap behind the cable needle. Continue knitting in pattern for the specified number of stitches.
Now, pick up the cable needle with the live stitches and knit from the cable needle. Here you can see that the fabric will contort a little as you’re knitting from the cable needle. Don’t worry though, the fabric will relax a few rows after the cable row. Make sure that when you’re knitting from the cable needle you start with the right-most stitches and work left.
Once you’re done knitting the stitches on the cable needle, set aside the cable needle and continue in pattern through the end of the row.
Here’s what the row looks like when it’s done. As you can see, the cable seems a bit tight. After a few rows the cable will relax and the tension will even out.
HOW TO CABLE BACK IN PATTERN
To cable back in pattern, you take the specified number of cable stitches, slip them onto a cable needle, and hold the cable needle to the back.
Reach across the stitches on the cable needle and work the first stitch on your left hand needle. Pull your working yarn to close the gap in front of the cable needle. Continue knitting in pattern for the specified number of stitches.
Now, tip the cable needle and start working the stitches held on the cable needle. Make sure you’re knitting the rightmost stitches first, and that you are looking at the right side of the stitches on the cable needle.
Right after working a cable, you will notice that the cable seems tight. That’s normal. After working a few rows or rounds beyond your cable row you’ll notice the fabric relax and your cable will loosen up.
The Kitterly Team