4 Tips for Easier Crocheted Cables

Strands of crocheted post stitches step around and behind each other in an elegant dance. The steps create the swirls of a crocheted cable.

But like the steps of a dance, learning just where to place your hook when working cables can take a bit of practice-and an instructor is always welcome. One of my favorite cables is the six-strand cable Jodi Euchner displays running down the center of her Solas Caomh blanket (left, Interweave Crochet Spring 2009, available now as a digital download). Here are a few tips to guide you through some of the trickier parts of crocheted cable construction.

1. Keep your pattern close at hand.  Even advanced crocheters refer to the pattern when working the cable-cross rows of a cable. Sometimes it's hard to remember if you work the second set of stitches over or under the previously worked strand of the cable. With the digital magazines, I keep the pattern on my laptop, which travels with me wherever you go. Digital magazines make great travel companions. Plus the pages never wear out! 

2. Work behind the stitches just worked. With cables, the "strands" weave over and under each other. To create this woven construction, you skip stitches, and then work over the top of or behind the stitches just worked. When working behind the stitches just created, work into the skipped stitches from front to back as normal. 

Some patterns instruct you to work a front post double crochet behind the stitches just worked. To do this, insert your hook behind the previously worked stitches on the working row and make a front post double crochet around the skipped stitch inserting your hook from front to back to front around the stitch in the normal manner. This ensures that the first set of stitches lies on top of the second set of stitches worked.


If you have trouble inserting your hook in the skipped stitches, pull the skipped stitches to the left of the cable strand already worked (above). Once you have worked into the skipped stitches, allow those stitches to fall back behind the top strand of the cable. 


3. Minimize gaps. Long stitches, such as treble crochets, worked over skipped stitches can become loose. Pull the loop on your hook tight before yarning over. When working the stitch, hold the yarn overs and original loop close together when yarning over and drawing through the loops. 


4. And finally, don't let the intricate look of crochet cables intimidate you. Use these tips and jump in. To get started, try the One for All Family of Mitts (Crochet Accessories 2010), a great first cable pattern. 

Download a digital issue today
and enjoy the twists of beautiful cables. Or download 8 Free Crochet Hats and enjoy the cables of the Stone Path Hat.


Best wishes,

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