Conquering Cable Knitting

I used to be terrified of cables. And as so often happens with fear (as Yoda would say), it led to anger, and then to hate. I actively hated cables for a while, because I didn’t understand them, and cable needles confused me, and I just didn’t want to be bothered with them. I loved the way they looked on knitwear, and I had many a cabled store bought sweater, but I was too daunted to take them on myself.

My first successful cabling project was actually a Knitscene  pattern that I took on before I worked here! Cassie Castillo’s Lilka Scarf from Knitscene Spring 2012 is worked on the bias and has beautiful cables! So, I bought some yarn, I got out my cable needle (a gift from my mom…uh, several years prior) and set to work. Leah, the owner of my then LYS in Rhinebeck (Knitting Garage at Stickle’s!) was incredibly patient and helpful and walked me through the first few repeats. And I was hooked. With a good pattern, and patience, I found that I liked cabling a whole lot. It made sense, when you took the time to understand it, and in learning to read cables I became much more aware of how knitting patterns actually work.

The Game On story from Knitscene Spring 2015 is all about cables. (We also shot it at Pinball Jones in Fort Collins, which was wicked fun!) The designs here focus on big cables that really make statements, just the kind of thing I would have been terrified to tackle a few short years ago. The textures created in these patterns have great depth and add eye-catching interest to the garments. The Willa Tank by Amanda Blair Brown has big, bold cable braids for straps. This piece is designed with super minimal seaming, a great tank for a beginner. Tanya Wade’s Ashlee Tee is designed to be a loose fitting cover up for warmer weather. It has cables down the center front and back, which are tied together by the cabled band that runs along the bottom hem.

Willa Tank, Amanda Blair Brown, Knitscene Spring 2015


Ashlee Tee, Tanya Wade, Knitscene Spring 2015
Willa Tank

by Amanda Blair Brown

Ashlee Tee

by Tanya Wade

The Skylar Hat, by Brenda K.B. Anderson, has an awesome slouch to it. The yarn used is made of hemp and cotton, which gives a great drape to this cables and lace pattern. Mari Chiba’s Colbie Tank is made of linen and wool, the former for the body of the tank, the latter for the cabled collar. Linen keeps this tank airy, while the wool in the collar adds definition to the cable pattern. You make the collar first, and then pick up stitches in the front and back to make the body of the garment.

Skylar Hat, Brenda K.B. Anderson, Knitscene Spring 2015 Colbie Tank, Mari Chiba, Knitscene Spring 2015
Skylar Hat

by Brenda K.B. Anderson

Colbie Tank

by Mari Chiba

The final pattern in this story, the Katey Cowl by Laura Hulslander, is the perfect spring accessory. Starting with a provisional cast-on, you work this cowl flat and then graft your edges. The offset braid cable flows beautifully and is an engaging knit! Not to mention a merino silk blend yarn…who doesn’t want to knit with that?!

Katey Cowl, Laura Hulslander, Knitscene Spring 2015
Katey Cowl

by Laura Hulslander

Whether you’re new to cables or a cabling expert, there’s something for every cable-r here. And if, like me, you once hated cables, and if, like me, that was because you were afraid of them, channel yourself some wise Yoda, and just do them. You might just find that cables aren’t the terrifying dark side you thought they were!

May the knitting force be with you,

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