Knitting Cables: Basics and Beyond

Telluride Aran by Amy Herzog

Cables are the "in" thing this fall and winter. They're everywhere in high-fashion, and I saw some cute cable knits at Target, too.

But I'm a knitter, and I'll make my own cabled sweater, thank you very much! I'm drooling over a cable project in the Winter 2013 issue of Interweave Knits: The Bread Basket Pullover and the Telluride Aran. They are simply beautiful. I think I'm leaning toward the Telluride. I love the heavily textured front and the plain stockinette back and sleeves. Lazy knitter, I guess, but I like the look. What do you think?

Aran sweaters are so beautiful and full of history. They take their name from the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland. Fishing was the business of these islands, and warm wool sweaters were necessary for this type of work.

Aran knitters tell a story with their stitches. The diamonds are a wish for prosperity, and the ribbed insert indicates strength. The open link cables represent friendship and family bonds, the honeycombs are a wish for goodness, and the textures ask for a bountiful harvest.

Although the stitches and their placement in this design are employed in the traditional Aran manner, the contemporary shade creates a modern look appealing to today's knitters.

A lot goes into knitting cables, so I thought I'd arm you with some info from Knits editor Lisa Shroyer. Lisa recently recorded a webinar all about cables, and she shared the following:

Bread Basket Pullover
by Kathy Zimmerman
  • Cables take more yarn, usually at least 25 percent more. Heavily cabled projects, like the Bread Basket Pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2013, can take almost double the yarn.
  • When you spend a lot of time on a beautiful cabled sweater, you want that work to show! So choose a yarn that works well with cable work, such as plied yarn, merino or other animal fibers, and solid color or subtly variegated yarns.
  • No matter how complex a cable project is, a single cable cross can go only one of two ways: Left or right! In order to cross stitches to the left, the rightmost stitches need to pass in front of the left most stitches; in order to cross stitches to the right, the leftmost stitches need to pass in front of the rightmost stitches.

—Lisa Shroyer, from Cable Forecast!

Cable knitting is fun and rewarding. We put together a Winter Cables digital bundle for you: Lisa's Cable Forcast! Webinar, the Winter 2013 issue of Interweave Knits, and our Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Cables.Take a look at Lisa's webinar and learn so much more about the art of knitting cables, and then choose a beautiful cable pattern and cast on!


P.S. Are you knitting a cable pattern this winter? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

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