Wrongside Out: Knitted Cables and the Trapunto Vest

The Trapunto Vest from knitscene Winter 2015 has a secret—it’s cabled on the inside! Traditionally, cables are worked on the right side of the fabric so that undulating stitches form a design feature. Stockinette-stitch cables worked on a purl background pull the fabric in a little bit, as in a ribbed stitch pattern. These knitted cables create a striking, 3-dimensional pattern on the opposite side. Designer Katya Frankel took advantage of this distinctive pattern by working her cables inside out, to create a quilted look for this vest. Her approach makes a unique stitch pattern that emulates the look of puffy down vests.

knitted cables

Of course, if you prefer the look of traditional cables, you can simply turn it inside-out before picking up and knitting the armhole edging and neckband. You’ll end up with a classic cabled vest, also a lovely piece for chilly fall afternoons. If you’re not sure which look you prefer, weave in the ends carefully, add facings to the fronts and use a reversible zipper (or replace the zipper with a buttonhole band and a button band with buttons on both sides). Voilà—you have a completely reversible vest!

knitted cables

Are you intimidated by knitted cables? Don’t be! It’s just a matter of changing the order of a few stitches. Slip the stitches onto a cable needle, hold the cable needle to the front or back of the work (depending on which way your cable is leaning), work the next stitches from the left needle, then work the stitches from the cable needle. Easy-peasy! For photos and explanation of how to work cables (and how to fix a cable gone wrong), read Eunny Jang’s article on cables. Don’t have a cable needle handy? Try working them without a cable needle, or check out this Yarn Hack for an improvised cable needle.

Have you used the “wrong” side of a pattern as a design feature? What stitch patterns have you used inside out?

Cheers for cables!

—Laura


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