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How to Knit Cables

Whether simple or complex, cable patterns add depth and texture to your knitting, and they are easy to learn. Use a cable needle to cross one group of stitches over another, or move them across the background fabric. Your pattern instructions will give you details on how to place and cross the cables.

  • Most cables are worked in Stockinette stitch on a reverse Stockinette stitch background so they stand out.
  • Many cables involve crossing the 2 stitches over 2 stitches, or 4 stitches over 4 stitches, etc. Some cables involve unequal numbers, such as crossing 3 stitches over 4 stitches. Your pattern will have information on the types of cables used in the pattern and the abbreviations used for those cables.
  • Cable needles may be in a U shape or may be mostly straight with an offset section in the middle. Both designs work the same way, and which one is used depends on the individual knitter. When using a cable needle, make sure you remove the stitches in the same order you put them on.
  • Holding the stitches in front of the work forms a cable that leans left. Holding the stitches in back of the work forms a cable that leans right.

Cable 4 Back (CAB)

These instructions are one common type of cable. They involve crossing two stitches over another two stitches. All four stitches are in Stockinette stitch against a reverse Stockinette background.

1. On a right side row, work to the position of the cable panel and slip the next two stitches to the cable needle.

2. Hold the stitches on the cable needle at the back of the work. Knit the next two stitches from the left needle.

3. Now knit the two stitches from the cable needle to form a cable that twists to the right.

Cable 4 Front (CAF)

1. On a right side row, work to the position of the cable panel and slip the next two stitches to the cable needle.

2. Hold the stitches on the cable needle at the front of the work. Knit the next two stitches from the left needle.

3. Now knit the two stitches from the cable needle to form a cable that twists to the left.

Below: LW5043 Lattice Look Beanie Knitting Pattern

How to Knit Cables

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