Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Problems with knitting Cables

I've been working on a cable sweater lately. No new pictures to show you because it all looks the same just more of it. So, if you want to see a pic, check out the last blog or so. Anyway - I have a few observations about cable knitting. Some may help you, some may seem really stupid.

1. Cable Needles. Many people try to knit cables without a cable needle. Some people MUST have a cable needle. I fall somewhere in between. I don't use a cable needle but I don't want to knit with "nothing" because I have cats and they like to suddenly visit my lap right when I'm part way through a cable row. So what do I do? I use my chibi. It's always sitting on the table next to me and its just big enough to hold the stitches while I switch them around. Once I have the 2 or 3 stitches moved to the front/back, I knit the next set and slip the chibi stitches back on the left needle. Works for me...

2. Reading patterns. Most cable patterns have multiple cables - each with their own pattern and they are never the same number of rows for a repeat. I use Excel spreadsheets to make a full width cable pattern with as many rows as the biggest repeat. My current pattern is 3 cable designs with 1 of them doing a mirror image on each side. The three patterns are 4, 24, & 24 row repeats. My spreadsheet is 24 rows high so the one design (4 row repeat) is repeated 6 times on the sheet. I also change the background color of each cable set to different colors so its easy to see where each cable is. Once I have this done I can have my computer sitting next to me (or on my lap) while I knit with the current row on the top line. (check out the pic of Bert & the computer last post) It's easy to see what to knit and at the end of the row I just move the sheet up one row to the next one. When I quit knitting I mark the left side with a yellow highlight so I know right where I left off. It sure saves losing the paper pattern.

The current sweater has 3 tabs. One for the front and back, one for the right sleeve and one for the left sleeve as they have different shaping.

3. Cables on sleeve increases. When I knit sleeves and other pieces with increases I don't start the cable until I have 2 stitches beyond the cable for the edge. If there's just 1 stitch before the cable, the cable gets caught up in the seaming. Having the 2 stitches just makes the sleeve seam look smoother.

I started this post by naming it "the problems with cables" but I guess I was wrong. It's The Solutions for Cables.

No comments: