How to Knit Cables

How to knit cables

There are 2 basic cables: right-leaning and left-leaning. Both are traditionally knit with the aid of a cable needle to reposition stitches and form the iconic cable pattern. 

The right-leaning cable, or right cross, is sometimes referred to as a “cable back” because you transfer a specified number of stitches to the cable needle and hold it behind your work while you knit a specified number of stitches from your knitting needle. You then knit the stitches on the cable needle, thereby forming the cable.

The left-leaning cable, or left cross, is commonly called a “cable front”, and is formed the same way but the cable needle is held in front of your work.

In this video, I demonstrate how to do 6-stitch wide cables, leaning right and leaning left. Other cables are done the same way, they just have a different number of stitches, as designated in the pattern.

How to Knit Cables

To make a right leaning cable:

  1. Transfer specified number of stitches to your cable needle and hold it behind your work
  2. Knit the specified number of stitches from your knitting needle
  3. Knit stitches from your cable needle

To make a left leaning cable:

  1. Transfer the specified number of stitches to your cable needle and hold it in front of your work
  2. Knit the specified number of stitches from your knitting needle
  3. Knit stitches from your cable needle

Sometimes patterns refer to cables as left cross and right cross. Regardless of the terminology, when you encounter cables in a pattern, it should explain how many stitches to put on the cable needle and how many stitches to knit from your knitting needle to form the cable. The pattern will also instruct you whether to knit or purl those stitches.

Try Your Hand at Cables

The Goat Whisperers Cabled Fingerless Gloves would be a great project for practicing cables. It looks complicated, but all of the cables are right-leaning so all you have to do is keep track of which row you are on and follow the instructions. You’ll be a right-leaning cable expert in no time!

Purchase the pattern on Ravelry or join our Goat Whisperers Cabled Fingerless Gloves Knit Along, where we guide you through each step of the pattern with detailed online lessons. Check it out at http://www.knitalongclub.com.

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