05 February 2013

Basic Cable: For Beginners

Learning how to knit Basic Cables:

If you have never knit cables, and would like to try a project, try starting out with something small. 

How easy are cables to knit. Greatly depends, from person to person.

1. Time
2. Your level of patience.
3. How badly you want to learn how to knit cables.

 There are special cable needles. I have cursed the day and damn the hour, when that slippery cable needle fell out of my project 3x's, on a flight from JFK to Tokyo. I became fustrated, and pull out the Bamboo double points knitting needles. 

For beginners that are learning how to knit cables,  I suggest you use a double pointed straight Bamboo knitting needle, or what ever makes you feel comfortable. 

This was deliciously warm, for the Super Bowl XLVII  week, when I was going to work, and running around.

Baltimore Ravens Colors wore all last week.

For this cowl I cast on 96 stitches. I used a worsted weight washable yarn. 

Cast on: Tubular

When you are knitting the tubular cast on, all you would need is cast on with waste yarn 48 stitches, and knit 2 rows of  stocking knit stitches.  After those 2 rows of stocking knit stitches with the waste yearn, change over to the yarn you are going to use, and knit 2 rows of stocking knit. Now follow the Video below, and this will show you how to make the tubular cast on.

Here is a YouTube video I have provided and the method I had used.  There are other methods, I find this to be the easiest with waste yarn.

With the tubular cast on, you would have a total of 96 stitches. 

Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

How to join in the round:


Yarn Weight:
Worsted  Weight Family or heavier. 
Use 2-3 Strands of finger weight.

Needle Size:  Read the package of the yarn you knitting from and go up to the minimum 1 size larger. (I go up 2 needle size larger) 

Example: US 9. Go up a size or two.

Stitch Count: It varies so greatly from one knitter to the next. This is a cowl not a pair of socks.


Swatch:  Do a 4x4 inch = 10 x 10 centimeters 
Swatch the cable pattern using 3 different needle sizes .
Feel which swatch you like, and use that knitting needle.

You're knitting cable, if your knitting needle is too small it will be like a suit of armor, it would be so dense. 

Relax! Stop being so serious, after you have completed this neck warmer and wear it.  You will get so many compliments alone for just making it.


Pattern is just a basic cable stitch.

* = repeat

Explanation of C6F: Slip 3 sts. to cable needle. Hold in front of work. Knit 3 stitches.  Then knit the 3 stitches. off the cable needle.  

YouTube: How to Knit A Cable stitch.

After you have join in the round, the pattern starts here: 

Row 1: will be your set up row: *P2, K2, P2, K6* Place markers, you will repeat this step 8 times. 

Row 1:  This is your set up row.(in 8 steps)

1. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

2. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

3. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

4. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

5. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

6. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

7. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

8. *P2, K2, P2, K6* place marker

This will give you 8 places for your cable area, this is Row 1.

This will give you a total of 96 stitches/12=8 stitch markers placement.

Rows 2-7:
*P2, K2, P2, K6* slip marker

Rows 2-7:  The only difference is, slip the markers over to the next needle, then knit your stitches. You do not need to add any more markers.


The stitch markers will help keep track of your placement of cable area, where it will start and where it will end.

Row 8 (cable row): slip marker to the other needle and *P2, K2, P2, C6F*slip marker, repeat  7 more times across the row.

Repeat Row 1-8 until cowl reaches desired height. I knit until I had reached 9". Let's say you came to you desired length you are on row 5, and reach the length of 9 inches(or desired length). Yes You would have to knit Row 6 and 7 *P2, K2, P2, K6

This is the pattern without all the complications:

Rows 1-7:
*P2, K2, P2, K6* slip marker

Row 8:
*P2, K2, P2, C6F*slip marker

knit to desired length and end on row 7: *P2, K2, P2, K6*.

How would you tell if you had knit 8 rows. 

1. Use waste yarn on each row. make a lope and knit it over the loop, and just cut the waste yarn after you are done.

2.  Quilter safety pins. (if you can find them good luck).

3.  Knitter tiny safety pin. 

4.  Split ring markers.

Preferred method:  Waste yarn. I can cut the waste yarn  away after I have completed my project. I don't have to worry about running out of placement markers.

Finally finish this madness, let's bind this off.

Bind off:  I-Cord bind off. 
Feels like it take forever, but well worth it.

This will give a neater appearance, and it flares the bottom, so it will go under your coat, and cover your chest.

It seems like I repeated 96 stitches a lot. This way  you would remember how many stitches the pattern call for. I wanted to make sure you had visual guides.

I hope this help you.

As Always be good to yourself.