Diagram of cable, prior to cable crossing row

Cables in knitting are formed by crossing stitches, and creating a twist in the fabric.  Every cable pattern is basically just a variation on this theme.  This tutorial illustrates how to cable by knitting a very basic 6-stitch cable. As you see below, you will be knitting the leftmost 3 stitches first, then the rightmost 3 stitches, and this re-ordering of the stitches will form the cable crossing.

1. Knit (or purl) along until you reach the cable, then stop.

1. Knit (or purl) along until you reach the 6 stitches that form the cable, then stop.

2. Slip the first 3 stitches of the cable, one at a time, from the left-hand needle onto a cable needle. This cable is a front-cross cable, which twists to the left, and so you will just let the cable needle drop to the front of the work. If you were working a back-cross or right-twisting cable, you would drop your cable needle to the back of the work.

3. Knit the next 3 stitches from the left-hand needle.

3. Knit the next 3 stitches from the left-hand needle.

4. Lastly, knit the 3 stitches that were on hold on the cable needle.

4. Lastly, knit the 3 stitches that were on hold on the cable needle.

Then you’re done, and since you knit the 6 stitches out of order, you created the twisted in the knitted fabric which forms a cable!  Continue knitting as established, and your cable will show more clearly after a few rows.  Typically, you will only do this cable cross maneouver every few rows (for a 6-stitch cable, you will do a cable cross every 6th rows, for a 4-stitch cable, you will do a cable cross every 4th row, etc.)

This 6-stitch cable is the cable pattern used in my Chunky Cable Hat – a free pattern.


Chunky Cable Hat

by Emily Wessel

This simple cable hat knits up quickly, for a luxuriously soft and smooshy result – perfect for last-minute gifts.

Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky (100g/104 yds)
Gauge: 12 sts/4″ in sockinette stitch using larger needles
Needles: 6.5mm and 6.0mm (US 10 1/2 and US 10)
Notions: Cable Needle & Darning Needle

You can download the pattern from my website [CLICK HERE]

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Tofino Surfer Hat  Whitecaps Hat  Easy Peasy Toque

OK, I know it’s positively depressing, the lack of knitting that has been posted on this blog of late.  So though it’s not terribly exciting, I have for you: Noro Silk Garden, knit up into a garter-brim hat.  I loved working with this yarn, which is a joy, and I enjoyed this simple hat pattern I ‘designed’, especially as I made a couple of modifications the second time.

Secondly, I’ve started on YET another hat, knit from Malabrigo Merino Worsted, which until my employment at Urban Yarns, I had not tried.  MMMMmmm it is lovely to knit with (like butter), but I fear it will pill and wear quickly.  But I’m withholding judgment for later.

So of course, I’ve also been spinning!

And loving the results – though they are but meagre.  Upper left is a single-ply mystery-wool that came in a box from a friend of my mom’s, and which I dyed into intense (offensive?) pink, purples and blue – about DK weight, and 170 yds.  To the right is 2-ply, fingering weight merino, spun from tiny balls of roving I bought at a lovely artistan’s shop during my bike trip of the oregon coast (december 08).  It’s about 40 grams, and 130 yds.  At the bottom is ‘wildflowers’ a single-ply silk which I hand-dyed and spun, also procured from the box of mystery handed down to me by a spinning friend of my mother’s.  I have TONNES more silk to spin, but I am seriously lacking the skills to do it effectively.  This little skein, ~ 100 yds, is uber lovely, though, I must say (so modest!).

I’m currently designing this sweater… (well, I guess it’s only a sleeve and a half so far.. hardly qualifies as a sweater)… which is going to be pretty stripey all over.  It’s knit from recycled and hand-dyed merino yarn, and it’s at a pretty fine gauge, knit on US#3 (3mm) needles.  As the same needles are being used for gloves that I’m currently knitting, I have had to wait before getting back to the sweater.  Of course, I’m impatient, because who doesn’t love stockinette in the round with only stripes to distract one from cheesy TV?!  And I think the end product will be very wearable – that is if I ever finish it!!

Black Heart – this is my first try at hand-painting yarn.  I’m ecstatic about the colours, but the process was a little time-consuming, as I had to dye twice after the first round left too many white patches.  I found out that it’s much simpler to set the dyes in the microwave than by steaming on the stovetop (this was discovered after I scorched the bottom of my dye-pot when all the water boiled off).

I have 3 more skeins of the base yarn, which is knitpicks ‘bare’ merino / nylon sock yarn.  I haven’t knit with it before, so I’m hoping it’s decent – and if I feel like it won’t stand up to hard wear as socks, I may knit a hat or scarf with it.  OR… gloves for me?

I have been making progress on Mark’s birthday present: simple merino wool gloves.  I’m just working out the pattern as I go, and now that I’ve got the left-hand glove fitting perfectly, all that remains is to knit it again for the other hand!  I’m not really loving how many yarn ends have to be woven in…

But of course, despite the downsides, I’m going to have to knit myself a pair as soon as his are off the needles, because it’s still cold and crisp here in Vancouver, and fingerless gloves are really a joke when it comes to keeping you warm!!

Lastly, I made a second purchase at Urban Yarns, and it is none other than the lovely malabrigo merino lace, a buttery soft and brilliantly dyed single-ply lace yarn.  I have lusted after this yarn for SO LONG, and finally have it in my clutches!!

The swatch shows the stitch pattern I’m using to create a fat scarf / stole.  It’s a pretty brainless stitch pattern, so it’ll even be suitable for knit nights, and watching TV.

I’ve been obsessively making these little 5 1/2″ crocheted circles.  I’ve just learned to crochet, and it’s SO addictive to make circles!! It’s so fast, and you use up little scraps of yarn, and it is a great way to use up all the odds and ends of hand-spun that have been piling up on my desk.

Circles are so satisfying and beautiful!  These are all started with single crochet, and continue with double crochet, and finished with a round of single crochet.  I’ve got 39 circles done so far, and I think I need at least 88, so I’m not quite to half.  And I really have no idea how I’m going to join them all together, but I’ll get to that eventually!!  Probably with black yarn.  Maybe with little tiny intermediary circles?  It’s hard to say now.

It has been a long time since I posted… but I’ve been knitting!  I also quit my job, and did a bike trip down the Oregon Coast… in winter… yeah, it’s been a hectic and tumultuous period in my life! 

Bandon, OR

Yachats, OR

Cape Foulweather







 But I’m loving my projects.  There are a couple christmas projects that I can’t unveil on this blog quite yet, but I have some socks I can show off;  first, Monkeys:

They are knit from fibranatura yummy yarn, a lovely skein that I bought in Seaside, Oregon, on Day 1 of my bike tour.  I thought since I was kicking my own ass biking in the winter, and I was on vacation, then I had to treat myself to yarn every time I biked past a yarn shop!!  Luckily, I passed a lot that were closed at the time I was there, so my stash fit in my paniers just fine!! 

Another single sock that has been knit, but is begging for its mate is a Jaywalker, which I knit from 2 skeins of hand-dyed garn sisu.  It was originally intended for either my mom or my mom-in-law, but I ended up doing hand-spun mittens for my mom, and a different pair of sock for my mom-in-law, so these may end up being mine?  I knit the 84 stitch version, which is a little bit big on me, unfortunately, but it’s pretty lovely anyways!  I knit it on US #0 needles, which are crazy tiny, and make a very dense fabric, which I hope will wear well.


I’ve also been making little tiny christmas stars to send out with christmas cards…. which…. I am ashamed to say… still haven’t been sent out…

But they will be. Soon.

So the last pair of socks which I have completed were the christmas socks I made for my mom-in-law, and they are knit from Cascade 220 superwash ‘quatro’, which is a fairly thin worsted wt. yarn.  22o yards = 100 grams, and I used exactly 50 grams for each sock, which was scary as I approached the end of the second sock.

After knitting the Jaywalker and the Monkeys, I was no longer intimidated by the top-down sock, in fact, I am now more comfortable knitting socks top-down, and I feel like I can do whatever I like with them now.  These were very simple, with a seeded rib pattern on cuff and top of foot, slip stitch across the heel flap, and sole.  As they were 45 sts at the cuff an 48 sts through the foot, they went quite a bit faster than fingering-wt. socks do, but they still took some time.

So I had a lovely holiday in Salinas, California, and soon my husband and I will be heading back north to Vancouver, hopefully allowing me lots of knitting time during the road trip!  Happy Holidays to all!

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