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Knitting Bucket List Item: Afghans with Cables

A short time ago, I published an article about our knitting bucket lists. It occurred to me then that it might be rather fun to start a series of articles that would offer up free patterns relating to those bucket list items. Then, those of you who have these items on your knitting bucket list might just be a little more likely to give one a try. So for the next several weeks, I’m going to take the items listed in that article and find a group of free knitting patterns that fit their criteria. By the way, if you would like to get in on this, why don’t you pass along a note telling me what item(s) is/are on your own knitting bucket list? I would love to provide more pattern collections! Our first challenge came from Lisa, who wants to knit a king-sized bedspread with cables. She added this caveat: “…if I could do a cable correctly (tension is not my friend).” Another knitter named Annie also mentioned that she would like to knit a cabled afghan. Because Lisa has trouble with cables, I decided that in addition to offering a collection of free knitting patterns, I would also offer a handful of cable knitting tutorials that she might find helpful.

Free Cabled Afghan Patterns

Cables and Ripples Afghan: This stunning design features alternating basic spiral-type cables and more dramatic flared cables. Knit Quilt: This afghan was designed to alternate between honeycomb panels and cabled panels. If you wish, of course, you can skip the honeycomb panels and stick with the cabled panels. Argyle Cable Knit Afghan Pattern: Here is another pattern that alternates panels; this time, it alternates varieties of cable panels with an argyle panel. Again, you are always free to leave out the argyle panel if you desire. Or, you could do what this clever knitter did (check out the project page here) and use all the same color for both argyle and cable panels. Teatime Blanket: This may be the one blanket in this collection that was designed strictly as a cabled afghan. The blanket can be made smaller or larger by reducing or increasing the number of pattern repeats. The Cables and Lace Afghan Project: This is a clever afghan idea. Individual blocks are knitted in one of several different cables or lace stitch patterns, then joined together to make a sampler sort of afghan. You can knit whatever blocks you like the best and create enough to make the afghan size you desire. (Lisa, this might be a great way for you to practice cables on a smaller scale!) Cable Knitting: This is a vintage pattern, and I do mean *vintage* — it was published in an Australian journal in 1887. As such, the pattern may be somewhat difficult to follow. But an adventurous knitter may well find themselves with a beautiful afghan after the strips described in the pattern are joined together.

Cable Knitting Tutorials

And now, here’s a few tutorials for cable knitting, for anyone who may struggle with cables like Lisa, or have simply never tried knitting cables before and would like to give it a try. Doing the Twist: Basics of Cable Knitting Lion Brand has some terrific tutorials, and this clearly-illustrated and well-written explanation is easy to understand and follow. Cable Tutorial A little older than Lion Brand’s tutorial but just as easy to understand. It’s very concise and well-illustrated. I also like that it features the use of a plain DPN as a cable needle rather than an actual cable needle. (Cable needles are terrific, but I’ve never used one and have found DPNs work just fine.) Learn to Cable Knit Picks is another yarn company with superb tutorials. What I like about this one is that it shows you how to make both left-leaning and right-leaning cables, plus it shows you what the charts for both look like. (Many cabled patterns include charts, so this is quite helpful.) Cable What I love about this Purl Bee tutorial is that the photos are enormous. If you’re not sure of what the needles and yarn are supposed to be doing at any given time, this is the tutorial you need!

Video Tutorials

With new knitting techniques, sometimes photos don’t quite show us exactly what we need to see. That’s when video tutorials come in handy. Try any of the following. Knitting Beginner Cable Tips and Tutorial Tutorial: Basic Cable Knitting How to Knit a Cable Cable Knitting: How to Cable Knit for Beginners How to Cable for Beginners With these patterns plus tutorials, I hope that Lisa, Annie, and anyone else who has such an item on your knitting bucket list are ready to tackle that afghan at last!