Two Tantalizing Cable Variations You’ll Love to Knit

Are you ready for a new cable knitting challenge? Try these fabulous cable variations that are far simpler than they look

The first time I saw a photo of a knitting pattern with cables (aka cabled stitches), I felt something close to awe. What must it be like, I wondered, to have such skill with knitting needles that I could create something so complex and beautiful?

The way the stitches seemed to wind themselves up a pole looked like a work of art, or perhaps a work of magic. The idea that I could ever produce something so lovely seemed unthinkable.

That kept me from even attempting cables, until I found a pattern for a pair of cabled fingerless mitts called Fetching.

It was so pretty that I decided I would see if, perchance, I might be able to knit them myself.

knit hand warmers with cables
My Fetching Mitts

You can see the result above. How hard do you think they were to knit?

Here’s How Cable Magic Happens

Cabled stitches are created by knitting stitches a little out of order.

A cable needle (or a spare DPN) is usually used to hold the un-knit stitches out of the way, either to the front or to the back of the work.

You knit later stitches first, then you knit the stitches carried on that cable needle or DPN. That’s what twists the stitches and creates that pretty winding effect.

Have you guessed yet? Those cabled fingerless mitts above were super-easy to knit. They were so easy that I knitted the same pattern 3 more times–and this was when I had been knitting for only about 2 years.

You can knit cables, too! Try starting with my blog post on how to knit the cable stitch. This post will show you how to knit a simple cabled square, which you can use as an afghan square. You can also use it to create a wash/dishcloth or a scarf.

I suspect that once you try knitting the cable stitch, you’ll become hooked. It’s a most delightful bit of knitting magic!

More Fun with Cable Variations: 2 Stitch Patterns

Basic cables are, yes, quite simple. But what about other types?

Are cables that create cupping circles more difficult? What about knitting cables and lace in the same pattern?

Nope!

They do require following a pattern closely. If you’re looking for mindless knitting, these patterns aren’t for you. However, if you want a challenge that doesn’t really feel like a challenge, keep reading for two tantalizing cable stitch patterns you’ll love to knit!

1. Hidden Gems

This fascinating variation creates a circular “cupping” cable with a gem-like pattern on top. Fun and fabulous!

Hidden Gems - Eric Haschke
Photo: Eric Haschke

Abbreviations:

CO: Cast on

Sl: Slip (slip the stitch from left needle to right needle without working it)

K: Knit

P: Purl

CO a multiple of 20, plus any border stitches you wish to use. In the swatch you see here, I cast on 6 border stitches, 3 on each side, for a total of 26.

Row 1: *Sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1, P4, K8, P4, sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1, repeat from * to the end of the row.

Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Purl

Rows 3 and 5: Repeat Row 1

Row 7: Sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1, *sl4 to cable needle and hold to back, K4, K4 from cable needle, sl 4 to cable needle and hold in front, K4, K4 from cable needle, repeat from * till last 2 stitches, sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1.

Row 9: *Sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1, K 16, Sl1, K1, return both stitches to left needle, K1, sl1, repeat from * to end of row.

Rows 11, 13 & 15: Repeat Row 9

Row 17: Repeat Row 7

Rows 19, 21, 23 & 25: Repeat Row 1

Repeat these 26 rows until your work is as long as you wish!

2. Cabled Feather

This delightful stitch pattern creates both a lacy “feather” design and beautiful cables.

Abbreviations:

CO: Cast on

K2tog: Knit two together

YO: Yarn over

K: Knit

P: Purl

Sl: Slip (slip the stitch from left needle to right needle without working it)

Cabled Feather - Eric Haschke
Photo: Eric Haschke

CO a multiple of 18; however, it must be at least 36 stitches. Simply casting on 18 stitches will not work for this stitch pattern.

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: *(K2tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: K15, *P6, K12, repeat from * to last 3 stitches (unless there are only 3 stitches left), K3.

Row 4: K 15, *sl 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in back, K3, K3 from cable needle, K12, repeat from * to last 3 stitches (unless there are only 3 stitches left), K3.

Row 5: Repeat Row 1

Row 6: Repeat Row 2

Row 7: Repeat Row 3

Row 8: Knit

Repeat these 8 rows until your work is as long as you wish.

These two cable variations can be used for a variety of flat works, including afghans, afghan squares, washcloths, and scarves. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try adding them to otherwise plain hat or sweater patterns.

I’ve found that there’s nothing quite like the headiness of trying a unique and exciting knitting stitch pattern and watching the magic development. I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy that rewarding feeling for yourself!

Tantalizing Cable Variations
Get “How to Get Your Handknits to Local People in Need: What You Need to Know” FREE with your subscription to the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter. When you join this community, you’ll receive resources + inspiration to knit patterns you love for people you care about!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.