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A to Z: Beyond the Basics

Cables


A cable (also called a cross) is formed by using an extra needle, usually a cable needle or double-pointed needle, to hold stitches to be crossed either to the front (which crosses them to the left), or to the back (which crosses them to the right). The cable crossing is worked on the right side of the work. The extra needle should be thinner than those you are working with to avoid stretching the stitches. After you have worked the cable, be sure to pull the yarn firmly before working the next stitch to prevent gaps in your work.

LEFT AND RIGHT CABLES

The illustrations below show examples of a six-stitch front (left) cable and a six-stitch back (right) cable.

front cable back cable  

Front (or left) cable

Back (or right) cable  
front (left) cable
front cable front cable front cable

1. Slip the first three stitches of the cable purlwise to a cable needle and hold them to the front of the work. Be careful not to twist the stitches.

2. Leave the stitches suspended in front of the work, keeping them in the center of the cable needle where they won't slip off. Pull the yarn firmly and knit the next three stitches. 3. Knit the three stitches from the cable needle. If this seems too awkward, return the stitches to the left needle and then knit them.
back (right) cable
back cable back cable back cable

1. Slip the first three stitches of the cable purlwise to a cable needle and hold them to the back of the work. Be careful not to twist the stitches.

2. Leave the stitches suspended in back of the work, keeping them in the center of the cable needle where they won't slip off. Pull the yarn firmly and knit the next three stitches. 3. Knit the three stitches from the cable needle. If this seems too awkward, return the stitches to the left needle and then knit them.
left twist (LT)
left twist    

A left twist is formed by crossing one stitch over another. Work this as a two-stitch cable using a cable needle, or use any of the following three methods. All slant to the left.

   
from the knit side: version A
left twist left twist  

1. Skip the first stitch on the left needle. With the right needle behind the left one, insert the right needle into the back loop of the second stitch on the left needle. Wrap the yarn knitwise and pull it through.

2. Knit the skipped stitch through the front loop as shown and slip both stitches from the left needle.  
from the knit side: version B

Knit the second stitch through the back loop as for version A. Then knit the first and second stitches together through the back loops.

from the purl side
left twist left twist  

1. Skip the first stitch on the left needle and purl the second stitch through the back loop as shown.

2. Purl the skipped stitch through the front loop as shown and slip both stitches from the left needle.  
right twist (RT)
right twist    

A right twist is formed by crossing one stitch over another. Work this as a two-stitch cable using a cable needle, or use any of the following three methods. All slant to the right.

   
from the knit side: version A
right twist right twist  

1. Knit two stitches together through front loops. Do not slip them from the left needle.

2. Then knit the first stitch through the front loop as shown. Slip both stitches from the left needle.  
from the knit side: version B

Skip the first stitch on the left needle. Insert the right needle into the front loop of the second stitch on the left needle. Wrap yarn knitwise and pull it through; do not slip the stitch off the needle. Knit the skipped stitch through the front loop and slip both stitches from the left needle.

from the purl side
right twist right twist  

1. Skip the first stitch on the left needle and purl the second stitch through the front loop as shown.

2. Purl the skipped stitch through the front loop as shown and slip both stitches from the left needle.