Basic Knit Cable

Knitting is one of my favorite pastimes. In fact, if I am not blogging, working, or spending time with my family, chances are I'm knitting. Once you get the hang of it, knitting is a very rhythmic and repetitive form of creative meditation. (I just came up with that myself - creative meditation. It sounds pretty Zen!) The thing that continually amazes me about knitting is how many different patterns can be created with only two stitches, knit and purl.

The first thing many people think of when they think about knitting is a traditional cabled sweater. The cabling patterns in a classic sweater can almost look like they are woven or braided together. Just like all knitting patterns are various combinations of knit and purl stitches, all cabling patterns are variations of a front cable or a back cable.

Let me show you how cabling works. If you already know how to knit and purl, cabling may be less difficult than you think. All you need is a set of knitting needles, a cabling hook and some yarn.

Cabling can be done over just about any number of stitches, but I am going to show you a six stitch cable. Also, cabling is often worked between two sections of reverse stockinette stitch (that's where the stitches are purled on the front and knit on the back.) For this example I worked four stitches of reverse stockinette on either side of my cable.

Cast on 14 stitches

Front Cable


The first three rows are pretty simple.

Row 1: (wrong side) K4, P6, K4
Row 2: P4, K6, P4
Row 3: K4, P6, K4





All the tricky stuff happens in Row 4.

Row 4: P4, slip 3 sts onto the short side of your cabling hook. Just let the cabling hook rest on the front of your work,








K3 from your knitting needle then K3 from the long side of your cabling hook,









Finally, P4.









Row 5: K4, P6, K4
Row 6: P4, K6, P4
Row 7: K4, P6, K4
Row 8: P4, K6, P4







Now you just repeat those 8 rows.

Row 1: K4, P6, K4
Row 2: P4, K6, P4
Row 3: K4, P6, K4







Row 4: P4, slip 3 sts onto the short side of your cabling hook. Just let the cabling hook rest on the front of your work,








K3 from your knitting needle then K3 from the long side of your cabling hook,









Finally, P4.









Row 5: K4, P6, K4
Row 6: P4, K6, P4
Row 7: K4, P6, K4
Row 8: P4, K6, P4


Keep repeating Row 1-8.




Back Cable

The back cable is worked exactly like the front cable except this time in Row 4 you hold the cabling needle behind your work instead of in the front. Watch.

Row 1: K4, P6, K4
Row 2: P4, K6, P4
Row 3: K4, P6, K4

Row 4: P4, slip 3 sts onto the short side of your cabling hook.









Now flip the cabling hook so it is behind your work.









Let the cabling hook rest behind your work, K3 from your knitting needle then K3 from the long side of your cabling hook,








Finally, P4.









Row 5: K4, P6, K4
Row 6: P4, K6, P4
Row 7: K4, P6, K4
Row 8: P4, K6, P4

Notice that now the cabling goes to the right.




Repeat Rows 1-8.

Once you master basic cabling the possibilities are endless.







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The Chilly Dog: Basic Knit Cable
Basic Knit Cable
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