Knitting Tutorial: Cabling Without a Cable Needle

Video Tutorial: How to knit cables without a cable needleRight now I'm working on a new baby afghan pattern that features a panel of narrow knit cables. I think it looks lovely, but as I was working, it became a hassle to cross stitches with a cable needle. Luckily, my friend, Tammy, from Eclectic Technique, showed me how to knit cables without a cable needle.

This technique is not for the faint of heart because for a split second, you will have a couple stitches just dangling freely. Scary! With practice, however, you'll be surprised how quickly you can knit a panel of cables like the ones in my afghan.

I know that sometimes, with knitting, it can be easier to understand a technique by watching it than reading about it, so here's a short video to get you started.


Or if you prefer step by step written directions...

I knit a small cabled swatch to demonstrate how to knit cables without a cable needle.
Each of my cables are 4 sts wide, so I'm crossing 2 sts over or behind 2 sts, but once you get the hang of it, you can use this technique with larger cables, as well.
Let's start with a front crossing/left leaning cable.

Front Crossing/Left Leaning Cable


Slip 2 sts from your left needle to the right.
Knit 2 stitches.
Insert your left needle into the first 2 slipped stitches at the front.
Deep breath! slide the right needle out of 4 stitches, leaving 2 hanging stitches.
Move the right needle back and insert it into the 2 hanging stitches.
Knit 2 stitches.
Voila!

Now let's pass a cable the other direction.

Back Crossing/Right Leaning Cable


Bring your working yarn under the right needle and towards the front.
Slip 2 stitches from the left needle to the right.
Move your working yarn under the right needle and to the back.
Slip 2 more stitches from the left needle to the right.
Insert the left needle into the first 2 slipped stitches at the back.
Deep breath! Slide the right needle out of 4 stitches, leaving 2 hanging stitches.
Move the right needle to the front and insert it into the 2 hanging stitches.
Slip 2 stitches from the right needle to the left needle.
Knit 4 stitches.
A lovely right leaning cable.
I highly recommend practicing this technique on a swatch because any mistakes in a cabled pattern will be very noticeable. Also, it's easiest to practice with a yarn that doesn't separate easily, like wool. That way, picking up those hanging stitches is not quite as scary.

Video Tutorial: How to knit cables without a cable needle

Also, the Hugs and Kisses Baby Afghan Pattern is now available in my pattern shop. Happy knitting!

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The Chilly Dog: Knitting Tutorial: Cabling Without a Cable Needle
Knitting Tutorial: Cabling Without a Cable Needle
Video Tutorial: How to knit cables without a cable needle.
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The Chilly Dog
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