Friday, October 22, 2010

Wherein I completely trash my reputation as Tutorial Queen

We're making some nice progress on the Burberry-Inspired Cowl knit-along over on Ravelry.

I've promised to do a bit of step-by-stepping with photos for those unfamiliar with the ways of the cable.  So that's what I've done.

Very badly.

{In my defense, I am home sick trying to fend off a nasty cold that seems to be making the rounds of the office.  That means that I'm alone and the whole "tripod/camera-on-a-timer/weird autumn lighting/fuzzy brain" combination is tough to work around.}

Still, I think it gets the point across.  I'm not going to bother making it into a pdf and posting it online, I'm just going to lay it all out right here.  Apologies to those who are not knitting along with us.  Hopefully, you can pick up a trick or two anyway.

Here goes:

First off, it is important to understand that the cable in question is a total of 16 stitches in width.  You don't actually see the "boundaries" of this particular cable, because it is knit in stockinette on a stockinette background.  Basically, it blends in with the scenery.

Cables can be as wide as you want them (although 8 or 10 stitches is probably about the max), but they are usually split into two portions (I won't say *always* split in two, because you just never know who might have come up with something new while I wasn't looking...).  A cable is formed by taking those two portions and crossing them over each other (think of braiding hair, only you're just using 2 hanks to form a twist).  Here's how it works:

Step 1: Follow the pattern instructions until you get to the point where the pattern tells you to slip 8 stitches (the first half of the cable) onto the cable needle.  (I'm just holding the cable needle in my right hand here, because I wanted you to see what it looks like.)

Step 2:  Note: slip your 8 stitches onto your cable needle PURLWISE (meaning, "as if to purl")

 Step 3:  Gather the cable stitches into the kink on the cable needle and let it hang on either the front OR the back, depending on what the pattern tells you.

Step 4:  Ok, this is the trickiest step.  And the worst photo, of course.  Murphy's Law.  What you need to do here is carefully scrunch your knitting a bit, so that you can knit 8 stitches (second half of the cable) from your left-hand needle over to the right-hand needle without dumping your cable stitches off the cable needle.  In this photo, you can see I'm just about to start the first one.  The cable stitches STAY ON THE CABLE NEEDLE while you are doing this.  You'll come back to them in just a minute.

Step 5:  Once you have knit your 8 stitches, you are now at the point of needing to knit the 8 cable stitches that have been waiting patiently (we hope) on the cable needle.  So, haul your cable needle over to your left hand and just let your regular left-hand needle hang out for a moment.  Your knitting will be tight and this will not be the easiest knitting ever, but if you persevere, you will have conquered cables.  So, persevere, will you?

{If you find it easier, you can just transfer those 8 cable needle stitches BACK to your left-hand needle and THEN knit them.  I just find that to be a waste of energy.}

Step 6: Once all 8 of the cable stitches are knitted off the cable needle, finish your row and sit back to admire your cables.

You're done.  You've just graduated to knitting cables.  Told you it was easy.

The next few rows are plain and as you're knitting them, the cable will magically seem to emerge.  Right now, it doesn't look like much, beyond a fold in the fabric.

Here is a YouTube video that might also help you understand the motions:


I just wanted to show this additional shot to demonstrate what I was saying about the first stitch of every row being slipped, instead of worked in knit or purl.  I don't know if you can see it, but the edge has a nice, almost "braided" appearance.  Here; I've highlighted it below:

When you actually work those first stitches, you don't get this nice chain effect.  You get a series of uneven bumps and bobbles, instead.  Oogly.

Any questions?

No comments:

Post a Comment