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Cable Me Beautiful

One of the details that drew me to Thea's wonderful cardigan design was the long row of cabled ribs at the bottom. To top it off, there's a cool little cabling technique about which I knew nothing before this week.


Instead of using a cable needle to hold the unworked stitch, or slipping the stitches off of the needle, twisting, then knitting them, you first knit two together (K2Tog) then you knit again into the first stitch. The whole shebang then goes off your left needle and onto your right. Boom: cable action!

Most of you probably have known all about this technique for years and years. Not me! This is going to revolutionize my cabled projects. Could cabled socks be far behind?


I have a fancy-schmancy pompom storage. I use it about, oh, once a year. Apparently 2007's moment was this weekend. I didn't see the reason to buy a second version of a seldom-used item.

What's a knitter to do? Improvise! I simply wrapped the yarn around two outstretched fingers, tied the yarn together tightly when I was finished, and then snipped the ends apart.

The result:


Not too bad. The pompom needs some serious trimming before it's evenly round, but even the ones that I produce on my pompom maker require this step.

I'm not sure if it's a good sign that I'm learning to work around the things that I have in storage.

Look Ma, No Needle!

Cables are the big scam of the knitting world. They're great for fooling the non-knitters in your life. Give a non-knitter a cabled handknit and they'll think that you labored endlessly to achieve that look. We knitters know the truth: cables are nothing more than a few twisted stitches every couple of rows. They're very easy, and lots of fun.


The same goes for cabling without a cable needle. It's so easy to do! I figured this out in about 15 minutes on my couch. What's with all the step-by-step video tutorials out there? I admit that I clung fiercely to my cable needle because I wasn't sure that it would be a good idea to have live stitches dangling in space while I was riding the train. I shouldn't have worried.

You just need to get the pairs twisted and rearranged on your left needle before you knit them. Yes, there are live stitches hanging, but for only a few seconds.

So, to do a C2B (cable 2 back) just insert your right needle into the front of the cable's second pair of stitches (as if to do a P2Tog). Next, slip all four cable stitches off of your left needle, while keeping that second pair on your right. You now have two live stitches (the first cable pair) off of the needles. Scary! But, quickly slip that first pair onto your left needle. You now have the first cable pair on your left needle, and the second cable pair on your right. Transfer the second pair from your right needle to your left. All four cable stitches are now on the left needle, with both pairs properly positioned for a C2B. Knit those four stitches.

That's it--I think. If I'm missing a far easier technique, please let me know.

With two repeats of the scarf done, I know that this cable pattern works as I want it to. Barring some kind of computer or server disaster, I will post the pattern text tomorrow.


Another blog entry and photo courtesy of the New York Times


The caption reads:
ATTENTION, KNITTERS. There you are in a theater watching the promos, when, if only you could see, you could be finishing that adorable little sweater you've been working on. Monica Dremann, the wife of Michael Rosenberg, the president of Imagine Entertainment, mentioned this sad state of affairs to Edith Eig, an owner of La Knitterie Parisienne in Los Angeles, and Mrs. Eig's husband, Merrill, a retired engineer, got on the case. The resulting partnership yielded Knit Lite: knitting needles with glowing L.E.D tips, which allow you to purl away not only in the movies, but also at night on the lawn under a starless sky or maybe even in an amusement park tunnel of love. "The best part," said Mrs. Eig, an actual Parisienne who has a Chanel-style suit emerging from her No. 10½ needles, "is there is no problem knitting with the beautiful black yarns." Available next month, Knit Lite needles in various sizes will cost about $20 a pair at

Am I the only one to think that this would be absolutely, completely, and totally annoying to those around you? Not to mention impractical. But hey, at $20 a pair they're not much more costly than a pair of Addis. Someone try these and let me know, 'kay?

That's Better

After I looked at the picture of my scribbled adjustments in Saturday's post, I thought that I might have intimidated a few of you.  Please be assured, it's not beyond anyone to adjust and customize a pattern:


See, that doesn't look too difficult now.  After I determined that my preliminary adjustments were correct, I recopied them onto a clean sheet.  Ah, now they make sense!

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