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Crazy for Knitting Cables

Apr 2, 2012

That's me, "crazy-for-cables Kathleen." I've been working on my Lapis Yoke Pullover, which is cable-less. I'm almost done and I'm thinking about my next project, which must have cables.

The Cable-Down Pullover by Stefanie Japel, featured in A Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Cables with 4 Staff Favorite Patterns

I'm considering the Cable-Down Raglan by Stephanie Japel, featured in the new eBook, A Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Cables with 4 Staff Favorite Patterns by the Interweave Knits Staff. Here's Editor Eunny Jang to tell you all about it:

Knitting cables is one technique that epitomizes the free hand we knitters have to shape and mold our fabric as it grows. All cables—the whole lot of them, from simple ropes to complex panels to eye-boggling allover fabrics—are really just stitches knitted out of order, forcing the stitches to cross over one another. When combined with knit/purl texture, as cables usually are, some of the stitches appear to come forward, while others appear to recede, creating the illusion of individual "strands" that move across the surface of a plain fabric.

Cables are perennially popular, and with good reason—from simple rope cables to intricate braid- and knot-like motifs, cables are just plain fun to knit. In this exclusive eBook from Interweave Knits, we'll walk through a series of projects that will have you cabling the most complicated textures in no time.

—Eunny Jang, from
A Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Cables with 4 Staff Favorite Patterns

This Cable-Down is worked in the round from the top down, in one piece, so the only finishing is a small seam in each underarm and weaving in the ends. The Lapis Yoke is the same construction, so I'm used to that.

The only issue I really have with top-down sweaters is that it's a lot of knitting in my lap when I get to the sleeves and it's a pain to knit the sleeves in the round because they get twisted up, especially at the beginning when you're knitting close to the armhole.

I worked the first sleeve on 16-inch needles and I didn't enjoy it, to say the least. For the second sleeve, I used the Magic Loop method, which was much easier because I just flipped it back and forth so it didn't get twisted. It took me a week to knit the first sleeve because I kept putting it down out of frustration and it took me just two evenings to finish the second sleeve! Mischief managed.

Back to the Cable-Down Pullover, though. Here are the details: The center-front cable panel, worked over 26 sts, is worked from the neck to the hem of the body. At the waist, smaller cables are introduced on either side of the front cable (mirrored right and left and separated by a two-stitch knit rib) and continue around the back (also mirrored right to left). The sleeves are worked in reverse stockinette stitch, with the same arrangement of large and small cables.

This is an advanced project, and if decide to knit this one it'll be the most complicated cable knitting project I've tackled. I'm up for it, though, especially with the help provided in A Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Cables with 4 Staff Favorite Patterns.

It's especially great if you're wondering how to knit cables, or even if you just need a refresher course.


Featured Product

Interweave Knits presents A Step-By-Step Guide to Knitting Cables with 4 Staff Favorite Patterns (eBook)

Availability: In Stock
Price: $11.99


Editor of Interweave Knits magazine Eunny Jang guides knitters of all skill levels through the basics and beyond of knitting cables.


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di361 wrote
on Apr 11, 2012 10:16 AM

To Monika in Florida.... I'm trying out this pattern with Cotlin yarn from KnitPicks.  I needed something cooler for southest Texas, too.  I haven't finished the first cable repeat yet to really know how it's going to do.  Also, I didn't use double pointed needles as the pattern says to start with.  I had a 24" circular needle and the 108 stitches fit on it nicely.

Kathleen... KAL please!!!!

MonikaRenard wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 2:09 PM

Love this sweater!  Are you doing a KAL on it?   I'd need it in a yarn cool enough for Florida, though. Recommendations?

LyndaC wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 10:16 AM

Sit down, Kathleen, 'cause I'm going to stun you.


There. I've said it. I usually finish out whatever skein I'm on when the body and sleeves are separated, then put the body on a string to hold the live stitches while I work the sleeves. There's MUCH LESS body to rassle with when working the sleeves, whether you do them in the round or flat for later seaming.

The Cable Down Pullover has been on my "To Do" list for a long time. Hope lots of people join in this project -- maybe it will get me motivated to cast on for it!

Doro Kay wrote
on Apr 7, 2012 7:51 AM

Kathleen, I love Knitting Daily, thank you!  Getting ready to start the Lapis Yoke Pullover, but can't decide on yarn. I don't want it to be too heavy. On the other hand using a needle smaller than a #8 takes too long to finish. I get impatient and want it finished so I can move on to my next project. Are you using a worsted or a DK yarn? The endless choices in yarns always has me baffled. Any advice? Thanks again.

di361 wrote
on Apr 3, 2012 7:52 PM

I love cables and this pattern, too.  I finished the Lapis Yoke Pullover, so this pattern is next.  The pattern calls for 100% Merino.  What other yarn do you think would be a good choice to really accent the cables?

TarraW wrote
on Apr 3, 2012 7:34 AM

I love knitting cables, however,  I find as my piece progresses my stitches are not as tight as they were at the beginning; and I do try keep the yarn tight.  I end up with loose stitches around my cable, especially when you cross over for the cable.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this problem I would love to hear them.

I love knitting in one piece or top down as you can customize it to perfectly fit you.  

Pat Tracy wrote
on Apr 2, 2012 9:11 AM

Nice sweater pattern - but about the knitting-in-one-piece aspect:  I've never understood this.  Always seems like a lot of hassle, and potentially rough on the piece being knitted (as it's swung around on one's lap so that sleeves can be knitted in the round) to avoid maybe half an hour (at most) of the most simple sewing to attach pieces.  With complicated patterns, I also like to make one piece (usually a sleeve, the smallest piece) and then wash and block it, to make sure I've got the gauge right at full-scale. (Even a 4" swatch is sometimes only approximately to gauge, especially in a cable pattern.)  If it's right, then I do the rest with more confidence.   So sewing pieces together is the most minor of problems, after everything else.