I have knit a sweater with some beautiful cables on two needles and all went well. Now I am trying to knit a hat in the round with plaited cables (a request from my son, no pattern) and I keep getting more of a snake than a cable. I just don't seem to have the brain power to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Every fourth row I try to do cables by holding 3 stiches to the front or back knitting the next 3 and then returning to the slipped 3 but it is not working. Most online info seems to be for two needles. Any ideas? Thanks!
I'm not sure exactly what is happening because cables in the round are basically done the same way as cables knit flat. Are you knitting both the 3sts on the left needle and then the 3sts from the cable needle? If you cross knit sts over the background purl sts, that makes a kind of traveling cable that moves over the background. Do you have 2-3 purl sts on either side to set off the cable? The purl sts in the background help set off the knit cable sts. You can knit a cable pattern without them but it's a softer look without the pop of a conventional cable.
The correct way to knit a cable in the round is to hold the stitches to be crossed always to the front, if you've done the first cross that way, or always to the back, if you've done it that way the first time. The detail is to be consistent, no matter if your stitch pattern is St st, garter, a combination of both or whatever stitch pattern you choose. Generally, you make the cross over an even number of rows, unless you are looking for a especial pattern. I mean, for example: your 1st cross is in row number 3, then in row number 7, row 11, etc.; you choose the frequence for your crossing stitches taking care you make them every same number of rows.
Hope I could help you,
Patience, persistence and love are the main ingredients for wonderful knittings.