Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Cabling without a needle

I’m a rather forgetful person, especially when it comes to small things that don’t immediately spring to mind. So, it was hardly surprising when I forgot to take a cabling needle with me to Knitsoc once, when I was working on my (heavily cabled) cardigan. And no-one else had one either. Solution? Learn to cable without a cabling needle. Now, this was a good project to learn with, because the yarn is so sticky. Seriously, I could probably take the needle out of my work, and it won’t budge an inch. (I’m trying not to think about how difficult it’s going to be to frog when I finally admit to myself that it needs doing, but that’s another post).

So, cabling without a needle. It isn’t for every yarn. So far I’ve done it on sticky wool, and llama, which is also quite sticky. If your yarn unravels if you look at it funny, then this technique probably isn’t suitable. Or if you get nervous about dropped stitches. The basic idea is that you drop some of the stitches, in order to rearrange them on the needle to knit in the correct order. So, in this example I managed to take photos of I’m cabling 3 front.

IMGP0375The first three stitches need to go in front of and to the right of the next three stitches. So, my right needle picks up the second lot of three stitches

IMGP0376and then I had to drop the six stitches off the left needle. (This was very annoying trying to photograph!)

IMGP0381It’s awkward trying to see the dropped three stitches, but they are there! Usually I use my right thumb and forefinger to keep them together to make it easier to pick them up, but I needed to use that hard to take the photograph! Now you pick up the dropped stitches

IMGP0382and then put the three unknitted stitches from the right needle back onto the left

IMGP0383Ta-da! Now all you need to do is contine knitting and purling as required for the pattern 🙂

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Comments on: "Cabling without a needle" (5)

  1. Funny you should mention this, I was reading a pattern that suggested doing this just yesterday. At the time I though you must need a ‘sticky’ yarn. I also had to laugh at you forgetting your cable needle. That’s so me. Every time I take a cable project to knit in the car I forget to take the cable needle.

  2. I rarely use a cable needle – only if it’s more than 3 stitches being crossed. Love the ease of not fiddling with a cable needle!

    • Oh yes, it makes life so much easier! On my cardigan, I have to do a cable trick with 5 stitches- 2 in front, 2 behind and the middle one stays in the same place. That was rather interesting, even with sticky yarn!

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