Our fabulous knitting teacher, Natalie Selles, whipped up this cute chunky cable headband to show you just how easy cables are to knit! She used The Chunky Wool, a gloriously lovely yarn from London-based Stitch & Story, to make this project quick. Read on for the tutorial and if you’re not convinced that cables are conquer-able, Natalie will be teaching two-hour class on this essential skill on Monday, 27 April, in our West Hampstead shop. Over to you, Natalie!
Cables have one of the biggest secrets in the knitting world. They are secretly very easy! Their twists and turns may look complex, but even new knitters can master them without too much trouble.
A cable has two parts. The first part is the twist. This is made by re-arranging the stitches on the needle, usually with a cable needle, or a spare dpn will do as well. Cables can vary in the number of stitches in them, and can be done in any combination of knit and purl to different effects, but they all have the same structure. The second part is a bunch of plain rows between the cable rows. These plain rows have no twists. The number or rows is dependant on how many stitches are in the cables. A good rule of thumb is that there will be a similar number of plain rows as there are stitches in the cable.
I have put together a little tutorial to show you how to do a reversible cable, which is a cable that looks the same on both sides of the fabric. There is actually no fancy trick to make this possible, the only difference is that it is worked in rib! So the structure of the fabric is knit 1, purl 1.
There are two ways a cable can be made. It can either lean to the left, or the right. Our first cable will lean to the left.
First, work in your pattern to the first cable. In this headband, we only have to knit 1 stitch!
Take your cable needle, and slip the required number of stitches onto it purl-wise. This means that you will slip the cable needle into the next stitch on the left needle as if you were going to purl it. For the headband, we need to slip 4 stitches.
Hold the cable needle in FRONT of your work, towards you.
Work the next number of stitches. In this case it is knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1.
Keeping the cable needle parallel to your work, slip the stitches back onto the left needle.
Work across these stitches now. In this case it is knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1.
Work to the end of your row in your pattern.
To work a cable that leans to the right, the steps are all the same, the only difference is that the cable needle is held at the BACK of the work.
And it really is that easy! Happy cabling!
If you are interested in learning more about cables, and getting some hands on instruction, we will be running a class to knit this cabled headband at the shop on Monday April 27 from 6:30-8:30.