How to knit a simple cable. Its not wizzardry!

Hello, here is a quick “knit-bit” lesson for you! This post is to describe how to knit a simple cable.  It’s REALLY simple, not wizzardry and once you learn how simple I’m sure you’ll be off cabling everything…because other people think you are magic!!! 🙂

For this tutorial you will need a pair of knitting needles, a ball of yarn and a cable knitting needle.

Cable-knitting-materials.jpg

Cable knitting really is just twisting stitches around each other.  To do that you will need a third needle, to hold one set of stitches whilst you knit some more.

Cable needles usually have a bend in them, to hold the stitches on whilst you knit.

So let’s get started with how to knit a simple cable

Cable Pattern 1 – C6B (Cable 6 Behind)

This cable pattern is a 4 line repeat as follows:

Row 1: K4, P6, K4

Row 2: P4, C6B, P4

Row 3: K4, P6, K4

Row 4: P4, K6, P4

Hopefully Row 1, 3 and 4 make sense to you?

  • K4 or K6 means Knit 4 or 6 stitches
  • P4 of P6 means Purl 4 or 6 stitches.

but row 2…eh? C6B what on earth?  This is where the magic happens. C6B means that you “Cable 6 stitches to the back”.  Not much cleared yet?  OK, follow my steps below and all will hopefully become clear!.

I’ve also put a video at the end of this post to show you how to knit a simple cable, both C6B and C6F “in action”!

Try it yourself!

To practice cable knitting, cast on 14 stitches in a fairly bulky yarn and follow the steps below. 

cast-on-14-stitches

Row 1

Knit 4 stitches, Purl 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches

Row 2

Purl 4 stitches then slip 3 stitches onto your cable needle (purlwise)

slip-stitches

Then, holding cable needle behind, knit three stitches from left-hand needle

cable-needle-behind

Then knit 3 stitches from the cable needle

knit-3-from-cable-needle

Finally, purl the last 4 stitches.

Row 3

Knit 4 stitches, Purl 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches

Row 4

Purl 4 stitches, knit 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches.

Repeat these 4 rows for a Cable 6 behind (C6B) cable pattern.

Cable Pattern 2 – C6F (Cable 6 Front)

This cable pattern is almost identical to the C6B pattern above.  The only difference is that instead of holding the cable needle to the back, you hold it to the front of your work.

The 4 line repeat is as follows:

Row 1: K4, P6, K4

Row 2: P4, C6F, P4

Row 3: K4, P6, K4

Row 4: P4, K6, P4

Like for the C6B pattern above, hopefully Rows 1, 3 and 4 make sense.  C6F, simply means that you create a cable over 6 stitches.

Try it yourself!

To practice cable knitting, cast on 14 stitches in a fairly bulky yarn and follow the steps below.   I’ve also put a video at the end of this post to show you how to knit a simple cable, both C6B and C6F “in action”!

Row 1

Knit 4 stitches, Purl 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches

Row 2

Purl 4 stitches then slip 3 stitches onto your cable needle (purlwise)

slip-stitches

With cable needle in front of your work, Knit 3 stitches from the main left-hand needle

cable-3-front-1

Then knit 3 stitches from the cable needle

knit-3-from-cable-needle

Finish row 2 by purling 4 stitches.

Row 3

Knit 4 stitches, Purl 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches

Row 4

Purl 4 stitches, knit 6 stitches, Knit 4 stitches.

Repeat these 4 rows for a Cable 6 front (C6F) cable pattern.

Video Tutorial

Just in case that doesn’t make sense (its hard to explain in pictures, I’ve done this video tutorial for you too.

 

Other stitch counts?

C6B or is it C3B??

What I’ve shown you above is a C6B and C6F.  Its C6B, C6F because “6” refers to the number of total stitches that are included in the cable.

One point to note is I have heard this same cable called a C3B or C3F.  In this case, the “3” refers to the number of stitches held behind or in front.  Your pattern should describe what they mean when they say C6B or C3B, etc.

C4B, C4F, C8B, C8F…etc

Whilst I’ve only shown you in this post how to make a C6B or C6F (Cable 6 Back and Cable 6 Front).  This same principle will work for any even number of stitches.

It needs to be an even number because you need to hold the same number of stitches on the cable needle as you will knit to create an even twist.

That means though, that if you see C4B or C6F in a pattern, they will probably mean that you:

  • slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle.
  • knit 2.
  • then knit 2 from the cable needle.

Likewise, a C8B or C8F will probably mean that you:

  • slip 4 stitches onto a cable needle.
  • knit 4.
  • then knit 4 from the cable needle.

So whilst I’ve only shown you one stitch count…it will work for any of them!

There are loads of free patterns that include cables, go give one of them a go!

If you know how to knit in the round, you could have a go at this cabled bobble hat.  It used C4B (cable 4 behind) to make the cable up the side.

20170904_125206

I hope this quick knit-bit tutorial helps you with how to knit a simple cable and you are now in the “Magic-circle” of cable knitting! 🙂

Jo-ver-for-now!

x

 

 

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