Cable Trick, for spectators

The season has started. The spectating/knitting curling season for us as fans of our daughter’s curling team began last weekend. Spectating from behind the glass while knitting this weekend was a reminder of  what an emotional roller coaster ride it is to watch your child (even when they’re grown up) do what they love to do, win or lose.


Team Harrison (playing China here).  With a newly constituted team we didn’t know what to expect but 5 wins and 2 loses put them into the playoff quarter finals where they lost to the team that won it all. Yay Team.

I knit so I don’t chew my finger nails to bits. I’ve been doing this for years so I am aware of some of the pitfalls in choosing the wrong project. Is tense knitting going to show because there will be some. Can I do most of it while still  watching? Can I sit in a chair and not disturb any people around me because it is often a tight squeeze which I realized the time I took straight needles. Imagine needles ends waving around in front of my neighbours. Yeah you get the picture.

This was a good project choice. Thick wool which will not show when things got tense. It’s worked on a circular needle. Cable Trick (see below) meant I could keep track of cable crosses easily. No cable needle needed so it can’t fall on the floor and get lost. Straight forward knitting between cable crossings.


Preparation is everything. I spent the day before getting my project ready. I cast on and then with removable markers, set up where I wanted the cables to go. The thin metal markers are the raglan markers and the coloured plastic markers indicate my cable locations: a small cable on both sleeves and a larger cable down the front and back.


I did the first set up round, increasing stitches between the cable markers. Cables suck your fabric in so you need to increase stitches before working the first cable cross. I decided to do it right away. This is the sleeve cable.


The set up started with 4 sts: 1 border st, 2 cable sts, 1 border stitch. I want to have a 4 st cable so I will increase 2 sts in these 2 cable sts in the next round.

I used a new to me increase which I thought worked quite well. This is a variation of the Kf&b:  Knit into the front of the stitch and without taking the stitch off the needle, insert right needle into back of  the same stitch and slip it. Take stitch off left needle. You have increased one stitch. One of the stitches is knit and the second stitch was slipped.


Once I was set up like this and worked the first cable crossing, this project was ready to go.

You may be wondering if crossing cables is a good choice for a project where your mind is partly occupied. Keeping track of when to cross is the trick to working good cables.

Here’s the TRACKING WHEN TO CROSS CABLES Trick. Every time you cross a cable you create a hole right where the cross took place.


When you are close to working the next crossing stick a needle tip, pencil or your cable needle into the hole of the last crossing and run it up behind your work, popping it out right below the working needle, between the edge of the cable and the next purl border stitch. All the bars between these two stitches will be on top and you can count them.


I’m crossing this 4 stitch cable every 4th round as follows:  The first bottom bar showing is the round where I did the last cross (Round 1 cross cable). The next 3 bars indicate the next 3 rounds (Rounds 2, 3 & 4 work as set). Cross cable again on the next round (Round 1 cross cable).


You can keep checking to make sure you on the correct round to make the next crossing. It makes cables in this nice thick wool the perfect project.

Thanks for reading,


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Cabin Fever Patterns on Ravelry



Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

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