Choosing Cables

How do you choose cables that go together on a sweater when the choice is yours? It’s not so hard. Here is how I get started. Maybe this will be helpful to you.

I am knitting a Top Down, drop shoulder sweater. Beware, any pattern in a stitch dictionary is meant to be knit bottom up. If knitting Top Down, turn the book upside down when you’re looking at the photos because that’s what they will look like when they are knit. If you do this on the subway you may get some interesting looks.

I chose two different centre patterns that were both 32 rows deep.

On the left is Tangled Ropes, pg.80 in Charted Knitting Designs, A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. On the right is #119 Crosshatch Bias from Knitted Cable Sourcebook by Norah Gaughan.

Now I chart them. This is swatching with a pencil. Even if they are charted in the stitch dictionary I do it again.

Is it hard to chart?

I love the Tangled Ropes but … I wore out an eraser charting this.

I found it hard to chart and I think it would be a little too complicated to knit for this project.

Look at this one, the Crosshatch Bias. Even though there are many cable crossings, they all cross the same way on each line. It doesn’t get any better than this.

OK, decision made. The centre pattern is settled. I’ve started knitting and it looks complicated even though it’s quite straight forward to knit. Gotta love that.

Then do the same for some side patterns. This time I need them to work with the 32 rows of the centre pattern, meaning that the repeats of the side patterns must add up to 32 rows.

I want one more wide pattern and found a couple I liked. One that was 8 rows deep and a second one that was 16 rows. I’m going with this one.

Then I need a small pattern to take up some space. A 4 stitch cable worked over 4 rows goes into 32 rows quite nicely.

Next, setting them up. Yes, still some work to do before the knitting can start.

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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.

6 thoughts on “Choosing Cables”

  1. I really like your 4 row/4 stitch cable pattern. Do cables work on fingering weight?? Since I winter in Florida, all my sweaters are fingering so I’ve avoided cables. But I’m guessing if I use a “high” ply yarn, I could still add cables, especially small patterns like your 4×4. Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When working a flat stitch pattern on a top down, do you have to exchange change the knits and purls or just knit the way it presents itself according to the upside down photo/chart?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just knit it exactly as the chart is written in the book, knowing it will be upside down when I wear it. Looking at the photos upside down gives you an idea of how it will look.

      Like

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