KW Tips + Tricks: Cabling without a cable needle

Cabling Without A Cable Needle

I work cables without a cable needle whenever possible.

I do this for a few reasons:
a) I am notorious for never having notions. I use snippets of whatever yarn I'm working with for stitch markers, I don't think I've met a darning needle I've used more than once, and I own about 10 tape measures but only know where one is at any given moment.
b) I think it is much, much faster. With many deadlines going at any given moment, faster = better.

We usually teach this technique when in classes + workshops on cabling, and it is a big hit. - KGO

 

There are a few things to keep in mind when cabling without a needle:
• This technique works best with smaller cables: 2, 4, and 6-stitch cables are great, 8 is an "at-your-own-risk" proposition.
• A sharp needle point is helpful, but not necessary.
• The more slippery the yarn + needle combination, the harder the technique will be.

In the images below I'm working my no-cable-needle cables on the herringbone portion of my Amanda cardigan sleeve. Each cable in this section is a 4 stitch all knit cable: 2 stitches are slipped, 2 are knit and then the 2 slipped stitches are knit.

LEFT CROSS

STEP 1 / Slide the first 2 sts off of your LH needle. Hold these stitches to the front of your work.

STEP 2 / Slide the next 2 sts off of your LH needle onto your RH needle.

STEP 3 / Slide the 2 loose front-held stitches one at a time onto your LH needle.

STEP 4 / Slide the 2 sts one at a time from your RH needle to your LH needle. You now have all 4 stitches of the cable on the LH needles, pre-crossed in the correct cable stitch.

STEP 5 / Knit all 4 stitches. Your cable is complete!

RIGHT CROSS

STEP 1 / Slide the first 2 sts off of your LH needle. Hold these stitches to the back of your work.

STEP 2 / Slide the next 2 sts off of your LH needle onto your RH needle.

STEP 3 / Slide the 2 loose back-held stitches one at a time onto your LH needle.

STEP 4 / Slide the 2 sts one at a time from your RH needle to your LH needle. You now have all 4 stitches of the cable on the LH needles, pre-crossed in the correct cable stitch.

KW Tips + Tricks: Cabling without a cable needle

STEP 5 / Knit all 4 stitches. Your cable is complete!

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