Knitted cables are a beautiful, delicate-looking type of stitch, utilized in the loveliest of patterns. The question is, how are cables actually worked? Fundamentally speaking, a knitted cable is made by crossing a number of stitches over or under another number of stitches before working them.
That may sound tricky, but it’s much simpler than expected. There are as many motifs for cables as there imaginative stitch and knitwear designers; but to demonstrate how cables work, we can start with one of the most common: the cross 6 front (C6F). The C6F pattern is worked across 12 stitches with a reverse stockinette background on each side. To this end, we’ll make a simple swatch with one cable running up the center to work this stitch.
To complete this tutorial, you’ll need:
Additionally, you’ll already need to be able to:
The pattern uses the following abbreviations:
K – Knit
P – Purl
C6F – Cross 6 Front
Start by casting on 16 stitches. For clarity, in the instructions below, the stitches making up the cable are bold in each row.
Row 1: K1. P4. K6. P4. K1.
Row 2: K5. P6. K5.
Row 3: K1. P4. C6F. P4. K1. See the instructions after the pattern on how to work this row!
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
Row 5: Repeat Row 1.
Row 6. Repeat Row 2.
It’s as simple as that! As you can see in the pattern above, there’s only one row out of the total six that even involves anything besides normal knits and purls—easy as pie!
So then, how is the C6F pattern actually worked? Check out the instructions below on how to do it!
- On row 3 in the pattern above, work the first 5 stitches (right up to the point of the C6F).
- Slide the next 3 stitches off of the left-hand needle and onto your cable needle; hold the cable needle in front of your work.
- Knit the next three stitches from the left-hand needle while the cable needle is held in front.
- Then, knit the three stitches directly from the cable needle.
That’s all there is to it! After completing the six rows above a few times over, you’ll start to see a lovely cable pattern emerge up the center of the swatch—it’s normal for the cable twist not to look like much of anything until it’s done two or three times, so don’t worry if that’s the case. Just complete rows 1-6 as described above as many times as needed to feel comfortable, and you’ll be ready to start working cable patterns. Happy knitting! LOVE, @sosknittingcompany