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Sunday, December 18, 2011

What are the Right Tools?

This is the start to The January Cloth for Cotton Cloth Calendar Challenge for my DD. Sigh.........The photo shows 2 cables and the pattern is called mirror image. The beginning you see is after 3 tries! Argh..........it's been frogged multiple times. First it was going to be blue and white......white for snow and blue for cold. Cold and snow pretty much sums up Ohio in January. However, after frogging twice I decided to stick with one solid color, one less issue to deal with. This is my first attempt at cables. Learning to knit cables is one of 2 items on the goal area of My Year of Projects List.

I thought (probably not wisely so), that doing a cotton washcloth would be a good way to try my hand at this stitch, because it's a small project and doing something new on a small project is probably a better idea.....right? Hum, well in retrospeak, I think using cotton for a cable is probably NOT a good idea? Cotton has next to know give, no flexibility which seems to make doing the stitch really hard on my hands......tight. I do a few rows, then take a break.
I read the directions several times, and watched a couple of video's to see how to do the stitch. Above you see 2 types of cable stitch holders. The one that looks like a knitting needle with a curve is the one I started with. My thought was, it's about the same size (gauge) as the knitting needles I'm using for the project..........figured that would keep the stitches the right gauge?
Some directions suggest knitting right from the stitch holder..........yeah, tried that and couldn't keep the count very well. Though it did seem knitting from the holder when the holder was in back of the work (C6B) was easier then C6F. Another video suggested moving the stitches back to the regular knitting needle. That method seemed to work better for me.........except I found again moving them hard to keep the right number, things just seemed toooooooooooo tight, particular with C6F.

Then I remembered the cable holders I purchased previously that looked like big safety pins and thought I'd give those a try. I much prefer these. Using these and putting the stitches back on the needle seems to be easier....not easy, but easier. One of the video's showed a v shape stitch holder that I've not seen in the stores. Need to keep my eyes open, as it seemed like it might be the ticket.

Does the equipment/tools one uses make a difference? As a newbie, I think so...but what say you all? Is using a cotton a foolish way to learn? Is a good wool easier?

YOP link and badge in sidebar. Working on the actual list, plan to have an additional page/tab here vs reposting it each Sunday.


  1. Well done for learning cabling! I think that if you can cable in cotton you can cable in anything, it will all be so much easier from now on! I use s small needle with a v in it, and find cabling from the front easier than from the back. I think the best cabling tip I had was to keep the yarn loose, that has served me well.

    Happy Christmas!

  2. Thanks goodpurlgonebad, good to know your thoughts on the V and the cotton. That makes me feel better, and will definitely look harder for that other tool.

  3. I know that learning something new can be quite daunting at best. Cables are very easy actually. I was going to buy a cable but said why? I use a double pointed needle the same size as the needle I use.
    Looking good so far.

  4. I just use an extra dpn for a cable needle; no special tools. Cotton is definitely not the best for cables because there's no give. A nice smooth wool with good stitch definition is best. And then maybe start with smaller cables? With six or eight stitches involved cabling can become quite an athletic endeavour!

  5. I'm fairly new at cables myself and I've used the needle with the curve in it which I found somewhat daunting at first but I think that was also it being a completely new skill to me. Cotton probably was a challenge to start with but hey, starting with the hardest makes everything else seem easy later! It's hard too when you're learning something new, getting frustrated at making it work and then that sometimes tightens your gauge because you're trying not to throw the whole thing across the room :) You have a great start to it though! Congrats!

  6. Thanks Bunny, Nicole, and Mindingmyownstitches, appreciate the feedback. I've got some DP's, though I've yet to use them. Perhaps I'll give that a try. Anxious to get this done and try it with something that's not cotton!

  7. Hi Sandy,

    Well done on learning a new stitch, me when I cable I hold the stitches in my hand, this is how I saw my Mum do it and she was an experience stitcher, I've only ever seen her use a double pointed once or twice and then she just knit off that, which is what I'd do if I were to use a needle. For some of my washcloths I use a cotton and bamboo mix which is a little softer and a little more giving. Wishing you the best with it.

  8. wow great learning cabling, and you are so ahead already working on Jan projects...good for you...


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