Cabling without a cable needle

I love knitting cables. Really, I do. But what I don’t like are cable needles. One second they are here, the next second the couch has eaten them. Or a cat has mistaken them for a toy and ran away with them. Or they just fall out of the stitches they were supposed to hold.

Luckily, they are hardly ever needed – cabling can just as well be done without a cable needle. This post will show you how, for cables going ot the back (right), cables going to the left (front) and even for cables using 2 cable needles!

Cabling to the back / to the right

I’ve shown this on a 2/2 RC cable, but it works just the same for any cabling to the back / right.

What your pattern might say: Hold 2 sts on a cable needle to the back of the work, knit 2, knit 2 from the cable needle.

What we do instead:

Slip 2 stitches purlwise with yarn in front.

Knit the next 2 stitches.

From the back of the work, insert your left-hand needle into the slipped stitches.

Pull the right-hand needle out. 2 stitches will hang freely for a moment. But don’t be afraid, they won’t fall down, especially if you support them with your thumb.

Insert the right-hand needle again into the stitches hanging freely.

Knit the next 2 stitches on your left-hand needle and your cable is done!

Cabling to the front / to the left

Shown on a 2/2 LC cable, but again, it will work just the same for any other cables going to the left / front.

What your pattern might say: Hold 2 sts on a cable needle to the front of the work, knit 2, knit 2 from the cable needle.

What we do instead:

Slip 2 stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

Knit the next 2 stitches.

Insert your left-hand needle from the front into the slipped stitches.

Pull the right-hand needle out. 2 stitches will hang freely for a moment.

Insert the right hand needle again into the stitches hanging freely.Knit the next 2 stitches on your left-hand needle and your cable is done!

Cables using two cable needles

What your pattern might say: Hold 1 stitch to the front on a cable needle, hold 2 stitches to the back on a second cable needle, knit the next st, purl the stitches from the second cable needle, knit the stitch from the first cable needle.

What we do instead:

Hold 1 stitch to the front on a locking stitch marker. It won’t fall out of the stitch, and you could lock it if you’re still afraid it will.

The next part should be familiar by now. Slip 2 stitches purlwise with yarn in front.

Knit the next stitch.

Insert the left-hand needle into the slipped stitches from behind the work.

Pull the right-hand needle out and immediately back in. Purl 2 stitches.

Put the stitch from the stitch marker back onto the left-hand needle and knit it.

Done! If you think you deserve a piece of chocolate now, you’re probably right 🙂

 

 

 

 

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