When I first started knitting, creating beautiful cabled pieces was at the top of my to do list. The problem? I found cables to be super intimidating. More needles, slipping stitches, skipping stitches? No way could I do that, right? Wrong. After learning a few techniques and tricks, I figured out cables weren’t nearly as scary as I’d originally though. Here I’ll share with you my top 5 cabling tricks, as well as a quick and easy cabled beanie pattern to help you practice.
1. Start with all of your supplies handy. Besides knitting needles and yarn, you’ll also need a cable needle and a progress keeper. If you’re working in the round (like the following beanie pattern), you’re going to want a stitch marker. I highly recommend purchasing a set of cable needles. Other objects will work in a pinch, but the unique shape of a cable needle will help prevent your stitches from sliding off. Use a cable needle that is smaller than your knitting needles to avoid stretching your cable stitches. Having these ready to go will keep you from hunting them down later - aka more uninterrupted knitting time.
2. Learn the basics. This sounds like a no brainer, right? Yeah, it should be, but the first time I knit cables I was frantically searching for YouTube videos to figure out what the heck I needed to be doing. Trust me, it’s easier to look it up before you knit. In general, cables are made by slipping a section of stitches to a cable needle and holding it in the front or back of your work. You then knit a certain number of stitches to the left of your needle before knitting the held stitches off of the cable needle. The photo below shows stitches held in front (duh). I tried to get a picture holding them in the back but, well, they were in the back and you couldn’t really see them. If the lingo of cable patterns is giving you trouble, just remember front = left cross and back = right cross.
3. Use your progress keeper to track where you are in a pattern. I place mine in the first row after a cable row. This helps me easily see and count which row I’m on, which otherwise can be difficult. It’s hard to count rows without one (for me at least). In the photo below you can see by counting the Vs I have completed five rows of knitting since my last cable row.
4. Be careful not to twist stitches when you cable. A good way to tell if your stitches are twisted is if they are much tighter than the rest of your work. While the row after a cable is always a little tight, twisted stitches will be VERY difficult to work into. You can avoid them by slipping stitches to your cable needle purlwise.
5. Practice, practice, practice. I know, that’s boring. We just want the instant gratification, right? I understand the impatience, I’m 110% right there with you. Practicing can be boring, and frustrating. Just trust me on this though, once you have the basics down, you’ll be speeding through cable patterns in no time.
You’re probably thinking, alright, just give me the pattern already! So, I will! Here is a free version of the Salacia Beanie pattern. This was designed to be an easy introduction to cables. You can purchase an ad free, printer friendly PDF of this pattern in my Etsy Store if you’re inclined to do so. Regardless of whether you use the free or paid version, I’d love a little shoutout when you share your finished piece. Want to pin it to make later? Here is the link to the pin.
SALACIA BEANIE PATTERN:
This pattern is written for two sizes – child and adult. Instructions are written with the child size first, and the adult in parentheses (where applicable). Child sized should fit ages 8 and below, and have a slightly slouchy fit. Older children should be able to comfortably wear the adult size.
Circular Needles: 6.5 mm & 8.0 mm, 16"
Lion Brand Scarfie, or other category 5 bulky yarn, 90 - 130 yards
kfb knit front & back increase
k2tog knit two together
5/5 LC 10 stitch left cable
5/5 RC 10 stitch right cable
pm place marker
5/5 LC Slip 5 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k5, k5 from cable needle
5/5 RC Slip 5 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k5, k5 from cable needle
With smaller needles, cast on 56 (72). Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your sts. PM.
BRIM: *K2, P2*. Repeat from * to * to the end of round.
Repeat this round 8 (10) times
BODY SET UP: Switch to larger needles.
CHILD: *K13, KFB*. Repeat from * to * to the end of round. (60)
ADULT: *K23, KFB*. Repeat from * to * to the end of round. (75)
ROUND 1: K around.
ROUND 2: K around.
ROUND 3: K around.
ROUND 4: K around.
ROUND 5: *5/5 LC, k5*. Repeat from * to * to the end of round.
ROUND 6: K around.
ROUND 7: K around.
ROUND 8: K around.
ROUND 9: K around.
ROUND 10: K around.
ROUND 11: *k5, 5/5 RC*. Repeat from * to * to the end of round.
ROUND 12: K around.
Repeat ROUNDs 1 – 12 1 (2) times.
ROUND 1: K around
ROUND 2: K around
ROUND 3: K2tog, around. For adult size, knit your last st on it’s own. 30 (38).
ROUND 4: K2tog, around. 15 (19).
After your last round, cut your yarn leaving a tail long enough to sew the hole shut. Keeping your work on your needles, thread a yarn needle with the long tail. Guide the yarn needle through each open stitch at the top of your beanie, then remove your knitting needles. Pull the thread taught on the inside of the beanie, and sew closed.
Weave in all ends, add a pom pom (if you like) and you’re finished! I can’t wait to see what you create with this pattern – feel free to tag me on Instagram @hookedhazel.
Before you go…
You are welcome to sell finished items created with this pattern. I only ask that you credit Hooked Hazel with the original design. Do not use my photos to sell finished products. Do not copy, alter, or distribute this pattern.
I would appreciate your review on Etsy, Ravelry, or Instagram. Tag me in photos, or use the hashtags #salaciabeanie or #alwaysyarning, and I may feature your project!