Quabling Query

Er, all morphological humor aside, I've got a question about cabling.

I'm working on the computer case from del Vecchio's Knitting With Balls and the wild oak cabling pattern looks a little crazy. I'm on the 20th row, I've been UTTERLY anal about making sure I'm reading and knitting the pattern right, but it just looks messy. Any tips regarding how to make cabling look more like the legendary "like it does in the picture"?

Its a birthday present, so any chance I have to fix things from here on in will be fantastic. Thanks!


kylewilliam's picture

when I did my first cables, I kept needing to rip them out because I wasn't getting my tension correct - it can make the cables look sloppy -

I'm in no way as good as many of the folks on here, but I'd guess if you're doing the cabling part right, and following the pattern AND it's looking "sloppy" then it might have to do with tension... I'd get some scrap yarn and swatch the cable - see if you can work on the tension - once you get the technique nailed down you can move back to your bag.... if it's as bad as you say, you may want to consider ripping it out and starting over - if you do, you'll be VERY proud when it is finished and looks awesome .... :) Kyle



BronxKnit's picture

I had the same problem with that laptop cover. What I was knitting was NOT looking like the picture; and upon careful inspection, the picture does not match up with the pattern (to my eye that is). My Tension was off as well and I needed to really haul on the yarn to get the over’s and under’s to work. In subsequent cabling products I have had better results by using a third needle of the same size rather than a cable needle. Hope that helps cause it is a cool laptop bag.


Well I know nothing about the pattern you're doing (tho I think I need to get that book since so many guys are working patterns from it) so I don't know if the pictures in the book are of the "in work" project or the finished one. But one of the things that I've learned is that no matter how sloppy your work looks while you're knitting it, cables included, LOTS of the unevenness in the stitches gets evened out when it's washed and more so when it's blocked. I'm not the most even knitter when it comes to cables and increases/decreases and I used to stress out about it. I've learned not to worry much about the look of it while I'm doing it. I mean, unless there's an inch different in the width in the middle or something, it ends up looking fine and even to me when it gets it's bath and stretching.

If you want to be extra careful, then do like Kyle says and make a swatch then wash it, block it and see how you like it. Just my thoughts.


I shall call him Blog

james's picture

I'll throw in my two cents. I haven't done this particular pattern, but I've done a LOT of cables (doing cable socks as we speak, er write . . . you know what I mean). I discovered two things that were making my cable look funky when I first started doing them. First, is the tension of the first stitch that comes after you slipped stitches to the cable needle. In my desire to not be a tight knitter, I was actually knitting that first stitch too loosely, and it was making my cable spread. Next, when I was knitting the stitches from the cable needle, I discovered i needed pull a little extra yarn through each stitch to make the loops nice and loose. If I didn't do that, those stitches were much tighter than everything else, distorting the overall shape. Strangely enough, I have also found that what I'm using as a cable needle affects the look of my cables. Being the original Inspector Gadget, I bought this fancy hand-forges sterling silver cable needle (hook style) and my cables sucked! My best cables are done with my plain old Brittany Birch cable needles or (given my love of gadgets, it's really hard for me to admit this) a broken double pointed needle! I found that out by accident--I was ready to cable and that was what was handy. Everyone knits differently and my problems with cables may have nothing to do with the issues you're having, but you might check out these things just in case. Best of luck!

Tallguy's picture

It would really help if you could explain what you mean by "but it just looks messy." That could be just about anything. Depending on what is going on, there are just as many different ways to fix it.

There is an excellent step-by-step video presentation on doing 2/2 cables. You can apply that to 3/3 cables as well, or any other configuration. I found it very helpful. And the only thing that really works... practice, practice, practice!! It's still knit and purl and that's all there is!

Try this one: http://www.letsknit2gether.com/