Traditional cable stitch patterns are created by moving stitches from one position on a row to another. For lightly embossed, lattice and ribbed patterns two stitches can be twisted on the needle. Special small double point needles (cable needles) of varying shapes are used to produce individual rope or plaited patterns. Such a needle is necessary to hold stitches at the front or back of work as required in the pattern. Stitches held at the front of work will twist the cable right to left when knitted off; stitches held at the back will twist the cable from left to right when knitted off.

Using a Cable Needle

using a cable needle  


In the illustration of a six stitch cable, the first three stitches are slipped onto a cable needle and held at the back of the work. The next three stitches are knitted from the left hand needle followed by knitting the three stitches from the cable needle. This produces a cable twisting from left to right.

Six Stitch Cable

Six Stitch Cable

A straightforward cable twist on a central panel of 10 sts is
worked as follows:

Rows 1 and 3: K2, p6, k2.
Row 2: P2, k6, p2
Row 4: P2, sl next 3 sts on cn and hold at back (or front),
k3, then k3 from cn, p2.
Rows 5 and 7: As rows 1 and 3.
Rows 6 and 8: As row 2
Repeat rows 1-8


Double Cable

double cable

A cable pattern with a central panel of 12 sts is worked as follows:

Rows 1, 3, 5 and 7: K2, p8, k2.
Row 2: P2, sl next 2 sts to cn and hold at front, k2, then k2 from cn, sl next 2 sts to cn and hold at back, k2, from cn, p2
Rows 4, 6 and 8: P2, k8, p2
Repeat rows 1-8.