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 headshop of Luise O'NeillLuise O'Neill has brought several delightful patterns to the pages of Twist Collective. Most recently, the snuggly warm Ballyfaron hat and cowl set from our current issue. In this post, Luise explains (with helpful step by step photos!) one of my all time favorite knitting techniques, knitting cables without a cable needle. It is a little terrifying when you start, but it speeds up cable knitting significantly, plus you don't have to keep track of those pesky little cable needles (or whatever thing you substitute for one when you need it! I've used darning needles, DPNs, bamboo skewers, the cartridge from inside a pen, safety matches....). Enjoy, and then go forth and cable boldly!! 



 hat backboth pieces


Knitting cables is one of my favorite things – take a peek at my Ballyfaron Tam and Cowl to see what I mean.



cowl detail



So many luscious cables! One of the things that really elevated my joy of knitting cables was learning how to work those cable stitches without using a cable needle.

There are various ways to accomplish this but I'd like to share my favorite. The following describes the steps to work a 2/2 Right Cross cable (sometimes referred to as C4B).

Setup: Work up to the stitches that make up the cable. 



Step 1: Push the tip of the Right-hand needle through the front of the 3rd and the 4th stitches on the Left-hand needle.


step 1


Step 2:  Pinch the 1st and 2nd stitches on the Left-hand needle at their base to avoid any movement of yarn while the stitches are being rearranged.


step 2


Step 3:  Carefully pull the Left-hand needle tip out of only those first four stitches; the first two of those four stitches will "float" just until the next step.


step 3


Step 4: Keeping the Left-hand needle to the back, push the Left-hand needle tip through the 2 "floating stitches".


step 4


Step 5: Bring the Right-hand needle tip to meet the Left-hand needle tip and slide the 2 stitches from the Right-
hand needle to the Left-hand needle; the 4 stitches have now been arranged in the correct order to work  the 2/2 Right Cross cable.


step 5


Step 6: Knit the 4 cable stitches and continue in pattern.


step 6


It may seem a little awkward at first and you may find yourself holding your breath at Step 3 – but as in all  things, practice makes perfect!  If you love cables, it's a great technique to add you’re your knitting repertoire.