Cable Without a Cable Needle

Cables are one of the techniques in knitting that really elevate the look of your projects; people can’t help but admire the “magic” that you made with your very own hands. Cabling is actually quite a bit easier than it looks, but it can be even easier if you throw caution to the wind and try cabling WITHOUT your cable needle. It takes a little faith in yourself, but once you get the hang of it, this technique will speed up your knitting , especially in projects where you will be working several cables over the course of your row. All cabling really consists of is rearranging the order in which you are knitting your stitches, so we are going to do just that by simply switching their order on the needle you will be knitting off of.

Work your set up for your cable as you usually would. In this example, we will be working a C8B. When using a cable needle, you would work to the beginning of the cable, slip the next 4 stitches to a cable needle, and hold to the back of your work, knit the next 4 stitches, then knit the 4 from the cable needle. We aren’t going to do that. Instead, skip the first 4 stitches that would normally go on your cable needle, and insert your right needle in the front of the next 4 stitches on your left needle (see photo below).

Cable without a needle setup

Take a breath. Now, slip the first 4 stitches off your needle, so they are hanging out in space for a second. They won’t immediately start unraveling, so don’t panic, you can even pinch them if you would feel better. Slip these stitches back on to your left needle, then slip the second set of 4 back on the needle, being careful not to twist any of them.

Cable without a needle replacing stitches

Now knit the 8, and continue on.

Cable without a needle, ready to knit

That’s it!

Hopefully you found this tip helpful, and with a little practice, can speed up your cable work.

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Heather Mango

Heather fell in love with the “click clack” of her grandmother’s knitting needles at a very young age. She is the mom to 3 crazy boys and loves sarcasm, cardigans, vintage cars, and bonfires. Heather has been with Mary Maxim since 2011 and has been involved in teaching classes, designing patterns, social media, and is always trying to learn something new about crafting.

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