Knitting with Cables

In all honesty, I really don’t like cable knitting. I find it to be way too laborious. I like my knitting to flow. I want to just keep going and going in a smooth forward movement.When cabling, I find all that fiddling with the cable needle really puts a kink in my groove. Not only do I need to keep track of the needle, but I have to make sure that I hold it just so in order to keep the stitches on the needle. One fix for this was I invested in a U-shaped needle.Β It made a noticeable difference in my control abilities.


Even though I have an aversion for cable knitting, I still like to dabble every now and then. It keeps my skills fresh as well as challenges my inner knitter. I continue to stay away from the complex stuff (see example A and B) as it looks way too daunting.

Ilia by Michele Wang


Carlu by Fiona Ellis


Here is my latest project that includes basic cables. It is a simple headband using my favorite colorway (Jade Heather) from Paton’s Classic Wool line. I have a few random balls left in my stash and I am trying to use them up.

The project is going okay. My reluctance toward this method hasn’t been cured, but I like how the diamond pattern is playing out. I also made a great decision to practice on such a small piece. I only have to use the cabling needle twice (at most) per right side row. This headband is a great option to just dipping my toes in the water. πŸ˜‰

Is there any knitting method that you avoid?Β 

Until Next Time,


15 thoughts on “Knitting with Cables

  1. With the project that you’re working on you might like to try learning how to cable without a cable needle. It works for cables like these, where you only have to cross four or six stitches and with finer yarn you could probably get away with four stitches. I find it easier to do with sharper needles. Ever since I learned this method I hardly ever use a cable needle, although at the moment I’m knitting a lace scarf that has a 12-stitch k1p1 cable which means I have to use a cable needle for that! Here’s a video that shows you how to make cables without the “auxiliary:”

      • The video i linked to is different from other ways of doing it. I think you might possibly have tried to learn by letting the stitches off the needle without supporting them (that was my first go and I was very frustrated and unsuccessful). This video shows you how to support the stitches using the two needles you knit with without needing a third. It did the trick for me but, of course, individual results probably vary!

  2. Whoops, I made a small mistake. Where it says “with finer yarn you could probably get away with four stitches” I meant to say “with finer yarn you could probably get away with eight stitches.”

  3. It’s so funny, I only knew about U shaped cable needles. But I wondered if they came in thinner sizes than the one I have (which is like a size 8 US needle) I like the break up of interesting patterns. But that being said, I avoid those long tedious Aran Knit patterns from Fishermans sweaters with intricate Celtic knots. I cannot keep track of them. I like a pattern to repeat in some semblance of rememberable order. You have to be able to put knitting down in the blink of an eye for life emergencies and such so if I can’t find where I am in a pattern by looking at the piece, it’s too darn complicated, lol. Yours looks gorgeous by the way!

    • Hahaha I agree! I knit in the car or on the train a lot and if I can’t somewhat memorize the pattern then it isn’t a winner in my book. Those Celtic knots are lovely, but not my cup of tea either.

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