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How to work a Cable Stitch

Knitting a hat is a great way to use up scraps of wool leftover from a bigger project and a textured hat always looks funky but a lot of people are put off by a cable pattern because it looks so difficult. The stitches appear to overlap each other and cross and a cable pattern can include bobbles and several cross overs that look really involved to do. In fact, they are really quite simple once you break the pattern down into small steps and all patterns will have an explanation of how they want you to work the cable.

The most important piece of equipment to get yourself is a cable needle, these special needles have a ‘V’ in the middle to stop the stitches from sliding off and are used to hold the stitches at the front and the the back of the knitting while you work other stitches on the needles. The Instructions for this pattern can be found in the book 20 To Knit Knitted Hats by Monica Russell and the cable abbreviation illustrated here is written as T3B (Take 3 Back). It has the same meaning as C3B (Cable 3 Back) but is slightly easier to interpret.


Below are step by step pictures on how to work with the third needle. The stitches are slipped on to the cable nedle and held either at the front or the back while a few stitches are worked from the needles. Then cable needle is then brought back in and the stitches worked from there, creating a twist as the knitting wraps around itself.

There are many different types of cabling stitches and a good way to teach yourself is from a book. Our favourite knitting techniques book this month is this one because each cable stitch is worked across a square so you end up with a pile of practice squares that can be made into a bag, a scarf, a blanket or even a basic waistcoat.

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