Monday, April 20, 2009

Cable Technique

Process Knitter: This type of knitter is not worried about when or even if a project is ever completed, but simply enjoys the process of knitting.

Project Knitter: This type of knitter totally wants to wear that cute little chic sweater.

I believe that on most days I fall into the second category.

However, not on my current project.

I will almost always let a mistake slide or fudge the pattern in some way to fix it in order to get to the finished product so that I can wear it without a care that there may be a mistake hidden somewhere in the mix of things. I'm being a rebel to myself and not doing that this time around. I want this project to be right in order to publish it. I have ripped back this project so many times my yarn is becoming more and more frayed as time goes on.

I'm continuing to take my fingerless mitt project from design sketch to finished project. There have so far been eleventy bajillion steps in doing so.

The problems have been numerous.

One of the things that was really bugging me yesterday was the look of the cables. It had nothing to do with pattern and everything to do with technique. As the cables would cross and then attach themselves to the next stitch, the one that was attaching itself to the next stitch always seemed wonky and larger than it's peers. You may remember me complaining of this once before here.

The problem, it seems was not in tension, but in size. As in that, somehow, the way that I was creating the problem stitches made them use more yarn, thus creating larger loops. I thought that if I increased the tension, really tightened up the stitches, then the problem would go away, disappear forever. Not so. All I did was make the stitches on the next row nearly impossible to complete and still had huge stitches.

I now have the solution to that little problem (thanks to a wonderful person's advice on Ravelry) and a great need to share it with you!

To make neater, tighter, more professional looking cables: Whether going from a purl to a knit or a knit to a purl, it doesn't matter which direction,
Move the yarn to the direction of the stitch that must be made next before taking the stitch you have just made off the left needle.

For example:

You have the following cable stitch layout:

P P K K K K P P - where you are going to be doing a cable with the Ks (which direction they cross is unimportant in this instance.)

1. You would do one purl, move it off the left needle and onto the right. 2. Again, make the next purl, but before taking it off of the left needle, move the yarn to the back, then remove the loop from the left needle to the right.
3. Make your cable up until the last knit stitch.

4. Make the knit stitch, but before moving it off of the left needle, move your yarn forward, then move the loop from the left to the right needle and begin your last two purls.

It is amazing the difference that I've had in my cables since learning this! I'm just shocked and stupified over it. It's like (in my silly mind anyway) you are making a yarn sandwich. You make the stitch, move the yarn so that it sits between the two halves of the stitch (see? a sandwich!) and then move it. The yarn now holds down and shortens the stitch that was causing all the fuss!

Completely Off Topic:

Beware what beautiful trees you plant near your home and driveway. In this case a beautiful Gonzaga Cherry Tree. See the gorgeous carnation-like flowers?

It just might make it snow pink blossoms everywhere and make your home and automobiles look like they've been in a rose parade.