January 5, 2009

Horizontal cables (study–pic heavy)

Posted in patterns tagged , , , , , , , at 12:54 pm by Pink

Still playing with the horizontal cables. (Part 1 is here.)

I do think the best effect is created by *slip 1 kw, do weird k2tog on other needle, remove right needle, slip 1st stitch pw, k1* for the horizontal cabling stitch. This allows you to just purl across the back, and while the stitches are certainly tighter than normal, it eliminates the gap. The best contrast, I believe, is achieved with a horizontal cable–any number of rows–done over stockinette, since otherwise the top and bottom of the cable can blend into the purls on either side of it.

The first thing I did today was play with curves: I wanted to replicate the top half of a circle using each stitch curving over, not by simply vertically cabling over then just deciding to do a horizontal one–I wanted something continuous.


It’s far from perfect, but I think the effect works well. The top arch in the image is simply a one stitch cable; the bottom one is two stitches wide, which becomes two rows tall at the peak. I did this without any vertical cabling, only decreases and increases and horizontal cables, because I think the curves produced are more attractive.

curvewarrows Here’s a version with arrows to show how exactly I did the knitting: the arrows in purple show the two ribs that I then–in red–SSK and added stitches to in order to produce the curve, then using the HC technique described above, cabled over to the second rib, where I then HCabled BACKWARDS across the needle (blue), stranded my yarn across in back to the point where I began the backwards cable, then did a bunch of bizarre increases and decreases (the blue/red squiggle) to get it to look right. I haven’t the faintest idea what I actually did there.

Once I was satisfied with that–it’s not elegant but it works, I’llhave to experiment with it more–I realized that I should probably get settled with single stitch/row cables before I start trying two. I tried brainstorming some patterns that would have nice, sharp angles but still go all over the place, and then I realized that a traditional Greek keys pattern would be perfect for this, plus actually attractive.

Here’s what I ended up with:


I’m happy with how it came out, although the knitting itself isn’t all that great–it’s cheap yarn that I’ve frogged about ten thousand times, and I was more worried about getting the pattern and stitches right than the overall composition.

The lower right-hand corner shows the curving technique for making a vertical stitch into horizontal–that’s just a basic SSK which right before I made a new purl for. Nothing terribly exciting. Contrast it with a repeat up, in the upper right, where I did a sharp turn that I think looks much better for this particular pattern.

greek2arrows Here’s the same image as the above, only with arrows to show the direction each part was knit it. (1) is the curvey bend, and (2) and (3) represent creating a horizontal cable out of nowhere and stopping it similarly. I’m not 100% sure how I managed it, but I think it was a KFB for (2) and a SSK for (3), but I can’t be sure. Maybe I should start writing this down as I do it.

For this pattern, unlike the arches I did above, I didn’t cable backwards at all, although I probably should’ve topologically. It creates an awful, awful wrongside, however, since I do it so awkwardly and in pseudo-short rows, so I just didn’t this time.

The piece is, in reality, an even rectangle with garter edges. You can’t tell because this image was taken with my computer’s built-in webcam, which means awkward angles like whoa.



  1. […] Figured out how to do the WS and other stuff! More is posted in part 2, here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A little more help with Ulla knitting […]

  2. I agree with the steps you called the “best effect” — just tried it, and it does stand up against the ground of rev st st better than the weird elongated-crochet-latch-up thing I vaguely described on that thread on Ravelry.

    For me, because I get confused with k-wise and p-wise and other people’s k2togs (combination knitter), I think of the steps as *keeping yarn in back, swap the position of the next two sts as though you were about to do a 1×1 twist to the left and put them back on the left needle, slip 1 (the stitch that would be a purl), k1, return the newly knit st to the left needle*. Same thing, I believe.

    (In fact, the way you do the swap without a cable needle, you wind up doing the swap and the slipping of the purl stitch in the same step.)

  3. Pink said,

    I’m so glad it worked for you as well! I can’t help you on the combo knitting, but it sounds like you’ve certainly gotten it figured out–I’ll have to try that!

  4. … and so I did just about the same thing with a 2-stitch wide cable that started from a vertical column of k2:

    Work to your k2 column. K1, then return to the left needle (like a bit of a short row to ease around the corner; I think this made the corner more rounded). *keeping yarn in back, swap the position of the next three sts as though you were twisting your column of two knit stitches one stitch to the left (twist 2 over 1, left), slip the stitch that would be your purl stitch, k2; return the 2 sts just knit to the left needle*

    The cable does pop from the surface of the fabric quite a bit.

    BTW, I omitted the increase at the beginning of these rows and decrease at the end — pretend it’s there, since it needs to be to avoid the skewing of the fabric.

    Also BTW, the elongated-stitch-crochet thing I mentioned — it does allow you to work your horizontal sts either to the left or right; you’re not forced to follow the direction of your knitting.

  5. Pink said,

    Very nice! That works well.

    I do know the elongated stitch crochet thing, I’ve used it for embroidery before, but I think being able to do it all with needles is groovy. 😀

  6. Pink said,

    It’s essentially how I did the first curve, only you explained it much better–the tension and feel is almost identical.

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