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.

January 4, 2009

Horizontal cables

Posted in patterns, stitches tagged , , , , , , at 1:23 pm by Pink

So what have I been working on madly the past day or so?

Cabling. Horizontal cabling, to be specific.

Vertical cables–which make up 99.999999999999% of what you’ll ever see–are done by literally rearranging stitches on the needle to cross columns over. The most basic cable is two sets of stitches interchanged–the result line slopes at 45 degrees, since you move one stitch over one (or two stitches over two, etc.) A single cable motion in a row has a height of one, so the farther over you move it, the flatter the slope gets (closer to 0). So one stitch moved over two stitches would create a “line” of slope 1/2 (rise over run, remember?), etc.

For example:

Every single cable there is vertical.

Now, although you could theoretically/mathematically move a stitch over an infinite number of stitches, you can only go so far in reality without causing crazy things to happen. If you could move it over an infinite number of stitches, you’d be able to get a horizontal cable, since 1/∞ = 0, more or less.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell can’t move a stitch over an infinite number of stitches, especially since one doesn’t usually want the stitch to move WAY the hell to other side of the room!

Horizontal cables represent a limit. They just aren’t done. However, if you’re doing a circle, or any sort of curve that starts off going up then begins to go down, you’re going to have to do something for the part where the very top/bottom of the circle is flat. (If we were crocheting, this wouldn’t be an issue!) The issue is, of course, that knitting is worked almost wholly unidirectionally, so barring magical entrelac-ness and the ability to rearrange ROWS of stitches, you can’t cable horizontally.

You can’t cable horizontally: unless, of course, you’re DragonCrafter, whose LJ I’ve referenced about ten million times. She not only explained the magical SSP decrease I wanted so badly, but she has crocheted River’s vest from “Objects in Space,” and is overall just freaking INCREDIBLE. Being brilliant, she came up with a method to cable horizontally.

Her directions work for one direction, one row of cabling. I’ve played with them and worked on how to expand it into multiple rows to match a multiple-stitch cable, but all the original credit goes to her. I just ran with it.

Here’s what I ended up with:

What I did to create the extra rows of horizontal cables was a lot of trial and error. First, I tried just purling across the WS then doing the horizontal cables on the RS, but that didn’t work (unsurprisingly).

I tried then to replicate it on the WS by purling, but I’m really, really, REALLY bad at rotating things in my brain.

It occurred to me, then, that the answer was glaringly obvious: just reverse all the directions and knit backwards! DUH! I also played with the original directions–instead of KFB, I do a M1T when I’m knitting normally, and a M1A when I knit backwards.

In my opinion, it also looks best if you start the cable with a backwards row, end on a normal row, and then do… something on the next WS. I haven’t determined what. (The “top” horizontal cable is an example of my variations.)

So, there you go. Horizontal cables! Still haven’t cracked how to do the WS row after it, but that’s my next project.

ETA: Figured out how to do the WS and other stuff! More is posted in part 2, here.