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.