Have you chosen your pattern yet? For the next 7 weeks, we’ll be knitting along together with wonderful Rowan Felted Tweed, and I know I’ll be loving every stitch. KAL details are in this post. I promised to share hints here that I’ve found helpful for various techniques you’ll find in the different patterns. It’s easiest for me to start with the Tiverton Cowl, since I designed it!
As written, the pattern calls for 4 colors, but you caught me—I’m about to add a fifth, which is why I don’t have the finished cowl to show you quite yet, except worked in its original undyed colors of Tiverton Tweed:
Tiverton is a ribbed cowl, and those ribs get a twist every few rounds with a 2 x 2 Right Cross Cable. It’s not news that the traditional way to work any cable is with a cable needle. With this technique, the first set of stitches in the cable column are slipped onto the cable needle, pulled out of the way—either to the front or back, depending on the direction the cable will lean—then the next set of stitches are knit, and then the held stitches are knit off the cable needle or placed back on the left needle to be knit:
But…I’m a big fan of cabling without a cable needle. Whatever you may have heard about this maneuver, your stitches will not drop! The key is rearranging the stitches without actually moving them too much and using smooth, pointy needles. I would not recommend trying this technique for the first time on blunt-tipped bamboo needles.
I am using the new Addi Click Rocket2 [Squared] needles, which I totally love. Our “house brand” Hiya Hiya Sharps or similar needles with long tapered points would also be perfect. (We can always special order any type of Addi, Hiya Hiya, Chiao Goo, or Knitter’s Pride needles for you!)
I’ve found two ways to rearrange stitches to knit a cable, all at once, off the left needle. Here’s my Method #1, shown on my Tiverton in progress:
From the front, insert the right needle purlwise into stitches #3 and #4 on the left needle (above). Once those stitches are safely onboard the right needle, gently slide the left needle out of stitches #2 and #1 (below). Don’t panic! Those “needle-free” stitches aren’t going anywhere—if you don’t wiggle them too much!
With stitches #3 and #4 now out of the way, reinsert your left needle into #2 and #1. You should be able to slide the needle right back into the waiting stitches as easily as it came out.
Now all that’s left to do is re-hang the stitches on the right needle back on the left needle and knit them across. That’s it!
And here’s my same-but-different Method #2: From the front, slide the right needle purlwise into all 4 stitches of the cable column at once.
With the 4 stitches now on the right needle tip…
…insert the left needle tip into the back of stitches #1 and #2 and…
…gently slide the right needle tip out of stitches #3 and #4.
Now that stitches #1 and #2 are out of the way, reinsert your right needle into #3 and #4. You should be able to slide the needle back into the waiting stitches as easily as it came out.
Once again, all that’s left to do is transfer the stitches on the right needle back onto the left needle and knit them across.
I encourage you to experiment with both methods shown above. See which one makes the most sense and is easiest for you to do. I bet you’ll be able to figure out the logistics of a Left Cross Cable on your own!
You’ll find how-to videos online telling you to “pinch” and “pull” stitches around with your fingers when you aren’t using a cable needle. Please ignore them. While it’s true that different yarns and different needles may make this technique more or less challenging to perform with confidence, my “needle slide” method is a great match for Felted Tweed. And If you don’t want your actual Tiverton Cowl project to be the first time you try cabling without a cable needle, make yourself a practice swatch, similar to one I made when I was auditioning needle sizes:
What do you think my fifth color is going to be?
The Tiverton Cowl pattern will not be available on Ravelry until after our KAL ends on March 20. It is only available from Gosh Yarn It!, free with a purchase of Felted Tweed.
Which pattern should we talk about next?