What? No Cable Needle?

Whilst I love cables, I’m not so keen on using a cable needle to work them, especially with thicker weight yarns. Cable needles just get in my way or the needle falls out and I risk losing my stitches, so I prefer to pinch the stitches instead. I’ll explain:

In this example, from my A Slice of Honey hat pattern, I’m about to work a 2/2 right leaning cable with the next four stitches on my left hand needle (pic 1). I’m going to hold the next two stitches at the back of my knitting to make the cable, so I slip them purlwise onto the right hand needle (pic 2) and then pinch them at the back with my left thumb and forefinger (pic 3).

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I then knit the next two stitches from the left hand needle (pic 4) and replace the ‘pinched’ stitches to the left hand needle ready to be knitted, being careful not to twist them (pic 5). Once I’ve knitted the ‘pinched’ stitches, the cable is complete (pic 6). This works equally well for other types of cables, e.g. those involving more stitches or those where stitches are held at the front.

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I’m not going to pretend that this method isn’t a little fiddly and you’d need to adjust it to suit your knitting style (just for reference, I’m an English style thrower), but now I’ve got into the swing of it, I find it much easier than faffing about with a cable needle! You might like to give it a try?

My A Slice of Honey hat pattern will be released next week: aran weight yarn, unisex pattern, three sizes, slouchy and beanie fit, and a little ‘slice’ of cables up the sides. If you’d like to receive an exclusive discount code, then join my mailing list before Wednesday 4th October CLICK HERE

Happy knitting!

Maddie

 

Hat Blocking … Blocking For Hats

I’ll start this blog post with a wee confession: I don’t usually block hats! However, I make an exception for hats with colourwork, where I want to even out the stitches, or with lace where blocking helps relax the stitches and make the lace patterning open up.

A good way to block a hat is over a balloon, as laying your hat flat to dry will give it a crease down each side. You can either blow up a balloon to the size you need or use an already blown-up balloon (we always have some kicking about from kids’ parties). Start by soaking your hat in the usual way (more on this here), then place the hat over your chosen balloon. To keep the hat in place and to stop the brim from over stretching, sew a running stitch around the brim, draw up the ends snuggly around the balloon and tie (cotton yarn or string is good for this, as it doesn’t ‘stick’ to the hat). Drawing a face on your balloon is optional but I couldn’t resist!

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Leave the hat to dry, turning it every so often so that the fabric doesn’t sag and that it dries evenly. Remove the string from the brim and your hat is ready to wear.

The hat featured here is ‘A Slice of Honey’ is a unisex cabled hat knitted in aran/worsted-weight yarn and will be available very soon. If you’d like to be the first to know, receive an exclusive discount code when it’s released, and get a free top tips sheet about blocking shawls, then sign up to my mailing list by clicking here: mailing list

Happy blocking! Maddie x