Concerning cables

Concerning cables

Experienced, “expert” knitters swear by them.

Beginners believe them to be the pinnacle of knitting chutzpah.

Knitting challenged folks wonder what is the fuss all about–just go to a good fashion store and buy a totally cabled sweater…Aran or whatever….every year, they hang from the showroom windows..the classic ones in creamy white or grey..and the modern ones in every colour under the sun.

Cables have a mystic charm about them.. They fascinate me. I love the way they twist and change directions and bring forth textures which look warm/bulky/unusual/feathery soft/reassuringly solid. There are as many types of cables as there are types of yarn…the sky is the limit! It is rumoured that cable patterns originated amidst the fishermen of the North Sea, when each family  had its distinctive pattern of cables. There was a rather macabre reason for this–cable patterns were used to identify bodies when pulled out of boat wrecks on high seas.

The world has moved on since then, and cables are aplenty…in design books, on the Net, in patterns and in blogs. There are some great sites for learning how to cable like a pro, and then there is this neat trick for cabling without a cable needle.

I needed that last tip urgently. After using ( and loosing) cable needles, toothpicks, hair pins, and anything which could hold a couple of those twisty stitches, I really needed to learn this…and learn I did….and on with the pleasurable task of knitting cables!

It struck me the other day, while looking through my sweaters ( I am trying to reach a stage of wearing only hand-knits), that there is not a single cabled sweater in my cupboard… How can this knitter, and teacher to knitters, be living without cables?

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This is the Stonecutter, knit last year, which was handed over to my cousin. The colour suited her, and she was delighted to wear it all over the American and European landscapes.

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This is the Stonecutter, knit by a brand new knitter friend. Its the first sweater she has ever knit, and though it took her quite a few long weeks, she has been wearing it this winter and reaping compliments. She is also an example of how there are no levels in knitting skills and you can take on any project, if you  have a brave heart and a braver guide!!

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I am knitting the Stonecutter again. This time, its in the classic cream wool which makes cables stand out. This time, there are a few modifications too. The sloping side cable has been eliminated..I want the straight, loose limbed fit.

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I am thinking of changing the sleeve pattern too…a single cable will not suffice for this sweater. This time, its going to be swatches from Barbara Walker’s treasury of knitting patterns till I find the right combination. Its going to be a long knitting adventure, but what is knitting all about?

Its this quest for creating something which makes the heart sing, something which feels just right when one wears it, and something which makes one want to go on and on, knitting and covering the heads, bodies, hands and feet of everyone who strays into the immediate vicinity of a knitter!

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