Knit: Cable Stitch
October 4, 2013
With winter fast approaching it is time to think about the cable stitch, a winter knitting staple. But did you ever think about why the cable is synonymous with cold weather. Just like fall makes you think of apples because that is the harvest time; cold, windy days make you long for a cable sweater because cables help keep you warmer that plain knit. The twisting of the cables pulls in the fabric making it tighter and more dense plus the cables overlap creating a double layered fabric. This creates a warmer fabric that can stand up to wind and chill of winter days. Including cables into your designs will not create a stiffer, more uncomfortable fabric. That is dependant on the yarn, but it will create a stiffer drape.
Cables are best suited to wooly textured yarns because the wool provides great stitch definition while the soft loft of the yarn blurs the lines just a bit to create a inviting look. I prefer my cables worked in light color yarns so the cables are visible. The darker the yarn the less visible your cables will be.
Cables also are a great way to add texture and interest to a project. If you want to create a more dense fabric, adding cables will create the texture you want while adding interest. You can combine several types of cables together. I am always looking for new combinations to try out and love combining several different cables together. You can create a cable from any number of stitches but the higher your count the more difficult and complicated it can become. You can also vary the density of your finished fabric but adjusting the number of cables used. More cables in a design will create a thicker fabric, great for a lap blanket or fisherman's sweater, less will create texture with more drape which will work for fashion sweaters, hats and shawls. Cables can also be used strategically to create density where needed. I used them in my Noel Cable Cowl to create some body so it would stand up and add warmth even though it was knit from a lighter wight yarn.
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