A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about adding cables to a plain project. In my case, it was a vest. I wanted to make the vest more interesting to knit and learn something new. I also wanted to honor the origin and Celtic heritage of the yarn, which was produced in Scotland. The yarn is Aran weight and has a rustic texture. It seemed to demand a cable — or several for that matter. Since this was my first experience adding cables to a plain pattern, I decided two (one on the front and one on the back) were enough.
As you can see, I am approaching the end of the project. This evening, I will add the neck and armhole edging and weave in ends. Tomorrow, I will block and then store it for the cool days of autumn and a future trip to Scotland (Fall 2022).
This was a simple cable to add since it was a right-leaning cable—no crossing cables this time. Still, I did have to go back and correct a mistake once. I guess that is what comes from knitting while trying to keep up with a pretty interesting mystery series on Britbox. My tendency to knit more complex cable patterns while listening/watching mysteries has gotten me into trouble more than once. I have, therefore, needed to fix mis-crossed cables and will probably have to do so again.
I don’t mind ripping out rows and picking up stitches (sometimes lots of them), but I realize that some knitters find it unnerving to rip out and see loose stitches hanging. It can be especially challenging to rip just a section of work out, but with cables, it can work rather well. Here is how I do it. My cable pattern consisted of 10 stitches (P2, K6, P2), so working on the right side, I knitted up to the stitches where the cable began. I then slipped the 10 stitches of my cable pattern off my needles, keeping the rest of the vest stitches on my left and right hand needles. Working with just the 10 cable stitches, I gently rip down to the mistake. In this case, I only needed to go down two rows. Keep in mind that I check my cables often as I go so that I can spot a mistake before I get too far along. Using 4” KA double-pointed needles (DNPS), I picked up the loose stitches and re-knitted the cable, crossing them correctly, turned the work purling the 10 stitches and then, placing them back on the left needle. Some knitters prefer to use cable needles, but I like 4" bamboo DPNs. At that point, the mistake was fixed, and I continued by knitting the cable stitches and then continued on to the end of the row. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have included a video by Suzanne Bryan that demonstrates this technique.
Overall, I am pleased with my vest. If I knit it again, I will move my cables on the front and the back to the left a few stitches to allow at least three knit stitches between the cable and the neck edge. I was pleased that the front side and back side cables met perfectly at the shoulder. The pattern called for seaming, but rather than binding off, I put the stitches on short cables and used a three-needle bind off. The join is tidy and lines up perfectly. I believe that my next vest will be a winter version knitted in the lovely and soft Simplinatural by Hikoo (a baby alpaca, wool, and silk blend) or perhaps a summer version in Billie Jean Aran Yarn (recycled denim).