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The Pedantic Cabler
Tips for Knitting a Perfect Cable
by Jackie E-S
Does this sound like you? From Anki in Sweden.
I wonder if you could help me with a knitting problem? I have knitted for many years and like advanced patterns but I'm never satisfied with my cables.
The left side of the cable and the following purl stitches get looser than the right side of the cable. I have tried to hold on tighter but it doesn't look as good as I want it to.
I'm a bit pedantic with everything I do and this problem makes me avoid cable patterns.
You likely put a tad bit more yarn in your purl stitches than in your knit stitches. This is not noticeable enough except probably in the case where you additionally have the extra length of yarn passing between back (knit stitch) followed by motion to the front (purl stitch). Then the tad bit of extra looseness of the purl stitch gets pulled back into the space between the left side of cable and the purl stitch. There are 2 possible ways to remedy – take your pick to see which might work better for you:
1. Purl the stitch after the cable as usual. THEN before making the next stitch, tighten the tension.
By delaying the tightening on the yarn until after the first stitch following the cable has been made, you will be less likely to overtighten and stretch out the yarn, which can actually make things worse!
2. Throw or pick the yarn for the purl stitch opposite of usual.
This can shorten the distance the yarn has to go between the transition from knit to purl, thereby lessening the chance of slackness. Since the mount of the stitch will be opposite of usual, remember to take this into consideration on the next row/round so that you don't end up with a twisted stitch that you did not want.
Do you have a Question about knitting technique or skill? Please email me and I will consider it for an upcoming Q&A.
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