4 Tips for Easier Crocheted Cables

May 5, 2011

Strands of crocheted post stitches step around and behind each other in an elegant dance. The steps create the swirls of a crocheted cable.

But like the steps of a dance, learning just where to place your hook when working cables can take a bit of practice-and an instructor is always welcome. One of my favorite cables is the six-strand cable Jodi Euchner displays running down the center of her Solas Caomh blanket (left, Interweave Crochet Spring 2009, available now as a digital download). Here are a few tips to guide you through some of the trickier parts of crocheted cable construction.

1. Keep your pattern close at hand.  Even advanced crocheters refer to the pattern when working the cable-cross rows of a cable. Sometimes it's hard to remember if you work the second set of stitches over or under the previously worked strand of the cable. With the digital magazines, I keep the pattern on my laptop, which travels with me wherever you go. Digital magazines make great travel companions. Plus the pages never wear out! 


2. Work behind the stitches just worked. With cables, the "strands" weave over and under each other. To create this woven construction, you skip stitches, and then work over the top of or behind the stitches just worked. When working behind the stitches just created, work into the skipped stitches from front to back as normal. 

Some patterns instruct you to work a front post double crochet behind the stitches just worked. To do this, insert your hook behind the previously worked stitches on the working row and make a front post double crochet around the skipped stitch inserting your hook from front to back to front around the stitch in the normal manner. This ensures that the first set of stitches lies on top of the second set of stitches worked.

   

If you have trouble inserting your hook in the skipped stitches, pull the skipped stitches to the left of the cable strand already worked (above). Once you have worked into the skipped stitches, allow those stitches to fall back behind the top strand of the cable. 

   

3. Minimize gaps. Long stitches, such as treble crochets, worked over skipped stitches can become loose. Pull the loop on your hook tight before yarning over. When working the stitch, hold the yarn overs and original loop close together when yarning over and drawing through the loops. 

 

4. And finally, don't let the intricate look of crochet cables intimidate you. Use these tips and jump in. To get started, try the One for All Family of Mitts (Crochet Accessories 2010), a great first cable pattern. 


Download a digital issue today
and enjoy the twists of beautiful cables. Or download 8 Free Crochet Hats and enjoy the cables of the Stone Path Hat.

 

Best wishes,


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Comments

LucyB@2 wrote
on May 5, 2011 5:21 PM

Dear Toni,  Could you please use a lighter yarn with your demos and example? sSome of the darker colors don't give a clear view of the stitches or patterns.  I love all your helpful info and have used your tips a lot.  Thank you, Lucy Beck

Patty Love wrote
on May 22, 2011 4:17 PM

Hi, Toni! One of my biggest problems with *any* crochet where you are skipping stitches is the gap, and I've never found a single tip about how to minimize gaps--until now. I've saved this entire article in my "crochet" folder for the next time I attempt a cable project (I have attempted two in the past but I'm still kind of a beginner, and they were a bit too hard--not that I couldn't have done them, but I felt that a little more experience would make them easier and thus more enjoyable). But I'm going to print out the tip about minimizing the gap and will carry it with me in my crochet bag! THANK YOU!!!

sharonsok wrote
on Jun 12, 2012 4:21 PM

Help - I'm looking for a pattern for a cable crochet awareness ribbon incorporated into a 12"square afghan sq.  I have a pattern for Crochet Cable Hearts & would like to use a ribbon pattern.  Donating afghan to a cancer fundraiser silent auction.

sharonsok@hotmail.com.