Ariel's craft journal (dragoncrafter) wrote,
Ariel's craft journal


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Here is the next in the Cables That Look Like Stuff series: the alphabet.

Letters b, c, e, f are done in twisted stitches (knit through back loop) because it looks terrific when Eunny does it. She must be using a yarn with more definition than I am; it didn't really come out well for me.

The top few rows got done out of order, to cut down on how big this particular swatch had to be; I plan to do the final draft in order. I also left out `a' and `d' on the grounds that they look like `b', only reversed or shorter, and `n' because it's just like `m' with the middle bits (or right bits, or whatever) deleted.

I also left out `z', because I just couldn't figure out a good way to do it.

And then I discovered something brilliant.

Tales of the Dragon Shawl

Some of you may recall I was planning to make the Dragon shawl in yarn I was going to buy with my Knitty money. However, when Halcyon Yarn decided to back-order my Malabrigo, I decided I wanted to start a large non-self-designed project at once, and with the sweater not going to work, it would have to be the shawl.

So I went to Loopy Yarns downtown and bought a ball of laceweight.

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It's the red stuff on the left. It's Yarn Place Gentle, 1380 yards/100 grams, 95% Australian Merino, 5% cashmere, and feels wonderful. For comparison, the stuff on the right is Blackberry Ridge Thistledown Singles, Knitpicks Shimmer, and DMC crochet cotton #20.

As you may note, this is pretty fine yarn. So I didn't want to go with big needles; I wanted some sort of steel Os.

Now, I have a full set of steel multi-0s, and my 00s gave me utterly reasonable fabric.

The problem is, my 0s, 00s, and 000s are made by Addi. I have never used Addi Turbos (I tend to be happy with cheap needles), but if their tips are like these ones, I see why Grumperina persists in calling them Blunti Stumpos. I can do stockinette with them. I can knit socks, in sock yarn, just fine on the 0s, although it was a bit annoying when I was using Lorna's Laces instead of Cherry Tree Hill/Koigu. (I love CTH/Koigu; much less splitty.) With laceweight, I just could not do a k2tog.

Then I remembered that, years ago, I bought some 1.5mm (000) needles from Lacis. I think Inox made them. I somehow contrived to lose two of them, but since I only need two needles to knit flat, and I had three left, that was all right.

So I started the shawl on the Inox 000s. Since I'm planning to hang this on the wall, I don't really care that it will end up far too small. It works fine, but I have pretty limited ability to do it without looking. Normally, I can read while working a plain purl row. Not with this. So it's going surprisingly slowly; on the other hand, I have made progress with my latest pair of socks.

I finally got up to the bottom of the dragon's tail. And I discovered something brilliant.

Sharon Winsauer attributes it to Margaret Stove. In her book, Margaret Stove says it is ``attributed to the late Trude Guermonprez''. Whoever it is who came up with it, thank you.

I took this stitch, that is used at the bottom of the dragon's tail, and used it to make a Z.

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is, in fact, a horizontal cable.

The general idea is to work a mini-cable crossing, then another one not on the next two stitches, but the next stitch and the stitch just worked.

Being the mini-cable tinkerer I am, this is what I came up with.

First stitch: Knit front and back. Alternatively (chiyo_no_saru, thanks for the suggestion!) make 1 knitwise. Or, if you already had a (one-stitch) vertical cable that you just want to continue at an angle, just knit to just before it and then slip it...purlwise, I think.

**Slip next stitch as if to knit. Insert left needle through the first two stitches on the right needle, from front to back and from right to left; this is the mirror image of inserting the right needle as if to k2tog. Remove right needle; your first two stitches on the left needle are now switched.

{Work first stitch through front loop/slip 1 purlwise with yarn held to back.} Then knit the next stitch through the front loop.** Technically, this twists the stitches that go into the horizontal cable, but that's actually a good thing because it tightens it up.

Repeat between **s for the length of your horizontal cable, but on the last stitch, end just after the section in {}s.

If you want to continue this thing as a vertical cable (as I did at the bottom of the Z) just go on knitting. Otherwise, do a decrease to get rid of the next stitch. (p2tog or ssk both seem to work okay, but some experimentation is in order to make this work with {slipping} above.)

Note: I've made a few edits to the stuff above, mostly regarding starting and stopping this thing.

The big thing I've realized is this: the row after a horizontal cable is always too loose. However, if you slip 1 purlwise instead of knitting or purling it in the {}s above, it will instead be too tight—which often looks better, if you don't have too many of these things.

Note: chiyo_no_saru has been playing with ways to do thicker cables; see her entry here.

This is brilliant. I am so glad I found it. Thank you, Trude Guermonprez.

Tags: cables, pictures, representational
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I need to go try this! Horizontal cables!
That is amazing! A horizontal cable! Thank you so much for posting about how to do that. I just love the alphabet sample. I like the idea of knitting through the back loop like that it makes the letters look like they are a 1x1 cable. Very Cool!
This is fantastic! I'm extremely pleased. I've used it and am very happy with the results.



August 25 2008, 05:12:02 UTC 9 years ago

I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.
Hi Ariel,

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the technique of starting horizontal mini cables. I'd been wanting to do this for ages, struggling on my own, always wanting to make a complete cable circle.

After I found your post I was able to make the Olympic rings on these socks which I did during the Bejing games.

So I came back to say thanks.

So, sorry to borrow you again, but is there a way to do this over multiple rows, so that--for example--a 2 stitch vertical cable could run into a 2 row horizontal one?
If you're turning a 1-stitch horizontal or vertical cable into the other, then you just omit the increase/decrease at the start/end of the vertical section. I haven't tried 2-stitch horizontal cables.
It looks similar. I couldn't follow the dialogue.

She seems to be actually knitting the stitches in the background--she's doing what I decided made the cables too loose, instead of too tight.

I'd check out this entry (not mine) for some notes on making thicker horizontal cables.
I think I can try out your technique and a Little South's too now that I've seen someone knit something like; even if the dialog is in German.

Oh can I ever think of applications for this!

Thanks again,
OK, got the hang of this now: knit, knit, slip, flip.
Can you post a video please?
Hi DragonCrafter,

Thanks for the inspiration. I've incorporated a horizontal cable (tweaked it a bit) into my new design. Are you on Ravelry? I'd love to gift it to you once it's been tested.