Cable issues

Everytime I do anything with a cable in it (scarf or whatever) it seems to alter the straightness of my scarf. In other words, I’ll do a few rows of garter or ribbing and then work a cable…for instance 3 on the cable needle held to the back, knit 3, and then knit the 3 from the cable needle. When I just do garter or ribbing the foundation rows are straight, but as soon as I do a cable it gets wavy (ie. where I have pulled the stitches to the back and then knit them later…as per above pattern).

Does this straighten out later or is there a way of avoiding this?

I think its possible that I am doing the cable too tight.

A cable by it’s nature pulls fabric in…a lot of times in a pattern, after the edging (in garter, stockinette or ribbing), it will call for increases in the stitches in order to offset this.

Knitting the cables more loosely and/or blocking may help some, but it’s not a guarantee.

Are you knitting from a pattern? If not, can you give some info on what you are doing. Maybe we can advise on how you might do some increases before you start cabling to avoid this.

Some do look “off center”. I have 1 pattern that does that, slightly. Blocking always helps. Like Marria says the cables pull the stitches and many directions, but it evens out.

A cable by it’s nature pulls fabric in…a lot of times in a pattern, after the edging (in garter, stockinette or ribbing), it will call for increases in the stitches in order to offset this.

I have never seen this, but wouldn’t say it isn’t done. I’ve never done it and my work with cables stays straight.

Maybe, as you said, you are knitting too tight/ loose, or changing your tension over the piece. Practice will help and blocking may too.

…a lot of times in a pattern, after the edging (in garter, stockinette or ribbing), it will call for increases in the stitches in order to offset this.

Very seldom actually. Most patterns start with the same number of stitches you do the cable over.

I’m knitting from a Lion Brand pattern and it has a single cable up the middle. I will be attempting the Palindrome shortly too.

That being said I thank you for your input and I’ll keep going with the LB pattern and see how things turn out. I will echo what Sue said above that there are no increases in this pattern to counter the tugging/pulling caused my the cable. If it looks awful when I am done I will repost with pictures and the pattern for additional guidance.

Thank you very much ladies.

You actually might want to try knitting with a larger needle once you get to the cable part. It makes the cables easier to do, there would be less pulling in, and sometimes less of a gap between the cable stitches and the ones next to them.

Excellent tip, thanks for that.

I frogged what I had done to date because my ball of yarn is particularly knotted, so I am now doing what I should have done initially…ie. rolling my 200g mass of yarn into a ball. You’d think I’d learn, oh well maybe this will teach me for all other new projects and balls of yarn.

All that to say I’ll put into practice what you are suggesting when I restart this scarf.

I’ve seen a lot of patterns that have the increases…and then I realized that most of them are by the same designer. (Kathy Zimmerman) It must be a technique she likes.

Yep, that could be. Certain designers like to do particular techniques. Like Stephanie Japel and Wendy Bernhard use mostly top down in their sweater designs.