Cables Beginning / Ending

Hi everyone, again, for the 3rd time in the past 2 days. :teehee: So here’s my new question: I was browsing knitting sites for tips on making cables, and one site, “Knitting Cables for Dummies,” had the following information:

“Because the cable stitches spread out a bit between turning rows, for the smoothest transition between the beginnings and endings of cables, plan to increase a stitch or two over the cable stitches when beginning a cable and decrease a stitch or two when binding off over a cable.”
“To start cable pattern: If you’re adding a cable(s) to an uncabled sweater pattern, for every 4 stitches in the planned cable(s), add 1 or 2 stitches to the number of stitches to cast on. Then work a few rows in the knit/purl pattern you’ve established for your cables before working a turning row.”
“To end cable pattern: When you get to the cable stitches, bind off as follows: *k1, bind off, k2tog, bind off, k1, bind off; rep from * to the end of the cable (stockinette) stitches.”

I have never heard of doing this before… has anyone here? Also, I’m confused about the cast on: it says to cast on fewer stitches than required, but when do I add the extra stitches to make the cables? And for the bind off, what if I only have a 2-stitch or 3-stitch cable? I’m really confused…

If anyone could enlighten me, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you!!!

I’ve never heard of that either, but I do know that cables pull in a lot so it makes sense to cast on more. Interesting. :think:

Yes, I’ve used that idea a little. I made a little dress that started at the bottom and had a seed stitch border then I went into cables. To help them lie flatter and not pucker the seed stitch I added a few stitches when I finished the border of seed stitch and was beginning the cables.

"To start cable pattern: If you’re adding a cable(s) to an uncabled sweater pattern, for every 4 stitches in the planned cable(s), add 1 or 2 stitches to the number of stitches to cast on. Then work a few rows in the knit/purl pattern you’ve established for your cables before working a turning row."
This part about adding to the cast on is if you are planning to change a sweater that was not designed for cables but you wanted them. The cables will make the sweater smaller so you need to add stitches. If you were going to have a border of ribbing or something before you started the cables you might not want to add the extra stitches until you finished the border, but if you were cabling right from the beginnng you would need the extra stitches to make it big enough.

A

nd for the bind off, what if I only have a 2-stitch or 3-stitch cable? I’m really confused…
It may depend on what you are making and how many cables you have. If you are making an afghan and have cables all over it with only a little rev St st between them you might find you get a nicer edge, without any flaring if you k2tog once in a while. But if you only had a few cables you might not need to do this. This is a bit of advice that you will have to apply as needed and experience will help you learn when you really need it. You can always try a bind off without it and do it over taking out a little if you think it will improve things.

And I’ll add that some folks have probably used cables as called for in patterns and never done this and get satisfactory results anyway.

A few patterns write this in, to increase after doing the border, then dec again befor the end border.

Thanks for all the replies. I’m planning on doing a scarf with a total of 7 cables: 2 four-stitch cables, 4 two-stitch cables, and a five-part diamond cable. I haven’t decided if I’m going to add a garter-stitch border, but if I were to, then where would I add the extra stitches and how many? (I would add them in the last row of border, but where? As in, below the cables?) And if I were not to add the border, would I not include any extra stitches? Also, is a good rule of thumb to k2tog once per cable when binding off? Once again, thanks for all of the help.

I guess my main question is, if I k2tog the cables when binding off, how do I replicate that for the cast-on if there is no border?

You want to end up with the number of stitches you need for your cables after you have done the adding on of the extra stitches. For instance if I were working a garter border in the case of the cables you mentioned I would figure out how many stitches I need for the cables then subtract one stitch for each of the 4 stitch cables. I don’t think I would subtract any for the 2 st cables.

I’m not sure what you mean by “a 5-part cable panel”, do you mean 5 st? If you mean 5 stitch you could subtract 1 or 2 for that panel. Cast on the number you get when you subtract for the cables. Work the border and then you always work the cables a ways in St st before the first twist (perhaps not for some special fancy cable, but you could still do 1 or 2 rows before you start any twists just to set up). I personally don’t think I’d add the stitches in the last row of garter but in the first row of St st. If you wanted you could begin on a WS row and inc on it and then be ready to do any twists you needed on the first row of the RS. But most of the time it would work to do it on the RS because you don’t need to twist right away.

When you do that first row whether it is RS or WS work the set up for the cables and in each place where you are going to have the actual cable that will be twisting, add back the number you subtracted to begin with. If you do an end border do the decreases to get back to the number you had for the beginning border before you begin the border and probably a couple of rows after the last major cable twist.

If you don’t want a border I don’t think you’d want to start out with fewer stitches but you could try it if you want and see how it looks (it might work well). It just seems like the increases would show up way more. At the end of the scarf you might still ditch a stitch at each cable to cut down flaring and I don’t know that it would be a noticeable thing that would look different from the other end.

MerigoldinWA, Thank you SO much for explaining everything, it makes so much more sense now! Thank you thank you thank you!!!