Crossing cables w/out cable needle?

I’m working on a hat for Christmas. Size 10 needles, worsted weight yarn. It’s dead simple, but I’m finding that I’m having difficulty with the cables. It seems like a waste to use a cable needle for crossing 2 stitches, and I tried to use the video tutorial, but it didn’t help much. Maybe it’s a matter of practice…

Here’s a bit of the pattern:
Round 1: slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in front, p1, k1tbl from cable needle,
slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in back, k1tbl, p1 from cable needle
Repeat
from * to * to end of round.
Round 2: p1, k1tbl twice, p1 Repeat from * to * to end of round.
Round 3: p1, slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in front, k1tbl, k1tbl from cable
needle, p1

First of all, it’s worded strangely to me - I’m so very used to seeing C2F, etc, that it’s like a foreign language. Am I reading it correctly that there are only 2 stitches involved in each cable?

Secondly, wouldn’t this be easier to do without a cable needle? My knitting isn’t very tight, and having to hold the cable needle seems to be slowing everything down substantially, since the one stitch keeps sliding out. If yes, could someone clarify which stitch is which? Once I swap the two stitches around like in the video, I get confused which to ktbl and which to p.

Thank you!

A 2 st cable/twist is easy to do without a needle. Just work the 2nd stitch first, from the front of your work or behind, depending on whether it’s a left or right twist.

For this one “slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in front, p1, k1tbl from cable needle,” - purl the 2nd stitch from behind, then knit the first st tbl and it’ll be the same. The other one “slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold in back, k1tbl, p1 from cable needle” - knit the 2nd st tbl going in from the front (could be a little tricky) then purl the first stitch.

You could also just drop the first stitch off the needle totally, work the 2nd st and do the first stitch. You could support it with your left finger, but it won’t drop down any as long as you don’t stretch the sts apart.

“purl the 2nd stitch from behind, then knit the first st tbl and it’ll be the same.”

So I’ll drop them both off at the same time, then? When I pictured that, I ignored the first stitch completely, went under (from behind,) the stitch and purled the second, then knit the first and dropped them both off. Is that right?

So I’ll drop them both off at the same time, then?

Yep, you’re done with both stitches.

Thank you so much! Seems to have worked like a charm. c:

Also, just out of curiosity, how would that be changed for right twists?

When you knit the 2nd stitch from the back it’s a LT because the first st crosses over to the left; when you knit it from the front (as in the second part) it’s the RT because the first st is under the 2nd one which crosses to the left.

Crystal clear, thanks! I noticed as I was knitting it that they were twisting different ways, but didn’t understand why. Maybe the question should have been phrased differently - but you explained it perfectly anyway. :slight_smile: