How to separate strands of a cabled braid

I laid out a pattern for a 5-strand braid the other day, and test knit it to make sure it actually worked. It did work, but not exactly as I had hoped.

In my pattern, the braid strands are 2 stitches thick, and there are 10 stitches in the braided section of the pattern. That means that each of the 10 stitches are part of the braid, and there is no spacing between the strands (can you picture this?)

I then tried adding 2 purl stitches between each strand for a total of 22 stitches in the braided section (pp kk pp kk pp kk pp kk pp kk pp - where the Ks are the knit strands in the foreground, and the purls sink to the background, thus putting space between the “strands”). However, when it came time to cross the strands over each other using the cable needle, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the purl sitches between them. How can I maintain my 5-stranded braid pattern, and still have some empty space between each strand?

Does this question make any sense?

Well, this is not something I know much about, but maybe this tutorial on unventing cables might help you figure out what you need to do.

Before I go look it up in my cable dictionary…are you looking for something like this?

(scroll down to the cable pics/chart)

Actually, yeah, that’s kinda it, spacing-wise. My braid was more of a traditional over one, under one thing, but that’s what I’m talking about as far as putting spaces between the strands. I’ll have to study the heck out of that chart, as it doesn’t look as simple as I thought it was going to be.

Well your question has been turning over in the back of my head while I’ve been doing a little sock knitting, and I just realized that what you’re trying to do (I think) is an axis cable. (It was a total :doh: moment.) I’ve only played with cables (never done a whole project – well, except for baby cable rib socks – but I don’t think those quite count), but from what I understand, you’d need to break it down a bit. Say you’re doing a front cross cable and you’ve got kkppkk… what you would do is: move 4 stitches to the cable needle and hold them in front, k2, slip purl stitches from cable needle back to left-hand needle and purl them, then k2 from the cable needle. Make sense? Like I’m said I’m no expert on cables – just played around a bit – but I think it should work. (For a back cross just move the cable needle to the back.) Try it out and let us know what happens.

I think this might be the general instructions I’m looking for. Sssankyou once again, ms lane.

No, I think that tutorial you posted first answered my question. The part about moving the strands left or right over the background stitches was throwing me off. That tutorial clears things up nicely.

Any idea what kind of charting software was being usedl?

Well, I’m pretty certain that my instructions will create the type of cable you want, but anyway…

Here is a tutorial I came across recently on how to make knitting charts in excel – something that you probably already have! I’ve not tried it myself, but it looks pretty straightforward.

Well, I’m pretty certain that my instructions will create the type of cable you want, but anyway…

I’m sure it would too, but this here simpleton prefers pretty colored pictures to paragraphs of text :slight_smile:

Thanks a bunch!