Large cables

I’m new to this site, but not to knitting. I’ve put Facebook on a hiatus, (I was wasting too much time) so needed a new place to ask questions. This is a fantastic site, and I’ve already picked up some great hints and ideas…
I am currently doing a pair of fingerless mittens with a cable pattern. I have done cables before with no problem, but this time I am getting frustrated. This cable pattern has me flummoxed. You put 12 (twelve) stitches on the cable needle and carry them over 12 more stitches in front., in K2 P2 ribbing no less. I am having trouble because by the time you carry the cable stitches over 12 stitches, the tension is really tight and I always end up either losing stitches or somehow making them too tight. Any help or suggestions? The pattern is done in a medium #4 weight yarn. To get the proper tension, I have to use a 4 mm knitting needle. Thank you in advance for any help!

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Welcome to KH!
What is the name of your pattern?
I’ve seen cables worked with a short circular needle instead of a cable needle although I haven’t done this myself. The sts slide onto the cable which gives a bit more flexibility to the knitting.
It helps a bit if you don’t pull the sts too tightly when you first start the cable, that is leave a gap between the sts to the right of the cable and the sts knit from the left hand needle.
It’s not an simple pattern to work but it sounds lovely.

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Do you have any of the rubbery plastic needle ends? Perhaps using them one or both ends of your cable needle could help with some of the stitch loss?

I wonder too if the type of yarn makes a difference. Some yarns are more stretchy and easier to maneuver, I am not greatly experienced at all but I did notice an swatch cable in acrylic was so much easier than cotton.
I’ve seen a video of this c24f and it looks so easy but I do think it’s a softer more giving yarn than I’ve ever held.

Im not saying this is right for your pattern, but maybe worth a try?

Whenever Ive done super wide cables (yours seems to be over 24 stitches? 12 go onto the cable needles, so carried across 12 other stitches?). Anyway the pattern called for extra rows to accommodate the huge crossover. So you’d get to the stitches, put them on a cable or other holder. Then knit the next stitches but instead of immediately going right to the cable needle stitches youd turn & knit the stitches you just knitted (half the cable) back again & then go across a 3rd time as normal. I think you wrapped a stitch next to the main knitting to prvent a hole there too but dont quote me on that. Then you’d knit two rows on the held stitches too. Before proceeding to the fabric on the far side of the cable.

This is coming from memory but one book of celtic (or Nord?) patterns I had called for this (and other methods too). Elsebeth Lavold, I think. Anyway I didnt wind up making very many of her patterns.

Update. I found the book. This is it. book3 She goes into various cable techniques in great detail.


That sounds like an interesting technique. I will try and find a copy of that book to look it up. I think I understand what you are saying. It is a C24f cable…very large and makes a bulky lump! I have succeeded in doing 2 cable repeats so far, but can’t say its easy or neat!

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Try your library. And I will try to dig my copy out & double check that Im not leading you astray.

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I will check my library. They have a lot of knitting books!