pattern issue with twists


I have an old knitting pattern for a couple of bootees from the 50s and I have gotten stuck already in the beginning of the pattern. The pattern says:

Cast on 40 stitches.
1st row: *K.4, P.4, repeat from * to 4 last stitches, K.4.
2nd row: *P.4, K.4, repeat from * to 4 last stitches, P.4.
Repeat these two rows twice more.

7th row: (Slip the first to sts. on to a cable needle and put to back of work, K.2, K. the two sts. from cable needle). This will be called Twist 2 K. (Slip the next two sts on to a cable needle and put to back of work, P.2, P the two sts from cable needle). This will be called Twist 2 P. Repeat these two stiches until last 4 sts, Twist 2 K.

8th row: *P.4, K.4, repeat from * to 4 last sts, P4.

My problem begins already with the first two rows - they don’t seem to match when knitting back and front. It gets even worse when doing the Twist 2 K and Twist 2 P next to each other. Has anyone encountered something similar or have any thoughts on this pattern description? Could there be something missing? As far as I know, when doing cable knits you don’t do them right after one another without any stitching in between. The pattern claims to have professional knitters trying the patterns before release to make sure they are working perfectly, so maybe it’s simply I who can’t wrap my mind around it.

Thank you to anyone who could save my bootees!


Welcome to KH!
What is the name of your pattern? It sometimes helps to see a photo of the finished project.
The cables are in stockinette (knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side) and reverse stockinette (purl on the right side, knit on the wrong side). There are side by side cables in many patterns so that’s not an error in the pattern.
The pattern seems to be knit back and forth rather than in the round, is that true?


The name of the pattern is “Wendywear 458”

I couldn’t seem to find it when googling so I uploaded a photo of the front (it’s the only photo in the pamphlet). It is knitted back and forth on two double pointed needles.
I haven’t been knitting for more than a year and this pattern is confusing me a lot (English is also not my native language so perhaps I have been misunderstanding something). Thank you for trying to help! :slight_smile:


Vintage knitting patterns are sometimes very difficult to understand. I agree with you that the pattern on the bootees doesn’t look like side by side cables. It looks like a cable (or twist 2 K) with 4 purl sts betwen cable twists. I don’t see the point of the purl cables unless you’re to fold the top of the bootee over. In that case, you would still have a nice cable pattern. (This type of pattern would also make the blanket reversible.)
If you want to make this simpler, you could work the cable with 4 purl sts between cables. The bootees would then be worn as shown in the photo.


Thank you! I will give it another try with using cables side by side! When I last tried to make the purl cables it just turned into small pillars with huge holes in between the cables. Maybe I tugged the yarn too tight?
I have now started making one with only twist 2 k as you suggested and it looks much better than what I achieved before. :slight_smile:


Do you perhaps know of another pattern that has cables side by side? I’d really like to learn how to do them, and maybe a simpler (newer) pattern would be good to begin with.


I don’t pull too tightly on cables, just a slight bit is enough. That way minimizes the gaps which are bound to form.
These are braided cables

The horseshoe cable is really side by side cables


Thank you very much, I will look into these :slight_smile: I saw at the horseshoe cable pattern, the cables are done by first putting the cable needle to the back, and the next cable the cable needle goes to the front. Do you think it could be a writing error in “my” old pattern? I was thinking maybe the Twist 2 P also has the cable needle resting in the front?


I have no reason to think it’s an error but trying it out on the needles as you have is the best way to figure it out. You could try it both ways, held to the front or held to the back.
It could be a matter of personal preference as the pattern claims that it’s been tested before release.


I hope this sample I made of your pattern helps you, it creates a reversible twisted cable rib. The picture shows the rightside on the left and the backside on the right.


Thank you very much! It definitely helps to be able to see what it should look like. <3


Okey, so thanks to all the help I’ve gotten I succeeded in making reversible cables. But I discovered another irritating problem with my knitting (completely my fault most likely). I get holes when going from knit stitch to purl stitch. How do I avoid these holes? I have tried tightening the tension, but it doesn’t seem to make the holes any smaller…


Some small hole is going to happen in cables because you’re knitting sts out of order and some of this is helped by washing and blocking.
However, there are some things you can do to minimize the problem. See especially the last method here.

You might also try wrapping the yarn for the purl after a knit in the wrong direction (clockwise) then knitting the stitch through the back loop on the wrong side row to untwist it.


I think it looks great and sometimes the holes enhance the overall pattern as long as your gauge (tension) is right for the pattern.


Thank you both again! I’ll look into the link :slight_smile: