MKB 37: Cable Knitting

After what feels like an incredibly long time, I have emerged from the doily patterns and can move on to a new book section. The thirty-seventh pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book is for Cable Knitting, which provides instructions on creating a cable. This is a fairly basic pattern and concept, and although the instructions provided by Miss Lambert are clear, they are also relatively cumbersome.

Eighth row—Slip three stitches on to a third needle, always keeping that needle in front; knit the next three stitches; then knit the three stitches that were slipped on the third needle; take the third needle again, and slip three more stitches on it, keeping it as before in front, and knit the next three stitches; then knit the three stitches slipped on the third needle; continue the same to the end of the row.

My Knitting Book (1843), p. 55

To show this visually, I created a chart for the stitch pattern:

I briefly considered skipping this pattern because it is so elementary, but I decided to knit up a small sample for the sake of completeness. I used some leftover fingering weight yarn, a combination of silk and wool, giving it a lovely shine. With 2mm needles, I cast on 42 stitches to allow for five repeats and a three stitch garter edging on each side of the sample. I wasn’t really thinking and forgot about how much cables “pull-in” the knitting, so my small piece became quite tiny!

The resulting fabric has a surprisingly lovely texture, more like waves or ripples in the sand than “just” cables. The texture was more pronounced pre-blocking, and I think if I choose to use this pattern in the future, I would either avoid blocking or block very gently to preserve the texture. I also think the silk in the fibre gives the fabric some shine that enhances the stitch pattern.

Coming up next is a gentleman’s purse, which might take a while to complete. Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “MKB 37: Cable Knitting

  1. That’s lovely. I’m so used to seeing cables anchored by purl stitches, making the cables stand out more, but it really has a soft look about it when it’s all knit stitches, doesn’t it.

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