Tuesday Tip – Cable Tragedy, Cable Fixes!
Recently I wrote about how I designed the cables in the Early Fall Vogue Maker feature cardigan. I was very happy how the sweater turned out, but it was not without a few bumps in the road. Today I reveal a bit of riiiiiping that every knitter must go through!
Many knitter’s look at cables and see hard, complex knitting. Really, they aren’t that hard at all. They are just rearranging stitches out of order and then knitting them. However, occasionally, we just space out, or glance at a chart and think left instead of right or, have your chart marker fall off, then glance (instead of study) down at your knitting and mix up what row you are on . . . yep, I did all of that.
Never fear, I always include a section on cable fixes in my cable classes (Explorations in Cables, Rising Spades Video Sweater class)
Miss Crossed Cable
My first boo boo was a small one and easy to fix. A few rows after a cable cross, I noticed the previous cable was crossed in the wrong direction, AND somehow when the sweater was bouncing around in my knitting bag (going on and off LOTS of planes) I had dropped one of the purl stitches.
First step was to pop a locking stitch marker on the dropped purl stitch and I’d deal with that in a minute, but I wanted to recross that cable. I had crossed right when I meant to cross left.
- I knit to the cable and dropped down 1/2 of the cable stitches.
- Keep dropping down (in this case 8 rows), until the stitches are unattached to the stitches next to them, that’s how you know you are on the cable row.
- Put those stitches on a locking stitch marker.
- Dive that stitch marker through the hole that is made on a cable cross row, so the cable is crossed correctly.
- Ladder them back up!
Of course I also had to ladder up that dropped purl to the right of the cable while I was at it!
But that was a quick fix, the next one was a bit more of a drag.
Fixing a Section of Knitting
I was in a heavy travel season while I was working on this sweater, so the sweater and the cable charts were being pulled in and out of travel bags a LOT. One day, on a plane, when pulling out my cable chart from the airline seat pocket, the magnet chart marker pulled off. No problem, I know how to read my knitting, I can just look at my knitting and see what row I left off on . . . as my mother used to say, there is just one problem.
There are two rows of the chart (row 28 & row 38) that are identical. I forgot to do one BASIC cable reading tip, count how many cable crosses you have finished.
So, I glanced down and thought I was on row 39, but I was actually on row 29. I would have know that if I could have counted to five!!!
Notice how there are 5 crosses in the middle section of the collar chart. Row 28 has a right cross, and row 38 has the same right cross. But notice how row 28 is the THIRD cross and row 38 is the FIFTH cross.
Sadly I didn’t notice it for another 50ish rows. I was NOT going to reknit all those rows again, I would much rather just reknit the collar.
So, first step, put the project down, walk away, try to convince yourself no one will notice, let the reality sink in that EVERYONE will notice (there are after all, two sweater fronts and the other one was already knit, pour yourself a cup of coffee and start the fun.
First step is to drop all the stitches of the cable. You will get a kinked mess, so grab your steam iron. Now they are much more manageable. This picture was taken after I had knit about 40 rows already, so I only had 12 rows left.
What you will have is a series of large loops. Each loop of yarn is two rows of knitting. Since when you finish a row you turn your work and the same piece of yarn get’s pulled back through the same stitch it came out of. Look at the picture above and you’ll see that the bottom of the loop is a WS row.
Now I have the yarn from the top of that loop ready for a RS row.
Nothing left to do, but pick up each loop, follow the chart (this time from the correct row!) and knit your way back up.
Seems like a lot of work, but it’s WAY faster then re-knitting 52 rows of the entire sweater front!
For more help in fixing mistakes you can check out my DVDs on basic fixes:
And for fixes in cables, lace, shaping, etc, both on and OFF your needle:
And for more cable tips and tricks