Working Four-Stitch Cables

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Cable knitting can look complicated and fussy, but it’s actually fairly simple once you’ve mastered the mechanics. Watch Mary Beth Temple as she explains how to work some easy cables, specifically, the C4F (cable 4 front) and C4B (cable 4 back). Once you’ve learned cable knitting basics, you’ll be ready to knit all sorts of cable knitting patterns.

Mary Beth starts by reviewing some vocabulary that is commonly found in cable knitting patterns, and also reviews different types of cable needles. She shows that the gauge of the cable needle is not critical in making your cable pattern, and that there are many different sizes and shapes of these particular knitting notion.

For many cable stitch patterns, you’ll notice that the pattern is worked on a background of Reverse Stockinette Stitch. This allows the cable pattern to really “pop” and have more definition on your knitted fabric.

C4F (CABLE FOUR FRONT)

The C4F, or cable four front, is created by working over 4 stitches, and holding two of those stitches to the front. Mary Beth demonstrates a C4F cable that is worked over 4 rows of knitting. The cable would be worked over 4 stitches as follows:

    Row 1 (Right Side): Knit 4 stitches.

    Row 2 (Wrong Side): Purl 4 stitches.

    Row 3: Knit 4 stitches.

    Row 4: C4F.

The C4F cable will be worked as follows:

    Step 1: Slip 2 stitches to the cable needle.

    Step 2: Hold cable needle to the front of work.

    Step 3: Knit 2 stitches.

    Step 4: Knit 2 from cable needle.

C4B (CABLE FOUR BACK)

The C4B, or cable four back, is also created by working over 4 stitches, but with this cable two of the stitches will be held to the back of the work. As Mary Beth shows, this particular C4B cable is also worked over 4 rows of knitting as follows:

    Row 1 (Right Side): Knit 4 stitches.

    Row 2 (Wrong Side): Purl 4 stitches.

    Row 3: Knit 4 stitches.

    Row 4: C4B.

The C4B cable will be worked as follows:

    Step 1: Slip 2 stitches to the cable needle.

    Step 2: Hold cable needle to the back of work.

    Step 3: Knit 2 stitches.

    Step 4: Knit 2 from cable needle.

For both of these cables, as Mary Beth Temple shows, you’ll keep repeating these four rows to create beautiful easy cables on your knitted fabric. Once you’ve mastered these two basic cables, you’ll be ready to explore a wide variety of cable patterns and cable knitting patterns.