This is a tutorial for knitting cables without having to use a cable needle. I have always liked cables in knitwear but hated having to use an extra needle. Since I have discovered this technique of knitting cables without a cable needle I really like knitting them and have used them in several patterns. I designed a series of scarves, City Scarves, which not only uses this method of cabling, but also uses reversible cables which are great for scarves. This tutorial is for the left-twist cable that I used in Rebecca that is in the 2010 Deep Fall issue of Knitty.
This cable consist of four stitches, two stitches that cross over the front of two stitches. It is a left-twist cable, same as holding the stitches to the front. Slip the first two stitches as to purl onto the RH needle.
With yarn held in back of work
Knit the next two stitches on the LH needle.
With the LH needle in front of work slip it into the 2 stitches that were slipped (these will be the 3rd and 4th stitches in from the point of the RH needle).
Pinch the yarn under the 2 knitted stitches (these will be the 1st and 2nd stitches on the LH needle, the pinching keeps them from coming undone).
Pull the RH needle out of all four stitches, the two slipped stitches will be on the LH needle, the two knitted stitches are the pinched stitches.
Slip the two knitted stitches back onto the RH needle. This puts the 2 original slipped stitches back on the LH needle, ready to be worked.
Finally, knit these two stitches. So much better than using an extra needle! For a right-twist cable, same as holding stitches in the back, you do the same thing except you take the LH needle behind the work to slip it into the two slipped stitches. Once you have done this technique several times you will be amazed at how fast you can knit cables! I have used this technique on cables that up to 12 stitches wide, it gets a little trickier but still very do able. Have fun with your cables!!