2-Over-2 Cables

Now that you understand how cables are made, you may consider cabling without a cable needle! This skill will make cable-heavy projects go much more quickly, and allow you to make a cable anywhere, even if you forgot to bring a cable needle along.

To make a cable twist without a cable needle, you’ll be first rearranging the order of the stitches on the needles, then knitting them.

Note: this technique is especially easy and risk-free if you’re using a “sticky” wool or rugged cotton yarn, rather than a slippery silk or alpaca fiber.

How to do it:

Left Cable

Step 1

Step 1

First, the 2-over-2 Left cable. Start by slipping ALL 4 stitches over to the right-hand knitting needle, purlwise.

Step 2

Step 2

Bring your left-hand needle across the front and stick it into what used to be the first and second stitches, the right 2 stitches on the right-hand needle, as you see above.

Step 3

Step 3

Now here’s the bit that seems tricky (or scary, even) but it’s really not! Once you do it a few times, it’s easy. As the gif animation above shows:

With your left hand holding your knitting in place, slip the right-hand needle out of ALL 4 sts, then slip it immediately back into the 2 loose back stitches.

Those 2 stitches will only be loose (no needle through them) for a second at most, as the needle slips out and then right back in. As long as you’re holding your knitting firmly, there should be no risk of disaster.

Step 4

Step 4

So now you have what used to be the 2 right stitches on the left-hand needle, twisting in front of what was the 2 left stitches, now on the right-hand needle. None have been knit into yet.

Step 5

Step 5

Slip the 2 stitches from the right-hand needle onto the left-hand needle, straight across. Now all 4 stitches are ready to knit, in the new correct order.

Step 6

Step 6

Knit the first 2 stitches (the back stitches), then knit the next 2 stitches (the front stitches).

Step 7

Finished

There’s your no-cable-needle Left cable! The result is the same as with a cable needle, but it’s very quick and easy to do once you get the hang of it.

Right Cable

Step 1

Step 1

And now, a 2-over-2 Right cable without a cable needle. Start by bringing your right-hand needle across the front of your work and through the second pair of stitches, purlwise.

Step 2

Step 2

Now you’ll work a similar action to the previous cable, but flipped. Here we go (following the gif animation above):

Holding your knitting firmly in your right hand, slip the left-hand needle out of ALL 4 stitches, then slip it immediately back into the back 2 loose stitches.

Step 3

Step 3

Now what used to be the left 2 stitches are twisted in front, on the right-hand needle, and what was the right 2 stitches are twisted in back, on the left-hand needle. No stitches have been worked yet.

Step 4

Step 4

Slip the 2 stitches from the right-hand needle back over to the left-hand needle. Now all 4 stitches are ready to knit in their new cable twisted order.

Step 5

Step 5

Knit the first 2 stitches, the front stitches of your Right twist. Then knit the last 2 stitches, the back stitches.

Step 6

Finished

And here’s the completed Right cable.

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