Sunday 18 January 2015

The year of the cable

This time last year I would never have anticipated that I would make 2015 my 'Year of the cable'. While I have always liked the look of cables I have never had the patience to knit them; I found having to use an extra needle a chore, constantly mislaying the needle and getting frustrated. But last year I discovered the wonderful technique of cabling without a needle, and something clicked. Cables finally became doable, without me having to keep track of an extra thing to lose, and since then I've not looked back.

Over Christmas I decided that in 2015 I would work on some designs featuring some fabulous cables, more complex than those I had previously tried my hand at. My sister is currently expecting a baby, and obviously is in need of a blanket. My brother in law wears a lot of heavily cabled jumpers, so I decided that this baby's blanket should be the start of my adventure in cables. I spent many hours over the holidays doodling how I'd like the cable to look, then meticulously charting and knitting the cable to be how I wanted it to be (this took several attempts, the first iteration had too few cables, the second the cables were too close together, the third the maths meant the cable didn't work. And those were  only the full drafts, there were plenty of other rubbings out going on!). Charting cables is harder than I thought it would be! I've had to think about all sorts of things I hadn't considered before: which way should one strand of the cable lie over another; what should you do with the edge stitches; what type of border should I use; how should I compensate for the cables pulling the fabric inwards? But it's been fun, and excellent mental exercise.

Several swatches later...
The blanket is now on the needles. I'm working in cream yarn as I know the baby's car seat is red and didn't want to risk it clashing; I'm using Hayfield Bonus aran as I know it'll withstand whatever a baby (and its sleepy parents) throws at it. For some reason I started off on straight needles, which was silly, it was much easier to work on once I switched to circulars, I just wish I'd done that before I'd completed a 64 row repeat! I'm really pleased with how it's turning out, although the tip of my thumb is having a little protest about being overworked. I shall ignore it and hopefully it'll go away!

Making good progress!
I'm enjoying working on this project so much that the second cable project is already partially charted and the yarn bought. It's another baby blanket (I know a lot of people expecting babies at the minute), which means I don't have to add shaping to my list of things to worry about. I will get there by the end of the year though. Well, hopefully I will.

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