How to Knit a Right-Slanting Cable

Senior woman knitting
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  • 01 of 05

    Getting Ready to Cable

    The first two rows.
    The first two rows of knitting. Sarah White

    Making cables, especially the basic cables that cross the same way over and over is pretty easy once you know how to do it, but if you've never done it before it can be a little intimidating.

    This tutorial illustrates how to make a simple cable that slants to the right. This is also known as a cable back because the cable needle is held at the back of the work when you make the cable. This is the easiest cable to make and is a little less awkward than the left-slanting cable front.

    For the purposes of this tutorial, we're working with a 12-stitch swatch. The first and last three stitches of each row are worked in Reverse Stockinette Stitch, while the middle six rows are worked in Stockinette Stitch, and the cable is worked on the right side, first on row three and then on every fourth row after that.

    To get ready to form the cable, first knit those two rows:

    • Row one: P3, K6, P3
    • Row two: K3, P6, K3

    Now you are ready to begin the cable row.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Slipping the Stitches

    Slipping the stitches
    Slipping the Stitches. Sarah White

    To begin your cable row, purl the first three stitches, just like you did on the first right-side row.

    Now you will be making the cable twist in the next six stitches. To form the twist, three stitches are held on the cable needle while you knit the three stitches that had been following them and then knit the three stitches off the cable needle.

    It sounds confusing, but it's really easy. To begin, slip the first three stitches you would knit on this row (following the three purls) onto a cable needle. These are slipped "purlwise," or in the same manner, from back to front, that you would make a purl stitch.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Positioning the Cable Needle

    Positioning the cable needle
    Positioning the cable needle. Sarah White

    In order to make a right-slanting cable, the cable needle needs to be held in the back of your work while you are knitting the next three stitches. Holding the needle in front while you work makes a cable that slants to the left.

    Simply place the cable needle to the back of your work, being careful not to twist or drop the stitches. You don't need to hold onto the cable needle while you knit the other three stitches; it should stay in place pretty well on its own.

    Once you have the cable needle in the right place, knit the remaining three knit stitches that are on the left-hand needle.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Knitting from the Cable Needle

    Knitting from the cable needle
    Knitting from the cable needle. Sarah White

    Now you're ready to knit the stitches from the cable needle back onto the regular needle. This forms the twist that is the basis for your cable.

    Bring the cable needle back to the front, again being careful not to twist the stitches, and knit those three stitches from the cable needle.

    When forming the cable, the inclination is to pull the yarn tightly, but the cable actually needs some room to move, and if you pull the yarn too tightly, you'll get a hole. Be gentle, and you'll have no problems.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finishing the Cable

    A cable after knitting a few repeats
    The cable after a few repeats. Sarah White

    Now all you have to do is purl the three remaining stitches, and you're done. This is, however, another spot where you can get into trouble.

    The stitches on this side of a cable tend to be loose, so you might want to tug on the yarn a little more aggressively at this point than you did when forming the cable.

    The first row of a cable pattern doesn't look like much, but as you continue, you will begin to see what all the fuss is about.

    The cable in the picture was formed by repeating the cable row every fourth row, always on the right side.