Cabling without a cable needle – how to

Hello all!

Spiffing day here at Buttons Towers, it’s raining! Hurrah for the great British summertime.

If, like me, you are stuck indoors twiddling your thumbs how about learning something new? Fancy trying to cable WITHOUT a cable needle? “It can never be done!” I hear you cry. Au contraire, mon amis, it can and i shall show you how.

Now the one thing i would say before we get started is that if yor pattern calls for more than 5 or 6 stitches to be put on your cable needle I would still use the extra needle in the usual manner but for everything else this method is just peachy.

I have chosen to use an 8 stitch cable for illustration purposes, this would be shown in a pattern as C4F or C4B. If you have a 6 stitch cable then you will be told to C3F or C3B etc so simply substitute your number into the instructions below when you see 4.

You will need:

Nothing apart from your knitting and the pattern, if you have one. 


To C4F:

Knit up to the point in your pattern where it tells you to C4F. Count the first 4stitches on the left hand needle, you will need to insert your right hand needle into the back of the next 4 stitches after the first 4 you have just counted. Slip the first 4 off the needle, this will leave you with the first stitches of your row, then 4 floating stitches, then 4 stitches on the right hand needle.

DON’T PANIC!!! You will have live stitches floating around off the needles for a little while, but worry not. Keep your cool and all will be well.

With your left hand needle, pick up the floating stitches. Then slip the 4 stitches from the right hand needle back onto the left hand needle. You have now created the twist in the cable. Knit across all of the stitches you have just flipped around (8 in this case) and continue with your pattern instructions.


To C4B:

The process is the same for the C4F except that you put the knitting needle into the front of the stitches instead of the back in step one. You then pick the stitches up fron the back of the work, rather than the front in step two. Follow the pics below:

 All done! No tears? Hooray! And once you get the hang of it it is so much faster (in my opinion) than using a cable needle.


One thought on “Cabling without a cable needle – how to

  1. Pingback: How to knit a cabled braid | Buttons and Pickles

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