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.


How to Unpick a Knitted Lace Row – with safety line

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you are all enjoying your day.

I’ve recently started doing some lacey knitting. I’ve got a couple of projects on the go just to stave off boredom 🙂 The best thing I’ve found especially if you are a beginner is to put a lifeline, or safety line, into your knitting. As lace involves lots of yarn overs and knit togethers it can be really tricky to unpick if you make a mistake and I’ve found my self having to rip right back to the beginning of a piece and start all over again.

If you follow these instructions then you’ll only have to rip back a few rows if you go wrong and not get all stompy footed and have to rip back all of your hard work.

You will need:

Darning needle (or smaller depending on the weight of yarn, make sure it’s blunt)
Some waste yarn, in a contrasting colour to your main yarn, that is longer than the width of the piece you are working on
Your lace knitting piece


I put my line in after I’ve completed a full purl row, it makes it easier to understand the stitches when you pick them up again. It’s also up to you as to how often you put the line in. This will depend on the complexity of the lace and how wide it is.

Thread your needle with the waste yarn.

Once you have done a purl row, turn the work as if you are going to knit the next row. Take your needle and begin to thread it through the stitches on the knitting needle. You shouldn’t pierce the yarn, but aim to get the waste yarn running inside the loop of the knitted stitches on the knitting needle. When you get to the end of the row pull the waste yarn through so you have a long tail at either end, remove the darning needle.

Keep knitting, removing the line and placing it further up you knitting as you go.

If you do make a mistake, remove the knitting needle from the piece and rip the yarn back until you reach the lifeline. Then (ensuring that the piece is right side facing) you can pick the stitches up from the left to right with your knitting needle. Gently pull on the lifeline to remove it.

Believe me, this will save the tears 🙂


How to knit a diagonal square

Howdy doody!

Lightening fast tutorial for you today. This will show you how to knit squares of the same size regardless of yarn size or tension.

This is particularly useful if you are trying to use your stash up.

You will need:

Knitting needles
Tape measure


Cast on 2 stitches

1. K1, KFB
2. K1, KFB, K to end

Repeat row 2 until the side has reached the required measurement.

3. K1, K2tog, K to end

Repeat row 3 until you have 2 stitches left.

Cast off. Leave a longish tail to sew to other squares.

Using this method, you can create squares with different yarn weights that will all be the same size. The pic below shows a 5cm square in DK (pink) and a 5cm square in chunky (claret).




How to Make an Origami Box

Hi All,

I fancied a break from knitting the other day (shock horror!) and found a bunch of origami papers that I bought years ago. Here followed a few cranes and some lotus flowers, a jumping frog, the usual and then I remembered I needed something to put some easter treats in. Cue the origami box tutorial.

This box starts off with a piece of 12″ square cardmaking paper (picked this up from HobbyCraft, but you could also try Amazon) that I accented with some spring colours from my Pro Markers Set. The size of your card will affect the size of the finished box. The smaller you start the smaller the box and vice versa.


You will need to start with the coloured side of your paper facing down.  Fold in half horizontally, by bringing the bottom edge up to the top edge, crease and unfold. Fold in half vertically, by bringing the right side over to the left side, crease and unfold. Turn the paper so that you have a diamond shape.

Fold the bottom point of the diamond up to the centre and crease. Do NOT unfold. Repeat this all the way around so that you end up with a square shape again. Fold the right edge to the middle and the repeat with the left. You should now have a rectangle shape.

The paper starts getting a bit thick at this stage, so take your time and make sure the folds are sharp. Fold the bottom edge up to the middle line and then the top edge down. Undo all of the folds until you are left with two sides points folded into the middle ( 4th picture in the sequence below). You will need to do a reverse fold in the top left corner (5th and 6th picture below), make sure you crease it well. Repeat the crease on the top right hand side.

Bring both corners to the middle (as 1st picture below), then push this down into the box. The triangle at the top of the flap will become the base of the box (2nd picture below). Repeat the reverse fold on the corners and the prevous 2 steps and your box will be complete.

Give yourself a pat on the back and fill with goodies. Preferably edible goodies, which you can then eat. Om nom nom.

Happy boxing!