“There is something you don’t know….I am not left-handed!”
Inigo Montoya, in The Princess Bride
Cables are one of the hallmarks of knitting….could you imagine an Irish Fisherman’s sweater without them? They don’t serve a whole lot of purpose except to snazz up your project, and provide a way of silently boasting of your knitting prowess. My Nonna would just throw a cable in any old where, la la la, and if it happened to run into another cable, she just get things so intertwined it was a miracle she didn’t end up with something that looked like a knitted brain. She was one snazzy knitter.
For many a new knitter, few things seem as intimidating as working cables, and I will admit, I was one of them. When my December knitting club package arrived in the mail, and my newborn son was a mere 8 days old, I opened the package, saw it was a pattern involving cables, and promptly hyperventilated. Just kidding. Of course I didn’t! Intrepid knitter that I am, I simply decided that I just needed some practice before dealing with cables in the round on small needles. Instead, I found something knitted flat, with huge needles and very chunky yarn:
Not bad, eh? This is the Speedy Cabled Beret by Paulina Chin.
Buoyed by my success, I began working on the mittens from the club pack…and soon set them aside. You see, it is quite difficult to make any progress with something that needs a cable needle every other row when one is also tending to a newborn. And here is where the story gets really good. I mentioned this difficulty in the Ravelry forum where we were all chatting about our club packs. And lo, several smarty-pants knitters pointed me to GlennaC’s Tutorial for Cabling Without a Cable Needle. It brought a sea change to my knitting world, for reals. No more stopping to fiddle with the cable needle, just a woosh, and a twist, and on with the knitting. Exhilarating. Thrilling, even.
Here is my (not-quite-finished) left-hand mitt, cabled without a cable needle for the last third of it:
Not quite the prowess that it would take to do this, but a good start. I’ll let you know when I can do this blind-folded with only my left hand. For now, I’m one step closer to knowing how to knit everything.