Tuesday, April 11

Cracking the Cable Code


Fine, make me do all the work.
I throw out a cable challenge and y'all go running to the far ends of cyberspace. Well, some of us have grit and some of us have knitting refence libraries just for times like this. After trawling through Mary Thomas, Barbara Walker, Montse Stanley et al, I came across a couple of candidates in Mon Tricot 1500 Patterns and Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting Patterns. And here's what I swatched:

Hmmm, not bad, if I do say so myself. This is Furlana from el stasho knit up on 10.5 needles. More about the yarn later. The cable pattern itself is across 24 stitches with 3 rev. st. stitches on the sides--you work a left cross (8 over 8 in front), knit remaining 8 and turn, work WS row, then next RS row knit 8, work a right cross(8 over 8 in back) and finish row. Work next 8 rows normally as stitches 'present themselves.' OK, before you go flying off to make your own Phat&Juicy swatch, here's the trick:
When cabling, put the 8 stitches on a dpn the same size as your needle. Knit eight from the left needle. Now with another same sized dpn you will knit back and forth 3 times(6 rows) the stitches on dpn#1, ending with WS, ready to knit onto needle. Knit the elongated 8 stitches onto needle and finish row. Make sense? You are knitting up those cable stitches separately on dpns into a strip which is then knitted back into the needle. Your first left cable is immediately followed by a right cable on the next RS row.

Furlana is wonderfully soft with a mohair like halo of possum(20%) and 80% merino. Possum? Yep, those wretched critters are taking over New Zealand and the enterprising Kiwis decided yarn would go over better than possum nuggets on the export market. If I continue in this vein, and I will when it's not 85 degrees outside, the Furlana is 50 gms/146 yds and $8.55 at Wild String, but you may have to hunt for it elsewhere. Let's see, 1800 yds for the sweater comes to 13 skeins, $111.15. Compared to $2,250 this is a steal. I will not factor the pain in the butt labor cost because it's too depressing. Also, I would simplify the design, delete the little side cables and knit this in the round.

Sunset Sunrise...
I finished the back and here I am on the left front. This is the sleeve shaping before you get into line-by-line directions for the curvy part, 83 rows before the final front hem.
Row counter, row counter, wherefore art thou?

Weekend Update
A couple of things were extra fun this weekend. I sold some stash rejects at my neighbor's garage sale and it flew outta there, $ for stash enhancement, yippee-doo! Another was a trip to Target to pick up a shower curtain for the Truckstop Men's Room. I go to Target about twice a year because the same thing happens everytime. I go in with a list and come out 2 hours later with a cart full of fun, zippy, on-sale, cool-colored and niftily designed CRAP. I love it when you can buy bug lights, undies and dog toys all at the same place, just like the old Mott's Five-And-Dime when I was a kid. My big reward was an ice cold Dr. Pepper which blew up in the war wagon. Good thing I bought the car wash kit for $17.
Isaac Mizrahi dog toy....awaiting its demise in Archie's crazed jaws.

The other even more fun event was not the birthday party at the bowling alley with 24 crazed 8-yr old boys, but my first sNb gathering. Yes, I was an isolationist knitter until Sunday. Not because of any Monroevian group phobia, but because either I've been the sole knitter wherever we lived or there wasn't a group per se. And when I worked in a LYS in Miami, the group came to me. Now, they're everywhere...thanks, Debbie Stoller! Anyway, it was really good to hang out with like minded souls, knitting and chatting about knitting, oohing and ahhing over everyone's work. A real tonic...I encourage it heartily. Bandit asked me, "You went somewhere else just to knit?" Yep, you betcha, kid!


HPNY Knits said...

the pain in the butt labor cost is probably not what makes it cost $2,250, since they usualy don't pay people very well to knit these, IF they are hand knit.
but it will cost us blood sweat and tears...
looks very lush! one down 3495 to go.....

argus said...

Hello Mary,
Answering your question about Lovlund top: I cas on according to the pattern, and it came out true to size. The only change I've made was for the front neck: I crocheted a few rows and finished with the "crab ctitch". You can see pictures of the finished top on my blog.
Hope it helps,

knitannie said...

Well done on the cable swatch. Please keep going and make the whole sweater, it's gorgeous (and think of the money you'll save!).

pnitter said...

Thank you so much for figuring this cable out for us. I've been knitting for 40 years, and this one had me stumped.

Also, thanks for the pictures below of the rug and sheep. Yes, it always amazes me what people will spend. I saw a very ugly knitted purse in the NY Times recently for $1,700. It would take maybe three hours to make, and had probably 150 yds of a bulky yarn.

Marji said...

interesting how on the runway model there wasn't that big huge turtleneck, but in the store model they added it.
I think those smaller cables are necessary to set off the huge wide cables, but they are also poofy - not your typical cable. Did you notice the incredible 'cable splay' at the hem of the sweater?

rainbowgoblin said...

I know it's been a few years, but I LOVE these cables! I'm using them for a sideways-knit hat, and planning to publish the pattern (eventually). I'll credit you with the stitch pattern, of course... Is that OK?