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Go ahead, mock my cables

Harry Callahan knew the minute he drank the sugar spiked coffee that things aren’t like usual. As I plan out a toddler Aran sweater, I seem unable to keep things predictable. So I’m incorporating cables and mock cables in my work… just to spice things up. What’s the difference?

mock cable tutorial knit by Alanna Nelson
Direct cables rearrange the order in which you work stitches to create twisted and traveling patterns across a knitted fabric.

Mock cables use increases, decreases and slip stitches to embellish the fabric. Take this swatch, “Stacked Buds” from Erika Knight’s Cables and Arans. The mock cable is created by slipping one stitch, knit one, yarn over, knit one, then passing the slip stitch over. Mock cables tend to create columns of cables. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them used in a way that they would travel across the fabric. However, if you’ve got a pattern, I’d love to see it.

traveling direct cables knit by Alanna Nelson
In addition to Knight’s stitch dictionary, Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns has a great selection of mock cable patterns. Walker has these patterns set aside in one section, whereas Knight scatters them throughout the book.

When designing my sweater for the Master Knitter requirements, I incorporated traveling and column cables, which you see at right.

Having lost many cable needles, improvising with tooth picks and twist ties has happened. With mock cables, there’s no worry about losing needles. I’ve fallen into the habit of physically rearranging the stitches when working direct cables. I do cherish a lovely pewter cable needle ring given to me by a knitting friend, made by Leslie Wind, I believe. It’s the perfect choice for projects with slippery yarns… but I digress.

Go ahead, mock my day (hate it when I’m punny!)