Technique Number 9: Cables

Getting the hang of cablework will give you a wide-open horizon of beautiful new knitting. Sarah Hatton’s Yellow Wagtail Scarf is a fine first project to learn from.

Jen Arnall-Culliford’s video tutorial explains how to read a cable chart, how to knit with a cable needle, and how to knit WITHOUT a cable needle.


I have seriously never understood how to read a cable chart (I guess I am slow). This was very helpful.


So glad it has come in handy! :slight_smile:

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Can’t wait to cast this on…Ordered my yarn yesterday! Will check out the video once I’m home this evening…


Is it just me, or is Jen’s sample seriously adrift? Cables tend to go over and under alternately, but the piece already knit does not do this. Nor does it follow the chart. Am I missing something here?

Are you referring to the photo in today’s post where Jen is wearing the scarf? The cables looks right to me–I just finished making this scarf, and as far as I can see, everything looks correct and follows the chart. The cables do twist right or left in a certain pattern, varying depending on the row.

I’m looking at the sample right at the start of the video as Jen explains how to read a cable chart. The section already knit does not match the chart ( of course I could be wrong, but I’ve made a few similar boo-boos in my time.)

I see what you mean! Rows 9 and 11 look to have been knitted with the twists going to the right rather than to the left. EAGLE EYE! I never would have caught that.

Well, I’ve been called a few things in my time, but that’s a first. (I am Somerville on Ravelry).

Holds head in hands… :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:
I have to admit that it wasn’t me that knitted the swatch up, and there’s so much to keep an eye on when we’re filming that I didn’t spot that the cables were twisted the wrong way on rows 9 and 13. I am absolutely scarlet with embarrassment!!
I hope it doesn’t detract from the rest of the video on how to read the chart.
Very well spotted.

Oh, Jen, if you look at my Yellow Wagtail Scarf, it is a study in
imperfection–cables going the wrong way, one cable just Not There!

A Year of Techniques has been invaluable to me for learning new things this
year. Thank you for everything! x0xx0x0x0x


:kissing_heart: Thank you Ann!

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Is it safe to hold my hands up and say that the cable miscreant is me? I’m sorry if I’ve caused any confusion.

It was probably a case of me knitting the swatch long after I should have been in bed. Just last week this happened as I found my stocking stitch piece had inadvertently changed into reverse stocking stitch and had to be completely ripped back.

It was a great spot on your part and I hope it didn’t detract too much from the message Jen was trying to get across. I’ll double check next time.


Oh JIM! If you could see the peculiar things that have showed up in my
Yellow Wagtail Scarf . . .

I do think this project is such a brilliant way to understand Really And
Truly how cables work. A long, skinny scarf with the same cables repeated
over and over–that’s how to get the rhythm of it all. The second half of
my scarf is perfect; the first half . . . kind of human . . .


I am really enjoying this project and love the Haymarket yarn. I also have a question. Jen’s instructions point out that her yarn ‘grows’ quite a bit with blocking. Does this happen with Haymarket too?

Just started my Yellow Wagtail, have done one cable repeat with no cable needle! Amazing! No holding the cable needle in my teeth or worse still losing it down the side of my chair…and I’m amazed how quickly your eye can sweep across a chart. Great video Jen.


It’s so liberating! So glad you’re grooving without a cable needle. It
opens up a whole world of cables.

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