Welcome to the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along! Each week we will share a new square pattern and help you learn to make it. Watch videos on Creativebug (sign up for a free account to get access to the videos) and see tutorials here on the blog.
This week we will be working on the Snake Cables Square (LW4309-C), which you can download the pattern for here.
As you’ll see, the square will be crunched together when you first make it. This is normal! It will be less bunched up after you block it, and will be fine in the final afghan.
The cables are symmetrical from the center — the two sides are a mirror image of each other.
This time you’ll be holding stitches in the front and the back to make the cables. Cables can look very different just by changing the number of stitches that you make the cable over and whether you are holding the cable needle in the front or the back. As you work, you can compare this week’s square to last week’s square to see how the differences look.
The video and the blog only show the middle stitches, but follow the pattern to get a square the right size. Use the same cable cast-on as last time, working between the stitches.
You’ll start with purl 7, then knit 6 and purl 4 across, and end with another purl 7. For the second row, you’ll knit the knits and purl the purls to establish the Stockinette and Reverse Stockinette stitch sections. So in the second row, you’ll knit 7, then purl 6 and knit 4 across and end the row with a knit 7.
If you’re having trouble keeping track of your rows, you can make tally marks at the end of each row to remember which row you’re on. Writing on the pattern is easiest, but if you haven’t printed out a copy (if working from a tablet, for instance) or have it in a protective sleeve, you can write on a piece of scrap paper that you label with the pattern name and keep in your project bag.
For Row 3, you’ll start with a purl 7 and then we’re ready to work the cable in the Stockinette stitch section. For a 3 over 3 Right Cross (3/3 RC), you’ll slip the next 3 stitches onto the cable needle and hold it in back of your work. As you can see in the image below, this means that you’ll move the cable needle to the far side of your knitting.
To work a 3/3 LC, you’ll slip the next 3 stitches to the cable and hold them in front of your work. Then knit 3 from your needle and knit the 3 from the cable needle. Make sure you don’t twist your stitches as you knit from the cable needle — the stitches should stay in the same order.
If you look at your work the Right Cross cable goes towards the right and the Left Cross cable goes towards the left — this is more apparent as you work the straight stitches.
Now work 7 rows plain (i.e. with no cables), knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches to keep the sections of Stockinette and Reverse Stockinette clear and crisp. (As always, you can use the written instructions and/or the chart to help you make sure you’re keeping your stitches in the pattern.) Remember to make a mark at the end of every row so you don’t lose track of where you are.
With a snake cable, you’ll change the way you do the cables so they go back in. Instead of doing the same type of cable every time like we did for the Basic Cables Square, we will alternate 3/3 RC and 3/3 LC within the same Stockinette stitch sections, so the cable sections that originally had a 3/3 RC will now have a 3/3 LC, and the cable sections that originally had a 3/3 LC will now have a 3/3 RC. If you look at the picture in the pattern, you can see how the cable “snakes” change directions.
As you’re working, don’t forget to knit the stitches on the cable needle! Make sure that the yarn is not twisted up in the cable needle when you hold your cable needle in back. The yarn should go smoothly around it, as in this image.
As you work the repeat you’ll see the snake pattern develop, with the cables going both left and right.
Bind off in pattern, which means that as you come to knit stitches knit them on the bind-off row, and as you come to purl stitches purl them in the bind-off row.
Bias Garter Stitch Square
Basic Cables Square
Checkerboard Cables Square
Stockinette Cables Square
Horseshoe Panel with Twists Square
XO Panels and Ensign’s Braid Square
Honeycomb Trellis Square
Honeycomb and Braided Cables Square
Seed Stitch Diamonds Square
Lattice Cables Square
Putting It All Together