Machine Knit Cabled Cowl

machine knit cable cowl cabled hand manipulated cotton

As a knitter and crocheter I am always trying to think of ways to wear what I make during the spring and fall.  Something that adds just a little bit of warmth, but not bulky or too heavy for just slightly cool weather.  For this project I began with the fiber and yarn choice.  I chose a yarn that is one hundred percent cotton so that it would be of natural fibers but not have the warmth of wool.  The one I use is from Cindy’s Knitting Room in Minnesota and is three strands of 2/16 weight cone yarn.  You can order it with any combination of colors that you would like.  The one I used is all of the same gray color, my favorite color.  With the color and stitch definition that this yarn gives on a standard knitting machine I thought cables would be a nice design feature.  Plus, I love the traditional appearance that cables give, and they can give a little bit of structure to knits which sometimes can look a bit soft.  Not to mention, cables are everywhere right now, along with fair isle yoke sweaters.

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When working on a knitting machine with cables it is best to work at a higher number or looser tension.  This allows the carriage to easily work the stitches off the needles when there is added tightness from crossing the stitches over.  It took me several attempts to find the right tension for this yarn.  You  really know it is not set right when it is hard to cross the stitches over each other.  The first move is easy, but the second is always the harder to get over.  The other indicator the tension is not correct is that the carriage will jam on your needles.  Finding the sweet spot on the tension dial along with moving the needles all the way out to E position before moving the carriage helps tremendously.

machine knit cabled cowl cable free pattern cotton yarn

If you aren’t used to doing hand manipulated cables, for this pattern you will need two of the two needle transfer tools in order to keep your sanity.  I guess there would be a way to make it without them if you are wanting to practice your patience and concentration skills.  So, take the two right needle stitches that are specified off onto one tool, and the left two needle stitches onto the other tool.  Then place the stitches that were on the right needles onto the left ones.  Then cross the other stitches over onto the remaining two empty needles.  I always move the right over to the left first in order to keep everything consistent throughout the pattern.  If you choose to cross left first there is nothing wrong with that.  The important thing is to be consistent with what you do so that your cables are not going one way on one row and another on the other, and then you might have that one exception for that one that you crossed the other way.  You get the idea, pick one way and stick to it.  Cables crossing every direction is not a good thing to make a professional looking cowl.  To make things easier I have included a PDF chart that you can reference.  With it you can visualize when you need to cable and where.

Even though I made this on a standard machine with the yarn from Cindy’s you can substitute a different yarn or even a different gauge of machine.  The width of the cowl may end up to be different, and you may need more or less rows to get the length you need.  Along with these characteristics the drape and thickness of the material all will impact the final outcome.  Cables also look different with different yarns.  Make sure you like how they are reading after you complete a few rows of them before you complete the entire thing.  I know I sure wouldn’t want to go through all the work of crossing so many cables and find out after finishing that I can barely see them.  Like I mentioned above, you will need to check the tension so that there are no issues with the carriage going over the needles that are cabled.

Click HEREfor the machine knit pattern.

Or, get the printable PDF version of the pattern (without ads) HERE

Happy cable-ing!




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