Cabling Without a Needle – Back Cross

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The principles shown here can be applied to any cable or twist, and once you’ve got the hang of moving the stitches without a cable needle, you won’t look back!
1) As you approach the point where the stitches will be twisted, stop just before the first stitch used in the manoeuvre.
2) Using your right hand needle, insert the needle into the stitches that need to travel – the ones you would normally put on a cable needle. Insert the needle into the stitches from the front. As this is a 6-stitch cable that crosses to the right, the stitches that need to travel are the second set of 3 stitches, that is, stitches 4, 5 and 6 of the cable.
3) Gently push both the stitches towards the tip of the left hand needle, keeping the right hand needle inserted in the stitches that will travel. Slip both sets of stitches off the end of the left needle.
4) Gently and quickly, catch the first 3 stitches with the left hand needle from behind.
5) Now place the 3 stitches that were held on the right needle back onto the left needle – the sets of 3 stitches have swapped places!
6) Now knit across the cable as you would normally – a 6 stitch, 3 by 3, right twist cable has been worked.
This same principle can be used for a left hand or front cross, where the stitches are twisted the opposite way, and just about any cable where the stitches are manageable without a needle.

For a front cross, you would approach the stitches that needs to be moved from behind, as this would give you a left hand twist.

Travelling stitches are approached in exactly the same way – lift the stitches to be moved from the front for a right twist, and from the back for a left. Anything over over 6 stitches might get fiddly, as you’ll have 3 or more stitches off the needle at any given point, and you may feel more confident using a cable needle for those manoeuvres.


As always, if you have a question about this technique or need some help with it, leave a comment below! I’m afraid I’m unable to offer help via email or private message, but you’re welcome to post in our forum.


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