Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cables Away!

Cables can be intimidating to beginning knitters, but they're not as difficult as they seem. Here are some books that contain some really great instructions for learning how to create cables in your projects.

Inspired Cable Knits: 20 Creative Designs for Making Sweaters and Accessories by Fiona Ellis

The introduction is not the best for beginners who are not used to cables. I feel that it is meant more as a reminder than as a reference.

The Patterns:
  • Inspired by Change (Joining in Friendship Sweater, Go with the Flow Tank, Open to Change Top, Practice Makes Perfect Hat and Scarf Set, Gathering Intentions Sweater)
  • Inspired by Nature (Wrap Yourself in Nature Wrap, Putting down Roots Sweater, Knots and Bark Sweater, Inspired by Your Surroundings Men's Sweater, Order and Chaos Cardigan)
  • Inspired by Energy (Tree Pose Yoga Bag, Sounds like Fun Child's Sweater, Beachcombing Pillow, Potential Energy Men's V-neck Sweater, Power Cables Unplugged Summer Top)
  • Inspired by Time (Ripples in Time Baby Sweater, Evolving Traditions Cable and Fair Isle Sweater, Metro Retro Men's Sweater, Celtic Icon Hooded Zippered Cardigan, Peek-a-Boo Summer Sweater)
My favorites from this book include the Practice Makes Perfect Hat, which is square shaped and has tassles like pigtails coming off the sides. It is very whimsical. Order and Chaos looks warm and cozy. Peek-a-boo is delicate and feminine.

The patterns are beautiful, but they do not happen to inspire me. After this first reading, I have not added any of the patterns to my queue.

Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting - Over 20 Designs & More than 100 Cable Stitches by Melissa Leapman

As someone who is starting to design her own projects, a book like this is fantastic as a cable reference. A reference for both how to chart cabled projects, but also the stitch portion of the book divides the cables in a very logical way so you can easily compare different twists and find the one that would work best in your own project.

The reference portion of this book is extraordinary, and not just the cable reference. If you have never tried cables before, you would benefit from the introductions in helping you read the cable charts and how to make a cabled stitch.

The Patterns:
  • Simple Projects for Cabling Beginners - Simple Hat and Scarf Set, Women's Simple Pullover
  • Accents for the Home - Perpendicular Squares Afghan, Entwined Cables Pillow, Aran-Style Afghan, Harvest Tweed Afghan, Rug with Faux Tassles, Two-Color Pillow, Sampler Afghan,
  • Clothing for Women - Tweed Pullover, Poncho, Fringed Skirt, Cotton Raglan, Turtleneck, Sleveless V-Neck
  • Gifts - Men's Intertwined Cables Pullover, His/Hers Reversible Scarf, Little Handbag with Handles, Child's Crewneck Pullover, Men's Tweed Pullover, Baby Blankie

The intermixing of colorwork and cables in the Two-Color Pillow is exquisite. I had never imagined how beautiful it could be to mix the two together. I want to buy this book, and have added it to my Amazon Wishlist.