Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cable Hooks

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who commented so positively on the pocketless Aran Pocket Shawl. Bonus points to JayJay and Abby for noticing the APS channeling Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Right now, the APS is enjoying a little lie-in to calm her poor nerves before the blocking process. She listened to me tell M about the blocking, and she may have overheard the word "severe." I was in fact saying that the blocking wouldn't have to be severe, but she was already gasping and jumping to conclusions, and so I don't think she understood.

Monday and Tuesday evenings the little pink sock and I spent some quality time together. I cable using a cable needle, and although I may try to go without at some point, it's not going to be while knitting a sock on size one dpns. But even my shortest size 1 dpn was being bothersome as a cable needle. Then I remembered that Mom always cables with a cable hook not a cable needle. I thought I had some from a multi-pack of cabling tools I bought many moons ago. I went to check and found two.

Which to choose? Which to choose?

One was gargantuan, and the other a good enough fit to go with my size 1 dpns (one shown for scale). I don't want to think about using a cable hook as big as the one on the left. How monstrous would that cable need to be to make that hook feasible? The little cable hook was the answer for me and the little pink sock. I just slide the stitches on the short end, drop it down in front or swing it over the back and it is completely out of the way of all the dpns. Then to knit off the cable hook, I just slide the stitches to the long end and knit them.

Easy peasy!

Even with the cable hook, this is a slow sock to knit. There is cabling every other row, and I want at least a 7.5 inch leg. I'm on 4-row repeat 13; I think 16-17 will give me the length I want.

Wednesday evening I spent re-swatching for the Brocade Jacket. As you can imagine, re-swatching is not fun, and the end results were not happy. I have visited my guru Elsie, she of no blog who can knit and read simultaneously, complicated patterns and difficult books. I need to try her advice (she was completely unsurprised by my difficulties), and then I'll report.

In closing here are some yarns that also want to become cable-rib socks with their own unique cable-rib patterns. They are also trying to sneak a sip of the sophisticated, yet very tasty, Suburban cocktail M made for me.

Black Bunny Fibers in Aquamarine, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Gypsy Rose and Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino in Midnight Passion (oo-la-la!).

ETA: The Suburban recipe through the link uses bourbon for the whiskey. M used rye. I'd go for the rye; the bourbon will be way too sweet.


Jeannie said...

I've never seen a cabling hook. It looks cool and much easier to use than a needle. I've used toothpicks (sanded bluntly) as cable needles for socks. Now, I just cable without a needle, but I use metal sock needles. I like the new yarns, especially the purple.

Chris said...

Gorgeous yarn! I like how the Suburban draws out the color of the Gypsy Rose. ;)

Kristy said...

Your pink sock is looking great! I know what you mean about the cabling making it slow-- but it will be worth it in the end, I'm sure :)

Brigitte said...

Don't know which looks yummier - the Suburban, or the yarn... :D

abby said...

The Suburban sounds great! I'll have to stop at the store on my way home tonight... I started using Grumperina's instructions for cabling without a needle, and it's been great. She's a marvel!

JayJay said...

I love the cable hook idea. I am a cable noobie, so the more options I have the better.

I love the colors of the sock-yarns-in-waiting! I would totally have picked those colors myself (and the names just add to their appeal).

The Suburban sounds yummy! Although I haven't tasted it, I agree that the bourbon would probably be too sweet. My hubby would love this drink!

the BookWyrm said...

I've always cabled using a cable hook. I thought that was the standard way to do it... :)

Hmmm. I think those yarns are just trying to show off their fun spring colors. They all look so good next to the Suburban, though, that who could blame them?


Lorraine said...

Brenda- That cabling hook looks like a great concealed weapon.

Knitters shouldn't be messed with!

KnitNana said...

Great idea, I shall reserve that one for later use....and OH...what scrumptious colors - that Midnight Passion is calling me.....

Kim said...

When I was working on my Aran sweater on size 1 needles, I used a split ring marker; here is a photo:
I just picked up the two stitches on the marker, and then put them back on. Not the typical way to do a cable, but the marker was small and easy to manipulate (didn't flop about) and when I wasn't using it, I just hooked it on the knitted piece.

paula said...

Well, since I refuse to learn to cable w/o a cable needle, my favorite is the Clover gullwing looking one. I used to use dpns-that is all I used them for-in my first knitting phase.

brenda said...

I've used all sorts of cable needles in my day and started cabling without a needle after watching Grumperina's tutorial. I'm a convert! I think you're right though, start with bigger needles until you get the hang of it.

Judy G. said...

Re-swatch? You're about two steps ahead of me there. You're like some kind of knitting fanatic! The pink socks are going to be beautiful- I've never used a cable hook, but it looks neat. I just use a bamboo cable needle (short with bulbous ends) but it would likely get in the way of anything as fine as what you're doing.
Good luck!