Cabling Without a Cable Needle
Below are directions for working both a 2/2 Left Cross Cable (C4F) and a 2/2 Right Cross Cable (C4B) without a cable needle. This works best with grabby yarns like wool but, with practice, will work with any yarn and up to 6-stitch cables without too much difficulty. The main thing to remember is to secure the "floating stitches" by pinching them securely at their base between your thumb and index finger.
2/2 Left Cross Cable
2/2 Right Cross Cable
Crochet Cast On
A stretchy cast on that forms a chain under the needle.
Repeat Steps 4 through 6
Provisional Crochet Cast On
Using working yarn, knit one row. Turn. You are now ready to work the first row of the pattern.
Picking Up the Provisionally Cast On Stitches
Stitches may be picked up mounted with right (first) leg at the back of the needle or with the right (first) leg to the front of the needle. To place the right (first) leg of the stitch at the back of the needle (Combination style), pick up the right (first) leg with the needle tip; to place the first (right) leg at the front of the needle, pick up the left (second) leg of each stitch with the needle tip. (This may seem counter-intuitive but, remember, once stitches are picked up, the work will be turned upside-down to work the PCO stitches.)
In the picture at right, knit stitches from the first row of knitting with the working yarn are highlighted in pink. Stitches to be picked up later are the ones formed between and below these knit stitches. Look for stitches that form an upside-down V (shown in green at right). The gold-coloured needle tip in the Step 1 picture below is pointing at the first (right) leg of such a stitch. Notice that it is not the first yarn strand in this row that is picked up but the second yarn strand which forms the first (right) leg of the stitch (or third yarn strand which forms the second (left) leg of the stitch).
There will always be one less stitch picked up from a PCO than the number of stitches originally cast on because the picked up stitches are seated between the cast on stitches.
Please note, in this example, the initial work is not finished before picking up the PCO stitches. Most often the item would be finished before picking up the PCO stitches and therefore only one needle would be in use.
M5 (Make 5 from 1 Stitch)
This increase is used to begin the closed ring cables in the Margaree Harbour Shawl pattern. It provides a lovely smooth beginning to the bottom of these cables. M5 may be a bit of a misnomer because this procedure actually only creates 4 new stitches from one existing stitch. However, common usage and all that!
The M5 (Make 5 from 1) will be worked in the following stitch i.e. the knit stitch currently at the tip of the Left Needle (LN).
Insert Right Needle (RN) between next 2 stitches on LN i.e. the first knit stitch and the following purl stitch
M5 Complete + 1 more row
Estonian Cast On
This cast on is used to provide a stretchy cast on for 1 x 1 or 2 x 2 ribbing for socks, mitts or hats. The Estonian Cast On is a version of Long Tail Cast On; the difference is that with the Estonian version the yarn loop on the thumb is reversed for every other cast-on stitch.
Picture at left shows 6 stitches cast on.
Once the desired number of stitches has been cast on, divide the stitches onto double pointed needles or a circular needle, gently pull the tail yarn to close the centre hole and bring the stitches closer together; proceed with the pattern. When finishing, pull the tail yarn snugly to totally close the hole at the centre. Weave in the yarn tail.
Bind (cast) off stitches using your preferred method until you have 1 stitch left on the right-hand needle.