Updated: Aug 8, 2020
This pattern is a wonderful way to practice cables as a beginner. The stitches are huge and easy to see and there aren't very many of them needed to complete the whole project. I generally have avoided cables because, to me, they always seemed to hard. But then I found an amazing little video snippet that gave me hope that cables wouldn't slow me down to pure tedium while making a project. And while I agree that knitting is always #slowfashion, I have worked hard to make it as efficient and speedy as I can so that I can enjoy more finished projects in less time. Well, get back to the amazing time-saving technique in a minute.
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So, this hat. It's super thick and warm and my six-year-old daughter claimed it even while it was still on the needles. Good thing, too, because the skein I had set aside for it didn't have enough yardage for an adult hat. The pattern called for 75-90 yards of super bulky, and my skein of Lion Brand Hometown USA in Portland Wine claimed to be 81 yards. I skipped one of the cable repeats, had a little yarn left over, but I don't think it would have been enough to complete the hat. So just note you might be very, very close of yardage or may need to pick up a couple skeins in case. If you're making a child's hat, skip the last cable repeat and it'll come out perfect and you won't have to worry about running out.
Here's the happy customer!
It's generally a fast knit, and having interchangeable bulky needles (I use Knitter's Pride Dreamz interchangeables in sizes 15/10MM and 11/8MM with their basic black cord in 8" to make a 16" round) made it super fast to switch between the small needle used for the brim and the larger size for the body. Took me less than three hours to complete.. and that's with cables included!
So... what's the helpful hint to make cables faster? No cable needle! Don't believe me? I'll demonstrate...
The steps are as follows:
Purl to the start of the cable.
Slip cabled stitches onto needle (the ones normally held on the cable needle).
Knit remaining cable stitches as normal and then slip back onto left needle.
Slide held stitches off the right needle and pinch in place with left thumb.
Slip already worked stitches back onto right needle.
Pick up pinched stitches with right or left needle(if using right needle, slip back onto left needle before working), and work stitches as normal.
***Take care to always slip the stitches purlwise, taking care not to twist stitches.
TADA! Since I knit in continental style and never let go of my needles, I find this method totally soothing. I worked them slower in the video than I would in real time to make sure you can see what is going on. Once you get the swing of it, it's delightful not to have to drop the work to pick up a cable needle and it really doesn't take much practice at all.
It's a well-written pattern with clear and easy instructions. Good for a beginner if you want to try cables, and it works up fast. Monster Cable Beanie pattern can be found here.