Why do I specialize in cable knitting, and why should you want to learn how to do it? For me it is simple, the cords that come out in cable knitting are simple yet elegant and recall to my mind Celtic knots. This technique is one that is almost completely a knitting thing. It is, from my understanding, almost impossible to produce cables in crochet. And if not impossible, it is not terribly easy either.
So why would you want to learn this craft? I believe it is awesome to learn a new skill, and great for the brain. Not only that there is the fact that it adds texture to all of your projects without having to use ribbing, which I find tedious. And it is deceptively easy to do. With a few exceptions the same technique can get you many different results. Here are some examples:
These are all made with the same types of stitches with varying number of stitches. The way that these are made is by either holding the stitches in front or back of the work. The thing to remember is that holding in the back of the work causes the cable to slant to the left and holding in front of the work causes the cable to slant to the right. I used to keep a post it note open on my computer to remind me which way they went since I create patterns. Nothing is more frustrating than slanting the stitch the wrong way in a complicated pattern then having to frog the entire pattern and start over, and trust me it has happened.
So, how do you cable knit? As I said before it is deceptively simple. The pattern in the pictures below, though I messed up the order for my braid, is the mirror braid pattern. It calls for cabling 6 back (c6b) or cabling 6 forward (c6f). You will take the middle number and half it, putting the first half of the stitches, in this case 3 stitches, onto a cable needle, the green hook seen in the last pictures, or a double pointed needle (dpn).
Almost any pattern for cabling will usually use simply bigger or smaller amounts of stitches, but tend to use just these two basic stitches. In the future I will cover other more rare cabling stitches.