A Cosy Wrap
My latest hand knit design, Meander, is published by The Knitter in issue 68. It is a wrap, knitted using Lima Colour from Rowan Yarns; although this is an aran-weight yarn its chain construction makes it light and airy. It is spun from alpaca, wool and nylon, so it is a wonderfully cosy yarn – a delight with which to knit! The wrap is knitted in Rosario (shade 712); there are four other shades in the Lima Colour range, all of which have subtle changes of colour. You could also use the original Lima yarn, available in 14 shades.
I used a variety of double cables in this wrap in a random arrangement. Now I know that many knitters avoid cable designs, thinking that they look complicated, but most of them, the Meander wrap included, are easy to knit.
What Do Those Abbreviations Mean?
There are only two types of cable stitch used in the Meander Wrap: these are cable 4 front (C4F) and cable 4 back (C4B).
- C4F: slip two stitches onto a cable needle and hold it in front of your knitting whilst you knit the next two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
- C4B: slip two stitches onto a cable needle and hold it at the back of your knitting whilst you knit the next two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
The technique is the same whether you knit left- or right-handed. What is different is the direction in which the stitches move when the cable is finished, so for someone who knits left-handed stitches will move to the left when they work a C4B while for someone who knits right-handed they will move to the right. Meander is a simple pattern, so there are no charts, but I have included some below to help you visualise the different cables. Here is a key for the symbols that I use in this post …
What Is a Double Cable?
Double cables are formed by working two columns of cables with no background stitches between them. The other characteristic is that the pairs of cables are mirrored so that in the first cable the stitches move to the left and the second to the right or vice versa.
Or you could alternate the two types of double cable to produce a circle cable, or work each type of double cable twice to make an OXO cable.
How to Knit Random Cables
A couple of years ago, I knitted swatches of the various double cable patterns. I became curious about what would happen if the orientation of each pair of cables were random rather than planned, the question being “would it look good enough to use?” It’s really difficult to deliberately create truly random patterns, so I experimented with tossing a coin, and whenever I threw ‘heads’ I worked one type of double cable and ‘tails’ I worked another. The result is an interesting cable pattern that is quite easy to work. All the double cable patterns I described above appear and disappear. And of course, there are so many possible combinations of ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ that most people knitting this will create a unique wrap.
It probably would not surprise you to learn that I was a scientist; my degree was in biochemistry. As a biochemist I looked for patterns and had to work out if an apparent pattern was due to chance or some biochemical event. This throw has many apparent patterns, but in this instance they are all due to chance!