All is not lost

Yesterday I got a letter from Sue. Sue wrote:

I’m knitting Teva Durham’s Cabled Riding Jacket. Everything was zipping along until I noticed that six rows back I crossed one cable out of many in the wrong direction… I could unravel those six rows back to that cable, but I’m wondering if there is a way to just drop those 5 stitches back to that point, recross the cable in the right direction, and fix things.

Even as I write, I feel that it’s hopeless, but some niggling little sprite tells me not to give up yet.

That sprite would be me, though I’ve never been called niggling before, at least not to my face. Indeed, all is not lost, and I can think of two ways to get yourself out of this dilemma. I’m not usually the sort of blogger who goes around getting other knitters out of trouble, (you know, on account of not being able to get myself out of trouble most of the time, that and having such a real knack for getting other knitters INTO trouble) but this time, having mis-crossed many a cable in my day, this time…I’m going to show you how to fix it. My apologies to the dial-up folks. This is a picture heavy post.

There are two ways (other than ripping back the whole she-bang a wrenching 6 rows) that I use.

The Proper way.

1. I have prepared a swatch for you. (Sue, do you feel the love?) In the event that you have never mis-crossed a cable in your life, only knit scarves, or are a non-knitter who only comes here because you are interested in string….I have indicated the boo-boo with the arrow.

Misscrossst1

All cables leaning right, and there, six rows back, a six stitch cable deliberately leaning left with shameless disregard for order or The Way That Things Should Be.

2. Isolate the stitches so that they may feel the full measure of shame.

Misscrossst2

Begin frogging back, being sure to leave uninvolved stitches on the needles. You need not be delicate, only the stitches you have removed from the needle will unravel, no matter what you pull on.

3. Pull back row by row until the stitches that were miss-crossed are released. In this case, that would be six rows. (If you are the nervous sort, a little lie down or drinkie-poo can help at this point.)

Misscrossst3

4. Go get yourself three dpns. If you are fussy, you can make them the same size as what you’re using for the rest of the work, but I find it easier to do this with needles slightly smaller. Put the first three stitches on one needle, and the second three onto another. Now cross the two dpns in the correct cross for the cable….

Misscrossst5

and slide them onto the third dpn in their new, spiritually gratifying, correct order. Breathe.

Misscrossst6-1

5. The worst is over. The stitches are held safely and none of them can go running all over the place like an 16 year old with a new drivers license and a tank full of gas their mum bought.

See the strands that you pulled free to get back to the mistake?

Find the BOTTOM one. The one that is closest to the live stitches.

Misscross7-1

6. Pick up that strand of yarn, and using another dpn, knit across the six stitches, imagining that the strand of wool is a little tiny ball of yarn.

Misscrosssst8-1

This will be a fiddly pain in the arse. If you started with the drinks when you got flipped out in step 3, now would be a good time to quit. You’re going to need a certain measure of hand-eye co-ordination.

7. When you have knit all six stitches with the pretend ball of yarn…

Misscrossst9-1

slide the dpn through the stitches to the left, sort through your strands for the lowest one, and repeat knitting across the row. (Relaxing your shoulders at this point is probably a good idea too. Clearly, everything is going to be alright.)

Misscross10-1

Keep at it, working across the rows until all of the strands have been used up.

There are likely (unless you are a very gifted knitter indeed) going to be some issues with the gauge of the new stitches. This is as inevitable as that sad day right after you watched the Thorn Birds and fell in love with Richard Chamberlain and was talking about it at school and then that skanky chick told you that he was gay and you told your mum that and she said “Guess what Honey.”

Smoosh the stitches around, pick at them with the needle to even them out and know that most of it will be corrected in blocking.

Misscrosssedst11-1

When you’re done, return all of the stitches to the needle that they were on in the first place, pour yourself a very large glass of the celebratory beverage of your choice, and before drinking it, check to make sure that’s the only cable you miss-crossed.

Misscrossst12-2

Desperate measures.

Now that I’ve shown you the proper way….I’m going to show you a cheat. A dirty, nasty, down in the weeds, don’t tell anybody it was me cheat. This fix is for miss-crosses very far down. Too far down. Too far down with other cables stacked on top of them creating complications. It’s for when you have knit a whole stinking back of an aran for a 7 foot tall 500 pound man and you find a miss-crossed cable on row 9.

It is for when you know that you will not be able to live with the mistake, but you know that you can’t live with ripping back either.

It is a last resort. It is voodoo.

Fetch a darning needle, locate the miss-cross, and imagine where you would like the new stitches of the cable to go. (Note that I am sending this cable in the other direction to avoid knitting another swatch. There are limits to my love.)

Voodoofix1

Now backstitch along those new lines with tight stitches.

Voodoofix3

This stitching helps pull the old lines down out of the way and give the right “lay of the land” to the new cable. It make the fabric low in the right places and high in the right places.

Voodoofix2-1

Now, take a deep breath and begin to embroider the new cable on where you would like it to go. Think like duplicate stitch, and simply

“draw on” the cable you would like to have.

Voodoofix5

Here’s one completed row. Do one row for each stitch that would be crossing.

Voodoofix6

See that? Voodoo.

Voodoofix7

Total voodoo. It’s imperfect, and I wouldn’t expect it to meet with the exacting standards of a master knitter, but in an emergency when all other possibilities are exhausted? Dude. It’s an exit door.

The only drawback (and there is always a price to dabbling with the dark arts) is that it can’t be frogged. It must be unpicked if you don’t like it, and for that…you’re going to need the liquor back.

(Ps. Am I the only one laughing at the irony that I’ve just performed two complicated knitting maneuvers to end up with a swatch that looks just like the one I started this post with?)

307 thoughts on “All is not lost

  1. That’s brilliant! And now that I’ve learned my requisite one thing for the day, I can head home at lunch πŸ™‚

  2. My God. All that work, and picture taking, just to help a knitter in need. You angel. (And even if it was just six rows back, I would so totally use the cheat version.)

  3. I love it! I have yet to knit a single cable. They scare me. Now I know how to fix one should I get to the point that I’m ready to knit one. Or several.

  4. You are amazing. I mean totally amazing. I hope some day to be half as persistent, talented, bold and passionate a knitter as you are (did I mention talented). I cannot believe you did all that to help another knitter- but you are definitely now my idol. (and I am an american- you are now officially an American’s idol- ok, maybe I am the only one that finds that funny- but you do ROCK girl!!!) Truly- thanks for all you do for us knitting bloggers…

  5. Stephanie, that is marvellous. That post is a real keeper. I have learned so much from all the blogs. I’ve knit for many years and have learn more in the past one year than in many others. It’s exciting too to be learning so much and it has really inspired me. I’ll try virtually any pattern if I like it, because as you have said, it’s all knit and purl. I simply assume I can do it.
    So, many thanks.

  6. I was looking at that last bit and thinking ,wait, did the harlot just do what i think she just did?? Nice with the idea though! I’ve done cable surgery too, on my rogue when it was easier to try to fix it by ripping back than frogging 6 rows of 196 sts each. Not nearly as scary when you’ve got nothing to lose!

  7. Wow, that is fantastic.
    I wish I knew this back when I was knitting my nephew’s vest when he was 8. (He’ll be 15 next birthday.) I had one cable just like the one above, but couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so I just let it go. I called it a snake. He thought that was cool. I’m not sure what my sister thought, though she was grateful for the handknit garment, no matter what mistakes were made.
    You are truly brillant and an inspiration to all of us knitters.
    Thank you.

  8. You are brilliant!
    I can’t even imagine pulling off the cheating method. But then, I have a husband who likes to see little mistakes in a cabled sweater.
    My mom wouldn’t let me watch the Thorn Birds.

  9. I was doing a sock in Koigu using their guide for socks and of course, it’s a cable pattern. I was way down past the heel and to the inseam when I discovered a problem with the cable. I couldn’t stand it and ripped it all out – everything. Wish I had had your instructions! Not that I could have even remotely followed them. I would have needed two drinkie poos to even attempt it! And then probably have fainted and ripped it all out anyway.

  10. That is WONDERFUL. And there are ways to make the duplicate stitch “stand out” less forcefully. Very, very cool.
    You rule. Now we need a book from you about guidelines for the adventurous, yet error prone knitter …
    Laurie

  11. When you do it the “right” way, couldn’t you also use a crochet hook to pick up the dropped stitches once you fixed the cable? I had this problem once and I don’t remember exactly how I fixed the cable, but I know it involved a crochet hook. I think. Anyway, I like this tutorial and will bookmark it for future reference.

  12. Good one! It’s like a magic trick isn’t it? Ladies & gentlemen, please watch carefully and notice that at no time will my fingers leave my hands. Presto-Chango, the cable is fixed (or unfixed)! Wunnerful, wunnerful. [Applause]
    Now to ask a question that might be the spoiler–won’t that cable look different when the sweater is worn? Duplicate stitch will make it less elastic in that area so depending on how much ease the garment has, it may be noticable.
    Sorry. I couldn’t leave well enough alone.

  13. Ahhh Richard…..sigh! He was the first of many gay men I cluelessly fell for. I’m still not over George Michael, don’t know if that heartbreak will ever truly heal. πŸ™‚

  14. A beautiful explanation/demonstration. As to the gauge issues: I agree that immediately after the repair, the re-made stitches will inevitably look a mite different from their neighbors. In a while, though, they will settle back into normality. And this is because, I have always thought, the amount of yarn available to each of the re-made stitches is the same amount that was there in the first place. So they have no choice, really. This is also why it is okay (not to mention way easier) to use somewhat smaller dpns for the repair.
    Looking forward to seeing you in southern California with book3.

  15. Where was this hint when I screwed up my first cabled section on row 5 and didn’t catch it until row 20…Very helpful!

  16. Hooray! Thanks for the advice Steph. I am going to bookmark this post (and add it to the Why I Admire Ms Pearl-McPhee list too). πŸ™‚

  17. Always brilliant, always witty. My daily dose of Harlot… thanks. I’ll save those manoeuvers for the day I need ’em. (which will surely come)

  18. That was glorious. Your instructions are my favorites. The stitches feel the full measure of shame… (Are you sure you weren’t raised Catholic, and by my mother? The similarities are disturbing, to say the least.)

  19. ah irony my old friend …
    i thought it was pretty funny that you went to all that trouble.
    thanks so much…
    if you get a chance check out my blog today.
    thanks:)

  20. You couldn’t post this one while I was doing my Olympic Na Craga and mixed the cables up, noticed the mistake 30-odd rows later, ripped, reknit — and made the same darn mistake again!?! But still, thanks. At least now I have two methods to use should I ever be clueless enough to again attempt cables . . . like say, next week when I start the Fiona sweater . . .

  21. What a beautifully clear explanation. I’ve never seen the embroidery approach before, but I can see its appeal after doing the “rip back the stitches” routine several times. And it’s true, eventually the new stitches seem to sort themselves out, even if you have to add in the yarn overs you forgot the first time!

  22. To quote Ron Weasley in the movie of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
    That was bloody brilliant.
    Seriously, I am amazed. *bows down*

  23. I am amazed at the Voodoo method! Amazed! I’m almost willing to dork up a cable just to try it… almost.

  24. A day late and a dollar short describes me. Sunday night I ripped out 10 rows of 100+ stitches because I didn’t make the first cable crossing on row 5. Three of the 10 rows I ripped had cables so I didn’t want to drop just the 5 stitches but I didn’t want to live with it, either. I think the quick & dirty method could’ve satisfied me. Oh, well, it’s the Brea Bag from Berroco and each right side row decreases 8 stitches so it knits very quickly. Thanks for the lesson in both methods. It’s wonderful to see the step-by-step. And thanks for the time & effort to get back to the starting point!
    Wish I could come visit in Chicago, but I’ll be helping with VBS at church that week.

  25. WOW!!! That is brilliant but so risky! :0
    I have undone 6 rows once and have redone them that way but it was simple stockinette!
    I think I would certainly undo my work to my mistake in the case of a cable pattern!
    BTW, I am reading your book “Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter” andf I find it hilarious! It is so ME!!! LOL
    Isabelle aka Tricotine

  26. Amazing. You should have a full security team around you at all times so nothing happens to you, or else I will be having knitting diasters all over the place without anyone to coach me through them.

  27. Wow! If I had known (or realized) the latter method about twenty years ago… I knitted the first ever sweater then, and it had a cable going the wrong way… And me, the perfectionist, couldn’t wear the sweater, but gave it away…

  28. Stephanie, you rock.
    And I am also looking forward to seeing you in Southern California with bookbookbook tour.

  29. Hey Steph,
    When are you coming back to Vancouver? We’re close to Seattle.
    Have you tried just running back 3 of the stitches and then recrossing them?

  30. Oh, you devil! I was laughing all the way through and could not balance my drinkipoo.

  31. Unthinkable! Unheard of! Such a scandal! Shame, shame, shame!
    I LOVE IT!!!! Can’t wait to try it out. (Now, is that sick or what?)

  32. Most excellent. Our recipients deserve such love!
    If I was making the wrong-way item for myself, I might force myself to let the stitches stand, and learn to laugh whenever I saw it! (In the quilt world, they have what is called a “humility block”…the block in which you allow your mistake to stand –or put one in deliberately–because “only God can be the author of perfection.” I think of this whenever I make a booboo and try to relax. I’ll probably rip it out anyway, but I’m relaxed about it!)

  33. Thank-you SO much for taking the time to illustrate that. Method number one I was pretty sure was theoretically possible, but never had the guts to attempt, fearing that it would irrevocably mess up the area. Method two never occurred to me and looks surprisingly invisible. Plenty good, as you say, for a mistake at the very bottom of a mindbogglingly complex aran.

  34. Voodoo indeed! Hurray for dabbling in the dark arts – this one gets printed and placed in my techniques note book (which I just now decided to create). You are a genius.

  35. You never cease to amaze me. All I can say is “We are not worthy” –but are greatful that you take the time to teach us new tricks:)

  36. it takes a special kind of crazy to think of something like that, and had i any doubts about it before, this post confirms that you truly are that special. amazing.

  37. Awesome cheat Steph. You are an inspiration, and a pragmatist. A terrific combo.

  38. I have only recently figured out for myself a version of the first demonstration. I had always just ripped or frogged all the way back to mistakes and redone the whole thing. I figured out it should be possible to just drop the offending stitches when I miscrossed a cable on the aran I was knitting for my husband. However I didn’t really have a clue so it was pretty trial and error and I did it with only the two needles I was knitting with and did it essentially as if I was using a crochet hook except without one. It took quite a few attempts. Now that I have your instructions and more of a clue, I could do it much more easily! Your method number two is brilliant. I have never been able to let mistakes that glaring stand, but a miscrossed cable that far back might be enough to make me abandon a whole sweater! Hopefully I’ll never have to use it, but it is encouraging to know that if I did, all hope would not be lost….

  39. Whoa! I never in my wildest dreams or in the midst of my worst mistakes ever thought of that duplicate stitch fix.
    Very, very dark. Very, very brilliant.

  40. Jesus Christ! That is like total genius. Like magic…… who would have thought? Golly. I just ordered your book Knitting Rules and can’t wait to start reading it!!!

  41. Steeks and selective stitch-frogging always seem like some sort of voodoo to me. Freaky, but brilliant. I’ll probably need those instructions as my DH wants his own Aran sweater for fall.
    I love love love love love these sorts of tutorials online. Wouldn’t it be one of the best books you could ever find if someone could compile all these tricks and techniques (especially the picture-heavy ones)? I’ve got bookmarks and bookmarks of stuff that I thought was so useful — your post today is one of the gems. Stuff like Bonne Marie’s how to put in a zipper, That Laurie’s amazing guest-blogging on your site of prepping and dyeing roving or Terri Royea’s socks 101 (which is how I even got the nerve to try those crazy things on my own a couple of years ago while adjusting to life with 3 month-old-twins).
    Thanks for sharing! It’s always so helpful to a first-generation knitter.

  42. Just to show how leisurely I am about cables, I didn’t even know they were SUPPOSED to go in any particular direction. I just felt lucky to pull one off at all. Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve done most things in life. It’s amazing I’m still alive. Thanks for the guidance and solutions to some really tangled problems. Both solutions are brilliant.

  43. You only really have to frog three of those six stitches in the first method. Just drop down the three on the right half (the one that should be on top and isn’t) until the loops start coming out of the right side of the other rib instead of the left side, then start knitting back up. This helps with the horrible gauge problems, since the loose bits on the left edge are nearer to the tight bits on the right edge.

  44. Just to show how leisurely I am about cables, I didn’t even know they were SUPPOSED to go in any particular direction. I just felt lucky to pull one off at all. Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve done most things in life. It’s amazing I’m still alive. Thanks for the guidance and solutions to some really tangled problems. Both solutions are brilliant.

  45. Right on right on RIGHT ON!!
    Now don’t you feel better? I bet the yoga harlot couldn’t do that.

  46. sorry all y’all ; i’d have just let it be ; like stumbling on a rambling walk. oops, moving right along….

  47. Nice “cheat.” I’ve grafted over miscrosses before, but this initial stitching down maneuver to establish the lay of the land is a new one to me. Thanks!

  48. BEAUTIFUL!!! But where the hell were you months ago when I had a crossed cable in Eris??? Not that it ultimately matters, I have long since frogged and left Eris alone. But not because of the crossed cable, I’m not usually that easily undone. πŸ™‚ Now I can charge ahead on Rogue with no fear. Thank you so much for being such an angel!
    And I totally LOVED the cheat!

  49. Brilliant! Always handy to have the pictures to go along with. It would superrock to have a mini-tutorial like this to show how you weave your ends in too. No one ever really shows it clearly.

  50. The cable voodoo is brilliant. Thanks!!!
    I am still not over Richard Chamberlain. πŸ˜‰

  51. My Brain Hurts. Awesome. Totally Awesome. The Voodoo Cheat, that is. Wonderful and completely Awesome.

  52. Wow, angel is right. And HOW did you figure that out?! I don’t know I would have ever thought to embroider on a cable. Lovely.

  53. Outstandingly excellent pictorial/tutorial! (Don’t try saying that after the drinks.)

  54. Uhm…does it make me a bad knitter to think “it really isn’t THAT big of a mistake… I can live with a cable going the wrong way….”

  55. Ohhh…that voodoo you do so well…I thought you were going to whip out the scissors and I kept holding my breathe.lol….but I should of guess with voodoo it would be just needles.
    on a side note, has anyone found out the one-skein seasilk shawl pattern?

  56. So is that voodoo that you do your own personal invention? I love it not only for it’s brilliance, as mentioned in several previous posts, but also because it gets my own brain ticking along on potential solutions. It’s like giving us permission to think for ourselves.

  57. Stephanie, you just may be the most generous person in the Universe. Really and truly, and apparently effortlessly generous.

  58. I think this is the perfect time to use what Mom always said…
    “Do what I mean, not what I say.”
    Thank you, Harlot.

  59. I think I need a lie-down with a double drinkie poo in a sippy cup just from reading that. Cables scared me before…now I’m just terrified. I like scarves. Scarves and baby blankets are good.

  60. My day is complete. No, not the cable lesson, although that is indeed a labo(u)r of love above and beyond the usual.
    Nope, I am talking about my new acquisition: I now have a wicked cool black bumper sticker that reads KNITTING RULES!, courtesy of my wonderful LYS. It is the only bumper sticker I have, and the only one I will ever need.
    Let’s hope this car will last another quarter of a million miles.

  61. Oh! I could have used this yesterday. I did the first fix, only I used a crochet hook instead of the dbl points and a cable needle. Your insights help alot. The second fix is just sheer genius.

  62. Never ever would have thought of that cheat. You played angel to a whole lot more people than just Sue today. Thank you!

  63. Things to do today:
    1. Add Yarn Harlot’s email address to the top of my contacts.
    2. Never feel bad about ripping out work again.
    3. Email Stephanie for Voodoo Magic when knitting gets the best of me.
    4. Shout “Hooray!”

  64. Huh. I would never have thought of that embroidery voodoo, but I HAVE done the “correct” method . . . and recently, too! (Like, last week.)
    And, I love the irony….

  65. Love the tutorial! I tend to use a crochet hook and a dpn or two to chain my stitches back up, because when I tried with all dpns I ended up swearing too much and scaring the dogs. This is a really, really handy technique to know.

  66. OooWow! I second in spades the note that said I’ve learned more in the last year (6 months for me) than in all my knitting life! Dang! Ida never thunk to duplicate st. the weirdnesses! If I figure out how to “bookmark” I shall do so.
    WISH that I was still living in Tulsa so I could drive to Ok City to see you “live and in living color.” (You aren’t old enough to remember that!) Thank you Miss Stephanie!!!

  67. Wow. The final swatch does remind me of watching Teller (I think – unless it was Penn) doing insanely elaborate sleight of hand to end up with the ball right where it was when he started…. But this had a point, and a useful one!

  68. Well, there’s another solution in the case of an afghan for said 500-lb. guy. Just tell him to put that part under him and sit on it, and no one will see it anyway.

  69. i’m overwhelmed by the love in this post. if this type of approach were employed in day to day life, our world wouldn’t be in such a mess. i think knitters need to rule the world (sorry stephanie, no pun intended).

  70. Oh, wow. I’m beyond impressed that you bothered to photograph each step. I’m totally sending this post to my Guild, that way I can get out of explaining it myself! Ooooh, thanks!

  71. Sweet Jaysus, you’re AMAZING. I’d be too scared to do that. Instead I would 1) Cry. 2) Have a drink, a smoke or both 3) rip the effer back & 4) curse the yarn/item/both for all time.

  72. Dude. What an uncommonly gracious thing to do, especially while you are no doubt suffering profoundly from last night’s arse-kicking in the Stanley Cup.

  73. Today I have “my headache.” And that is not good. But I love the cheat; it’s awesome. And I was skimming down through the comments and I could swear that Claudia said she gave it a standing ovulation, and I know Claudia would NOT take kindly to that. I think I need to lie down until this freaking headache goes away.

  74. I have, for a very long time, kept in the front of my mind that though you appear to be a knitting goddess, you really are just a human being. No special powers or anything, just a good person and a good writer.
    It appears I was wrong.

  75. Stephanie, thanks so much for doing your little demo. The only way I’ve ever known to correct a cable is to frog back to the row where I goofed. I plan to make a cable swatch and learn both of your methods. I, and all those around me at the time I make these little mistakes, thank you. πŸ™‚

  76. You are an angel. But then anyone with 3 LIVE teenage daughters on is an angel.
    That is a really neat fix. I have done the crochet hook version and will definitely give this one a try next time I need to.
    I just checked the tour and you will be in Ann Arbor on July 30!!!! Gotta go find my geek hat.

  77. Oh my. I was all over your first fix. I’m like, yep, been there done that. Well explained, I’m thinking, but not revolutionary.
    And then you did the voodoo. Woah! Now that’s revolutionary!

  78. I haven’t finished reading your most current book, but I hope that wonderful ‘cheat’ is in there as testimony to your brilliance!

  79. Reading this I just had one of those lightbulb moments and I think my brain just expanded a little to encompass the new information. Haven’t had to fix cables yet, but now I feel less concerned about making sure they are right!!
    Drinkie-poo is a term I need to use more often.

  80. Genius, I bow to you. Brilliant rescuer that you are. I am so impressed I think I need to lay down with my knitting!

  81. Brava!!! That was really neat. I was aware of selectively dropping stitches to make corrections, but hadn’t managed to work my brain around correcting cables. D’oh. Of course that would work.
    You already wrote a delightful book about your bag of tricks. This one should go in your book about your fancy, velet-lined case of tricks, the kind of vessel that a master chef would keep his sharpest knives in. Very cool stuff for advanced yarn masochists.
    I myself am too young to have fallen for Richard Chamberlain but I was tormented by ‘Thorn Birds’ reruns as an adolescent. All I can say is it’s a good thing Mom died before RC came out of the closet, or I would never have heard the end of it.

  82. I have had a theory for quite awhile now: The sign of a true craftsmen is that they know how to fix the mistakes.

  83. Remember when you read the Yarn Harlot’s blog and you fell in love with her? But then some skanky chick at school reminded you that she’s a happily married heterosexual? And so are you?
    That duplicate stitch solution is genius. And what a generous person you are to do all that work to help out a fellow knitter.

  84. My God, that’s terrific. And of course you’re not the only one laughing. If you were, no one would be reading the blog, now would they? What?
    I look forward to seeing you (again) in Seattle. And this time with my significan other, whom I told “you get to meet the Yarn Harlot!” to which he replied “is it a band?” Well, Bumbershoot *is* a music festival, after all.

  85. That is a post that should live forever. It will be treasured among internet instructional pages for its combination of clarity, usefulness, and humor. Thank you!

  86. Brilliant. The first, I have done. Well, in lace knitting, but visa versa whatever.
    The second…wow…that is amazing. You learn something new everyday.

  87. now I feel the urge to try cables…. they are so alluring and now I know the ways to fix them when I screw them all up, because that is assured.

  88. OMG!!!! BRILLIANT!! You are so smart . Has anyone ever asked you to donate your brain to science when you croak ? I’ve never even tried cables but now I have an idea of how to fix mistakes I’d make . I am very tempted to go try some . HOLY SMOLY you are really Superfrangilisticexpialodoshes . (sp)? thank you for taking the time to post this and explain it all and make me laugh at the same time. No wonder we all love you .

  89. Freakin’ awesome! The duplicate stitch is a stroke of genius! I’ve done something similar to the pull back only the offending stitches, but I’ve used the cable needle and sometimes a toothpick. Does that mean I’m the MacGuyver of knitting?

  90. Stephanie, you are a SUPAH GENIUS! Please tell me that your next book is about Voodoo Methods of Knitting. Or at least has a little Voodoo section in it. Because that is the kind of knitting book some of us really need…the cheating kind. πŸ˜€

  91. Dude. Now I’ll have two techniques to recommend to any student who is burdened with standards. I’m a short step ahead of that dear poster who said she didn’t know cables went any particular way. I know, but in an entire sweater it would take a lot to make me care. If nothing else, such a sweater would serve to identify the kind of person who feel obliged to point out such errors (the better to avoid them in future.)
    But Steph? What day is it? What month is it? What, you’re planning to spring the completed gansey on us? How about a peek or a hint (or a heek or a pint?)

  92. I knit an Aran sweater for my youngest son when he was a teenager and didn’t discover the “wrong” twist (and it was a BRAID, for crying out loud!) until the sweater was sewn together. So, we had a contest: “Who can find the boo-boo?”
    No one did, so I quit sweating it.
    Ahhh–Richard Chamberlain!

  93. *sitting back to watch as Stephanie’s inbox explodes with “How do I…?” e-mails*
    Not only are you magic, you are also one of the sweetest and most generous people on earth. Go you!

  94. LOL! I am so with Elizabeth GM on her comments! Thank you so much. About *Richard*, and this will show you my age…..I remember him when he was a verra young man in Dr. Kildare…..he was sooo young and quite handsome in a very clean cut manner, and I mean, so what, you ‘fall in love’ with a guy who turns out to be gay, like you thought you had an actual chance of making it with Richard if he wasn’t?!? Besides, gay guys are great to ‘fall in love’ with, for real, especially if they fall in love with you and what you end up with is a beautiful friendship, and often with much more clarity and respect….
    The cable fixes are great, will bookmark that page for sure, you really are…Our Blessed Harlot.

  95. Alright, mark the calendar: I am TOTALLY impressed. I’ll never assume a “little old knitter” is an honest person again! VBG!

  96. Check this out, from my Olympic sweater:
    http://lox.powerblogs.com/files/lox-img_6663.jpg
    Had to go back 15 rows on that particular mistake. (There were a few other, smaller ordeals).
    It’s a lot easier if you pick the stitches up with a crochet hook in step 6. I use the hook to pick up the rightmost stitch, leave it on the hook, pick up the next stitch, leave that on the hook, etc. Then I slip the sts all to another dpn, and start again with the hook.
    Like wile e. coyote walking off a cliff, there’s nothing stressful about it unless you stop to thing what a terrible thing you are doing. Just don’t look down. πŸ™‚

  97. I too have tried the first solution and find it works- or you can cut and unpick the stitches and kind of swiss darned them back in with new yarn – it also works- but not as good- it mocks you knowingly as a cock up and then you have to give the garment away.

  98. OH the cheater way out PERFECT! Short cuts and cheats, right up my fudged knitting alley. COOL Thanks for that bit! both bits, actually, just in case I didn’t want to fudge it. (yeah right)

  99. Wonderful lesson, I didn’t know about the Voodoo solution, but I’ll file it in the back of my brain for later.
    Please include this lesson in your new book.

  100. Back when I was in college, 20ish years ago, I made a sweater for a boy friend (no, we neither broke up soon nor married…and are GOOD friends still…just visited him, his wife, son, and new baby! And the new baby’s afghan isn’t done yet…Mason Dixon log cabin). When the sweater was just about done…IN THE ROUND, I noticed a bad twist in the funky knotted cabled ribbing. On a cabled body. NO WAY was I frogging or dropping back the 4 sts necessary!!!!! So I worked out, on paper, what the twist SHOULD look like…which stitch attached to which, above and beside… Then (go get the wine, Steph…you’re gonna need it) I snipped a thread next to the twist. Undid it through the cable, theaded a needle with a new end, and manipulated and twisted, and grafted with it (swore) until I’d fixed it, with 2 ends hanging out on each side, which then got woven in. Perfect. That was dumb, I should have snipped the thread a row 2 ABOVE the twist, raveled it out, then frogged the row above the twist, reknit the twist as if I had just raveled as you described, then wove in the yarn, as if doing grafting (kitchener st). I figured THAT out when I was halfway done…which took several hours. But what a sense of accomplishment…Scott’s long since outgrown that sweater…wonder where it is?

  101. *blink*
    *blinkblink*
    Wow. I love cables to an unreasonable degree, but I would never have thought to fix a cable in any other way than to frog the whole darn thing and start over. Of course, that may be becaues I’ve never had to correct a miscrossed one. Tips like these kind of make me wish I’d learned more about knitting from a real live person instead of (mostly) teaching myself from books.

  102. OW OW OW!!! That whole post makes my brain hurt. I’m going to go back to my sock and knit until my vision clears.
    Seriously… you are amazing!

  103. I really thought you were going to cut the cable on top and seam it together below the “right” strand of the cable! (That was what I would have done, at least πŸ˜‰
    I love the second solution, and it would never have occurred to me otherwise. Thankyou a lot for pointing THAT one out.
    On another note: Thankyou for the long and elaborate chapter on sizing in your third book! I have been on a 4-week-holiday, and when I got home my mother was knitting this neon-yellow and variegated-blue tape-yarn summer top in striped, mitered squares. (Good intentions gone bad.. oh my). After watching her knitting it for a week I quietly sked her… “How large are you?” “Uhhmm… 90 cm around”. “How large is the “top” you are knitting?” “Uhmm… let me measure… 56cm. across..” “And you were going to do what? Swim in the 22 cm. of ease in a fitting summer top?”
    I remembered all too vividly the picture of your friends cardigan with two people in it!!
    You advice really prevented some good knitting from going bad.
    Lene
    PS: She converted it into a shawl πŸ™‚

  104. LOL! No, you are not the only one laughing (and boggling, for that matter) at the irony of having gone back to where you started. The poor swatch… I think you must have confused it!
    I’m going to be referring back to this for sure, when I finally knit enough cables to start falling into a rhythm and thereby manage to mess it up, as is inevitable. Thanks for sharing with all of us, and not just the knitter who started it! (And, thanks also to Sue for having the problem that necessitated the post!)

  105. Nifty! I knew the first fix, but the second one is, for lack of a more proper descriptive, the money shot! Yeah for new tricks! (Am I the only one who weaves ends in as I knit by catching the tail up in the rows above the join in a zig zag pattern?)

  106. I’ve been obsessed with The Thorn Birds lately. Richard Chamberlain may be gay, but Father Ralph can hear my confession anytime!

  107. Re-knitting: elegant.
    Voodoo knitting: brilliant!
    All of the above: mental push-ups.

  108. I thought the first bit was good, but the second part was even more spectacular. You should put it in your next book and make the publisher include color pictures on decent paper that lasts.

  109. YAY! I love this. So super-awesome that you not only have a cheat but showed it on the swatch after you “fixed” it. Love love love it.

  110. I came to say that the one word comment you left me was more about you! You looked very adroit until the last photo…but you did succeed in making us all laugh out loud.

  111. Is it okay for a knitter who has YET to try cables to grab a drinkie pooh just THINKING about this possibility?

  112. YOU ARE A GODDESS AND I AM NOT WORTHY!!!!
    Whew….now that that’s out of the way…I have another question… will the Noro Iro in my stash stage a rebellion if I approach it with my crochet hook?

  113. Great fixes… going to print this and stick it in my Knitting Tips & Trade Secrets book… where I often go for techniqe hints from real people.
    And Sue, if you are out there, you go girl for knitting that jacket. It looks like one heck of a challenge.

  114. Don’t listen to Juno. The duplicate stitch solution is inspired. Fiendishly so perhaps, but definitely inspired. I’m so impressed I won’t echo Rams in pointing out what day it is today.

  115. Brilliant! (Sue! I made the exact same mistake! Only I did it for the whole row and didn’t notice it until about 10 rows later — I don’t know what happened, but, what the hell, I’m going to blame it on beer). I don’t know if I’d have had the guts to try the cheat, but it took me about 3 hours to do the first fix you showed. I resolutely decided I wasn’t going to rip it back and so I painstakingly knitted up to each cable and pulled down and worked back up. Came out fine (I can breathe again) but you can bet I checked and double-checked that chart from then on.
    Lovely pattern from a lovely, funky book, I have to say.

  116. As another Weasley fan: again with the BLOODY BRILLIANT!! omg freakin brilliant.
    I was twitching for my crochet hook though … not that I know how to crochet! That deserves to be a chapter in your next book … and anyone pissing & moaning about reading it on the blog already can kiss our arse πŸ™‚

  117. That was sheer genius. Was I the only one who was most upset that I knew I could never look like Rachel Ward? lol

  118. I’ve used the 1st method many (way TOO many) times but have never seen the voodoo cheat method. I still prefer method 1 but, as you say, in a real emergency when the mistake is way, way too far back, I’m going to try it. You notice I’m not even going to try and pretend that I won’t make this particular mistake ever again. Not even I could believe that.
    I’ve fallen for many gay actors in the past and will continue to do so. Gay or straight, I’m never going to meet them in real life and anyway, even if I did I’m happily married (not to mention old). The bigger stretch to the imagination is that in my fantasies, they’re perfect. And what are the odds of that being even close to true?

  119. *jaw drops to ground*
    You’re allowed to do that?????
    Don’t the knitting police come after you?

  120. I’ve been working the last two days on a complex problem at work that is kicking my butt after having three days vacation at the end of last week. I’m so tense and stressed, and then I thought, “I just need a little Harlot!” I came out here and discovered 6 posts I hadn’t read, yet. Thanks for being there for me when I need to de-stress, and thanks for the cheater’s cable lesson. I knew how to drop the stitches, but I would never have thought of the duplicate stitch method!

  121. Would it also be possible to do another fudge by tacking down the offending cable, picking up below the crossover, and knitting a few rows, then somehow using a neat seaming technique and seam it over the offending piece? Then just stitch the edges on to cover the offending cable?
    Or just duplicate stitch it…

  122. Totally love the voodoo cable. I haven’t seriously cabled yet, I KNEW I’d screw it up all that left front back right, but now I know how to fix it, it’s a new ball game, baby.

  123. Back in the day when I was a new knitter (knitting for maybe a year?), I made my mother a sweater out of Lionbrand Homespun. (Please don’t laugh, the pain is already too much) The pattern originally called for a diamond pattern out of knit/purls, which unsurprisingly disappeared into the terror that is Homespun. After completing 9/10s of the back, I decided I wanted to do a diamond lace pattern instead. So, I dropped the stitches for that panel all the way down to the ribbing and reknit it. I’m very pround that I figured that out. Not so much about the homespun, though. My mom does love that sweater, though there are still loops of yarn to note where the buttons should be, because after 4.5 years, my mom still can’t get to Joanne’s to buy 8 buttons.
    A year after the homespun sweater, I knit my mother a lace shawl out of Homespun. I never learn.

  124. I’m printing this out and keeping it! I had a theoretical understanding of the first method, but the photos are hugely helpful. The second method would never have occurred to me! And, somehow, I don’t know why, it’s just … just … so deeply satisfying. In this bad, dark way. It makes me happy just to know you posted it. (Perhaps there’s something wrong with me).
    And I want to add my vote to “put this post in your next book”!

  125. Whoa. WHOA. What strange voodoo you work! What genius! As was already said: bloody effin’ brilliant. (Are there lots of other people besides you knowing these things? Are they all writing these fabulous instructions? We need to make a database.)
    I, too, fell for Richard Chamberlain, probably a full ten years after you did. I really wish that they’d stop showing the Thorn Birds miniseries or allowing the DVD’s into the rental store, just to save any more young girls the pain. I’m okay with it now, I guess… but it seems like such a waste…

  126. I hate to tell you this but you only have to drop down the stitches for one side of the cable, as long as you crossed the right number of stitches. You can shove them back through the hole made where the other half switches sides and then knit them up on the correct side.

  127. Wow! I read that and then I read it again. You explained this surgery so clearly I feel like its something I could actually do (and I am definitely in the scarves and socks “knitter” with a small k category.) This is a keeper.

  128. I just found your blog over the weekend and have been reading like a mad woman. I’m a crocheter. We need a Crochet Harlot! My sister-in-law is an avid knitter and I have referred her here, too. Even though most of your tips aren’t transferable to crochet, I love your writing. FWIW, we’re reading your site in Ireland! =-)

  129. Brilliant! I tend to ignore mis-crossed cables because I can’t really see that they are wrong, rather just FEEL they are wrong – although I did fix one on the Looking Glass Top (IW Sum 2006) that I knit too many rows between (know what I mean?) and I would have loved to have the 3dpn tip. I already had the drink. Sangria.

  130. I spent most of this morning staring at an almost finnished aran jumper with two crosses the wrong way repeating to my self… only God is perfect.. only God is perfect….
    Now while only God is perfect, only I need to know where the mistakes are.
    You are a GENIUS. Thank you πŸ™‚

  131. So lets see, you actually swatched a funky cable for us just to deconstruct it and show us how to re-construct it all un-funky? Wonderful!
    But one must consider that a 500 lb man probably wouldn’t even notice a mis-crossed cable. πŸ˜‰

  132. OK… (after printing out blog for reference when I screw up next week while working on a cable afghan….)PLEASE PLEASE…. make your next book full of cheaters ways…. either that or I’ll have to go back to the begining of your blog… I love your books… I love your blog… please…. I have knitting book $$$$$… please hurry w/ #4!!!!! Thanks sooo much…

  133. I had never seen the ‘cheat’ method before… this could be fab for cables way back in the fabric. A note on the drop and reknit… I had to do this on a project last week. Another option is to just drop 1/2 of the cable, when you get back to the cross tuck those 3 pesky stitches to the correct side and reknit. I’m always for reknitting fewer stitches.

  134. Heehee! I love it. This is going into your next book, right? I’m only recently started on cables and (knock wood) haven’t had any go the wrong direction on me, yet.
    p.s. I wrote you a couple of weeks ago about a large quatity of fiber/yarn to give away. Lest you think I offered and ran, it’s still here waiting to be photographed. I hope to do that this weekend after the 87 other things on my list… no, really. I’ll get those pictures done! πŸ™‚

  135. I’m going to try your cheat method. I knit a beautiful aran cardigan, and when it was all done, I noticed a miscrossed cable near the bottom of one arm. Nearly broke my heart, but I didn’t want to rip apart the sweater, so I live with the mistake. Hope I can find the leftover yarn.

  136. AAAAAAAAAAHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! I am SO EFFING HAPPY that you did this post, Stephanie!!!!! I kiss your mouth, wench! (long distance, anyway.) Ah, what the hell, I’d do it local too. πŸ˜‰ Just in time for World Refugee Day, you have saved my husband’s 3/4 finished aran sweater from its 4-month exile, wherein I mis-crossed (TEN ROWS BACK!) An. Entire. Row. Of. Cables. Nope – never saw it. May I repeat, ten rows…of the entire sweater. Sigh…I love you.
    Also, hello with the Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds! I spent all of my, was it 14th year? in total love/lust with him, thanks to that movie? Watching it now, I can hardly credit it, but he was IT to me then.
    Once again, THANK YOU!!!!

  137. Today I officially reduce my knitting blog reading to two: Eunny, for impossible perfection, and you, for a different, more accessible kind of perfection ( no less perfect)…I CAN control my knitting, and even if I can’t be like Eunny, I can someday maybe be like the Yarn Harlot! Blessings on you.

  138. I haven’t mis-crossed a cable……YET……Now I know what to do when I do!! I am glad you have taught me the sneaky way to fix it. Now I just have to learn to duplicate stitch!

  139. Wow! This is so awesome of you to do!! Thank you!!! I’m fairly new to knitting…never thought I could move past the crochet hook…two hands to coordinate! While I’ve never knitted more than a cable under the critical eye of my best friend’s mom, I appreciate the brillance of the resolutions given here! It gives me the courage to “frog” the border of the baby afghan that I purled when I should have knit! Thank you!

  140. That’s brilliant! I had a psychology teacher in high school who wore a cabled sweater that had a really obvious miscrossed cable right above his navel. I swear he wore it just because he knew it made people like me incapable of doing anything but stare and twitch.

  141. I’m totally down with the duplicate stitch – I call it dufing (duplicate + faking = dufing). Noone is the wiser thus proving that ignorance is bliss.

  142. Reading along. Reading, read some more. Laugh, laugh a lot. Keep laughing! Oh my. Dear me. It’s great. The knitting version of using a big stick to get what you want.

  143. I listened to your suggestion about the drink. Funny – when I started reading this that bottle of tequila was almost full. What happened???

  144. Thanks, Stephanie. I just read all 186 comments before mine, and what rings out loud and clear is how much you inspire and encourage all of us. I can’t wait to meet you when you come to Chicago!!!

  145. I know and have used the first one, but never would have even thought of the voodoo one. Brilliant! Love it! Thank you so much….

  146. You are inspiring. You keep coming up with ways to keep me wanting to try new things. Even if the new things have nothing to do with your post, it still inspires me to keep trying, ’cause where there’s a will there’s a way!

  147. wow! that is SO cool! did you think that up or did you learn it from nana (they were all such wonderful cheaters; i learned so much from mine!!)
    thank you for showing that! i LOVE it.

  148. i’ve read this carefully, a second time, and i have a really dumb question. (this would not come as a surprise to anyone in my family). the dpns you’re using are metal. aside from the fact that i’ve never seen metal, are they “better” than my cherished crystal palace bamboo ones, in the same sense that i prefer addi turbos to bamboo for circulars? yes, i know this is a ridiciulously picayune question, but it seems like they would be all slippery and hard to deal with, and now i’m finding myself to be very intrigued.

  149. Thanx for the birthday present. Just noticed a ^*(&^ed up cable in the very very front of my mum’s sweater several/many rows back . Will have to decide which method to use, but I won’t have to give it to her with the “find the big-whopping mistake” card!
    Thanx!

  150. You are DA BOMB. I want to be you when I grow up.
    Not that I want to grow up, or anything. You know.
    But thanks for that good juju and wisdom. Whether we’re in that partickler place or not, it has power.

  151. Although this does not involve cables, i think it noteworthy.. so i share. πŸ™‚
    So, I knit Mariah (http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/PATTmariah.html) not that long ago. when i was going to sew up the sleeves (both of them) I realized that on one side of the large, beautiful centered cable, i had one repeat of a K2P1 rib and two repeats on the other side – all the way down to the cuff. *sigh* what was I thinking? Maybe. MAYBE if they were both one repeat in the front, and two in the back or vice versa i could have been okay. but nope, it worked out to be one repeat on one side, two on the other on each front and back. i frogged one lousy stitch on each sleeve all the way back to the cuff to make it a purl. and i am so happy that i did, even though it took me a couple hours. πŸ™‚

  152. Ok, are we all agreed that if it isn’t taken already, we should encourage Stephanie that bookbookbookbook should be titled something like “Yarn Harlot: Voodoo Knitting”? (unless it’s not so much re technique…but hey, then it could be used for a *chapter* head.) Simply awesome, Stephanie. This one’s going in my “Never, ever lose this” folder.

  153. Wow! That yoga session must have jogged a few brain cells into hyperactivity! What an incredible post–definitely one for the books. We bow before your Royal Knitting Highness.

  154. Fantastic! These are tips that I wish more knitting books included.
    I made the stupid wrong-direction cable mistake a while ago on a baby blanket. I ended up doing a hybrid technique of using dpns to rearrange the crossover and then using a crochet hook to ladder up the stitches (as mentioned by many here). I find that I’m not talented enough to knit using the strands without it looking like it just screams “I had to be redone!”.

  155. I’m sensing a new concept for Bookbookbook4 or 5. That voodoo cable is pretty sneaky! Who taught you that, anyways?!

  156. It took alot of effort to think of a way to not have to frog back. It sounds like you might have been in a similar situation a time or two! I am amazed at how good your voodoo looks when you are done. With my luck I would try to fix the mistake with the voodoo method and screw that up too! Do you have any more amazing tricks up your sleeve?

  157. LOL!! I’ve actually done the duplicate stitch fix on a Debbie Bliss cabled cardi a few years back, and I thought I was such a horrible knitter for not “really” fixing the cable. But it does look “good enough” and I dare anyone to find it without being shown where it is.
    Thanks for the vindication!!

  158. Wow this comes at such an appropriate time. I was watching Knitty Gritty this morning and they were talking about aran knitting. They mentioned that you could unravel down to a miscrossed cable and fix it, but didn’t describe how. I was left wondering about it for the rest of the day, especially because I usually just leave the cables miscrossed and hope noone notices.
    So thanks for the lesson!

  159. Emano, You are not the only who didn’t know about Richard Chamberlain. Oh well, he was still easy to look at.

  160. Wow. I am impressed. And now I know how to fix the cable mistake on my bag handle!
    Thank you for the simple, straightforward instructions.
    GENIUS!
    I raise my celebratory beverage of choice to you Yarnharlot.
    Cheers!

  161. I’ve done Fix A lots of times (even on lace) but I’ve never known about Fix B. It’s never a day wasted when you learn something new and I’ve only been up ten minutes. Thank you Steph

  162. I’ve used a crochet hook to ladder back up after fixing a miscrossed 4st cable before. I didn’t think to use 3 (or any) dpns, so it was a very delicate procedure. Now I know 2 easy ways to fix “bigger & meaner” miscrossed cable situations! Thanks for taking the time to post these tutorials.

  163. Steph you are an Angel to take all this trouble to show a fellow knitter how to solve a mistake. This post confirms that knitters are the most generous and warm people on earth. You seriously ROCK.

  164. Master,
    Grasshopper thanks you for the pictorial lesson teaching her how to fix the sweater that has been lying around for months, waiting to be sewn together but refusing to be seen in the light of day because of the glaring cable error made near the bottom!
    I thank you and the sweater thanks you.

  165. Gosh, that is wonderful. I am knitting an aran vest for my husband (my first attempt at aran) and have a couple of miscrossed in the beginning. I was going to ignore them, but now I am going to do the duplicate stich. Thanks so much. Aporanee

  166. Ok, not only because of the explanations, but the gorgeous way you showed it in those photos. I knew it already, but I really do think you’re a knitting genious! (Did I ever tell you I bought all three of your bestselling books in one go as a treat for me when I was ill? No? Well, I did.) Lots of Love!
    /Lisa with the Olympic Birch-sail…

  167. Awesome pic-tutorial. I love it. I feel the love – all around love for all hopeless knitters everywhere. Love. Love.

  168. Wonderful! Thanks for showing us this great tip and using your humor in the process!
    I’d figured out a way that worked when I screwed up, but this is so much more elegant with the DPNs. Thanks!

  169. You rock! I love the voodoo and dark arts. And here I thought that didn’t much exist outside of my home state Louisiana. Glad to know it does!

  170. I am totally impressed, both by the effort you invested and the results. I’d have never thought of the voodoo method. And you’ve certainly seized on the mythic ‘teachable moment’…..
    For the ‘proper’ way, I’d probably ‘knit’ back up with a crochet hook, the way I’d fix a single stitch. I can’t quite picture ‘knitting’ back across.

  171. I imagine you are full of special tips for us regular knitters. Hope your new book is Voodoo Magic for knitters. I need all the help I can get.
    Lee

  172. I LOVE the cheat. I’m fairly new at cabling and (so far) haven’t managed to twist one the wrong way, but I am filing this away for future reference! Most brilliant, thank you!

  173. DUDE,
    You are amazing. I know it was just a swatch, but I broke into a sweat for you!!

  174. this post is quintessential Harlot. Highly informative – full of techniques AND tips, helping a fellow Knitter in Need, witty, laden with cocktails, with a self-deprecating punchline.
    brilliant.

  175. Genius! Now I can dig out that scarf from oh-so-long ago with the crossed cable and actually do something with it. You rock.

  176. I’m worried you’re going to run out of alcohol what with all the help you give so selflessly. Where can we send a pint of what to keep you brilliant?

  177. I can’t add anything to what’s already been said, but thank you for the smiles, not to mention the great trick.

  178. I knew the first method — “fiddly pain in the arse,” truer words were never written — but not the second. For truly horrible cable errors I would be tempted to go with method 3, the spirit cable. I have read that Native American beadworkers deliberately make one mistake in every piece, the spirit bead, so as not to offend the gods. (We will ignore here the fact that anything I have ever knit contains *way* more than one mistake.)

  179. Hou..!!
    That’s useful information, thanks a lot. i vaguely knew it was possible to fix cable-miscrossing,but I had no idea how.
    Thanks, thanks and thanks.

  180. Stephanie, I don’t know how to thank you (but I’m thinking about going out and buying any book of yours I don’t yet own). Your tutorial is brilliant, and I’m ready to start. I would have written yesterday, but the computer was occupied by BOYS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES, a separate and scornful breed.
    And I can definitely feel the love.

  181. Thank you, thank you. I learned both your ways in your wonderful rescue courses in Tacoma in Feb., but didn’t need them then and promptly forgot or confused them. Your blog came just in time, and I will treasure it as long as my computer lasts. I may even resort to back ups for this treasure.

  182. Now you’ve got me wanting to knit a swatch and see how hard it would be to clip a thread, unravel the offending cross, kitchener it up with the proper cross, and weave in the ends…..
    Hmmmm.

  183. I have a sweater with a mis-crossed cable that I didn’t notice until it was all finished (it was hidden in the fluffy mohair). Now I look for that mis-crossed cable to know which is the back of the sweater when I put it on.

  184. Actually, I was laughing at the fact that you used the word “skanky” in your post. Seeing that word in print never fails to make me giggle.

  185. Now where was this information when I was busily screwing up my Olympic sweater?
    I knew about the first fix, but the cheat is brill. Thanks.

  186. This is just so beautiful. I discovered the first fix while knitting the back of the aran for a 7 foot man you mentioned, but I was at a day-long conference with no extra needles to be found, so I improvised a little. The smaller needle would have made life easier. And the second fix – wow! What sheer evil genius!

  187. BRILLIANT (as usual)… I have done the proper way…and now will keep the “cheat” in mind for the next disaster…which will come, of this I am sure.
    Rounds of applause!!!

  188. I am in such awe of you at this moment. I knew there were knitters capable of ripping back an enormous amount of rows and fixing the error (I am capable of no more than three rows, then I panic and need a valium). It freaks me out to see that much yarn out of place and all depending on ME to figure out where it goes. I guess I’m still learning. You’ve given me new confidence! Thanks!

  189. You are beyond awesome! That little demo was absolute genius….I’m sure you have removed the fear of a wrong crossed cable from many a knitter, myself included. Bravo!!

  190. Wow, you have perfect timing! Last night I noticed a misscrossed cable 14 rows down on my mom’s impossible Christmas sweater–without your demonstration I’d have been gibbering at having a huge HOLE in the midst of my knitting while I tried to fix it! (I was really temped to use the voodoo method πŸ™‚ )

  191. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to fall in love with Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds and have it all come crashing down.

  192. Thanks for posting this! I’d heard someone mention the second method before, but had never seen any details on how to do it.

  193. Wow, that’s a brilliant bit of voodoo. And yes, I’m amused at the swatch thing. Also impressed that you didn’t *accidentally* cross a cable in the wrong direction at any point there. Or at least that you caught it before posting, if you did. πŸ˜‰

  194. I am dazzled by the cable and how to correct a mistake. I don’t think I will ever knit anything with a cable anymore than I would pop into the Scorpion pose. Both seem rather intimidating. I’ll be knitting scarves in garter stitch forever. I am so in awe and impressed with your talents and abilities.

  195. What about snipping the row that twisted the wrong way, pick out a few stitches, and kitchener that row back in with a new piece of yarn? It makes my head hurt to think about it as I usually avoid cables, but I have done this with other goofs.

  196. The first one made my head hurt just thinking about it…but the cheat was right up my ally! Knowing me I probably would have just left the mistake, I’m big on not fixing things. It just makes it ‘unique’.

  197. LOL I didn’t expect the duplicate stitch method. I kept expecting to see a version of grafting: snip a row or two above the offending cross, put upper and lower stitches on separate needles, do version 1 on the offending cable, and then graft upper and lower stitches together and sew in ends. You’d need extra yarn, of course, and the drink might not help with the grafting…

  198. As if I needed further proof that you are a goddess among women, you show how to fix the mistake that’s been staring at my at the bottom of my brother’s sweater for over a year. I can’t rip it back, I can’t go forward. I was stuck in a timewrap and like magic: YOU FREED ME! Thank you!

  199. Positively Brilliant! the knitting, the photos, the explanations. Now if only I could print out the whole shebang for the 2 or more cable hoodies I see in my knitting future…drats, my printer is out of ink.

  200. Its easy to see why people are so drawn to you. Your generosity goes beyond the unexpected.
    Thanks for loving us.
    Lizbeth

  201. Sheer genius, and truly worthy of the knitting sutra!
    πŸ˜‰
    Namaste.

  202. The dpn method works much better than mine, of dropping the stitches down, and picking them up one column at a time with a crochet hook. If the sts are abcdef and I want a cable defabc, I start with d and put it on the left needle, then continue. It is tricky and not great. Thanks for your tips.
    Teresa

  203. Wow – I’ve done the frogging thing before but the other? Brilliant!
    Happy GHU. Just though I’d mention it, it being solstice there and all.

  204. Thank you for that! It has given me confidence to try the Aran I have been avoiding! Nothing like a little schooling in the Voodoo Dark Arts for a Wednesday morning!
    Re: Irony…What would really have been bad was if your ditigal camera crashed mid-documentation!

  205. I hope I’m not too late to comment on your instructions for fixing cabling. Even though I’ve never cabled, your text and pictures were very clear. My point is that I wonder if you, from time to time, could provide us with some other pictures and text to help some of us less experienced knitters along. Like, why is there always a little hole just before I start a heel gusset? Oh yeah, you talked about that in your book. Guess I’d better go back and read that part again.

  206. Many thanks for the lesson. I’m returning to the knitting of Aran sweaters. I would’ve tried my old standby–a crochet hook, but the dpns sure look like a winner here…… Talking about Richard..reminds me of the most manly man I ever met–tall,dark, handsome..DEEP voice, big chest, small hips… now, there was a heartthrob! But gals weren’t his type. I still sigh…

  207. Quote from my husband “the knitting equivalent to duct tape?” That would refer to the second “fix”.

  208. You are absolutely, dumbfoundingly creative and a knitter without equal. Thank you so very much for the laughs, the tears, the smiles and today for the knowledge. I am in your debt.

  209. Steph, you’re nothing short of brilliant. Can this be done with lace? I hope so. . . as I have an issue going on right now, and I truly don’t want to leave it as is or tink all the way around my Tina shawl. It’s just that all those little yos & togs have caused brain fry. . .

  210. my total love for all cheat methods aside, this was a brilliant post just for the funny! 16 year old new drivers! richard chamberlain! drinkie-poo! i love it. you rock.

  211. Hi Stephanie,
    Hey, rumor has it there are new dates on your book tour — will you be updating your book tour page? And are you coming to the mid-Atlantic region, by any chance?

  212. We are not worthy. I am so overcome with awe that I scrolled down past more than 230 other comments to say so.
    And so young too! I fell in love with Richard Chamberlain when he was Dr. Kildare.

  213. Gasp! That’s brilliant! I knew about the first one, but the second one…that’s simply mind-boggling! It’s brilliant! A Nobel Prize for Stephanie!

  214. I am fighting the urge to knit up a similar cabled swatch so I can try it all for myself. It’d be a harder fight if it were earlier in the evening, but given that it’s almost midnight going to bed is going to win this battle… perhaps tomorrow…

  215. I didn’t know that! I was reading along- yah I know that and then- cheating! Wow. I thought the first method was cheating.Maybe I should just embroider all the cables. You are our intrepid leader. Teach me thy cheats.

  216. Thanks so much for the voodoo. I have a just completed (or so I THOUGHT) a sweater that is covered in cables and found one, right in the center of the front, that is miscrossed. I’m off to practive duplicate stiching and fix it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Mwah! (Me, blowing kisses)

  217. Holy cow! Amazing. First time commenting – but I believe I’ll be bookmarking this for future reference.

  218. Wow, I feel the love in that post, and it wasn’t even written for me! Nicely done, that explanation was so clear!
    By the way, I have to admit, having crossed many a cable the wrong way and left the mistake in, I often claim that’s the mark that identifies it as ‘hand-made with love’, almost like I did it on purpose!

  219. Wow, I feel the love in that post, and it wasn’t even written for me! Nicely done, that explanation was so clear!
    By the way, I have to admit, having crossed many a cable the wrong way and left the mistake in, I often claim that’s the mark that identifies it as ‘hand-made with love’, almost like I did it on purpose!

  220. I feeeeeel the loooooove. Oh, I love cheating that looks like the real thing!!! You are a pro at cheating–is that how you made it through college/university???? (just laughing)

  221. I just checked the tour page, and called your Chicago stop to let them know we’re coming. I’m making an announcement at knitting tonight. We may rent a bus.
    :o) We’ll see you there!

  222. As much as I love and truly appreciate all the work you put into your lesson–and was terrific!–the Aha! moment for me was the Richard Chamberlain comment. That’s almost EXACTLY how it went down for me! You make me laugh, Ms. Harlot!!!!!!!

  223. As for the cable.. I think that this might work (never tried it, just didn’t happen to cross the thing the other way round), and it’s a cheat too: in the row of the crossing, simply cut the yarn, cross it the proper way and then sew it as the yarn would go when knitted.. there might be a centimeter missing for the knot but i think that pulling it a litle bit doesn’t destroy the thing…

  224. lol! I remember being shown that cheat fix long time ago and that experienced knitter told me not to tell anyone. It’s voodoo. Us cheaters don’t have to hide in the closet anymore!

  225. This is the very best knitting post I have ever seen! Fantastic lesson, great pictures, and funny commentary. You win!!

  226. hun, you can’t post pictures of unknitting just the cable and then FIXING IT and tell me you aren’t a guru. lol. *grin*

  227. Stephanie, You are a knitter after my own heart! Those are exactly the two cable reversing methods I use when under the gun. Thanks for taking the time to answer the query and educating on such a mass scale. Just in case you or anyone notices this among the zillions of post, I thought I’d post the Cabled Riding Jacket errata. I’ve seen several made from the book now both with and without help of errata.
    ERRATA
    For size small the 21 stitch repeat of chart is repeated 9 times total instead of 8.
    Page 121 first column Bodice paragraph, 3rd line, the 5 cables on right front — work as 5-st Left cable.
    6th line, the 5 cables on left front — work as 5-st Right cable
    This omitted sentence from original pattern after row 1 and 2 of bodice may make working bias effect more clear: Cont to inc and dec
    for bias effect on fronts every RS row as est for a total of 37 times, working the new sts into cable pattern (as seen from RS) as foll: Small–[3 p, 5k] 4 times, 3p, 2k; Medium –[4 p, 5k] 4 times, 1p; Large–[5 p, 5k] 3 times, 5p, 2k.
    Page 123 Chart: All cables should be on RS rows cable on row 68 is typo, should be on RS row 69.
    PS I finally weaned my daughter, at age 3 1/2

  228. I thought I was the only one broken hearted by Richard Chamberlain! I had the board game and played it all the time. (Now I’m old and can’t remember the name of the game, but I can picture bits of it way back in the dusty, webby part of my memories.)
    I feel the pain again as I relive those days. Wonder what he’s up to now? Is he still on this earth?

  229. Stephanie, you really do rock. I just used your cable repair demo to fix a cable 4 rows back. I am now going to go buy one of your books in sincere appreciation!

  230. You are amazing. I just did the first technique on my cabled cardigan — I went back 17 rows at 10 stiches a piece. I ignored the bit about how it would be harder if you had cables on top of the cable too… It worked (took awhile but whatever). Though one thing that I might recommend is fixing the gauge a bit as you go, I did and I think the result looks better than it might have if I had not done so. What an experience and I just had to share it with you and the others because my husband just wouldn’t understand. Thank you for this technique. You are awesome!

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