Fisherman’s Rib Cable

The Fisherman’s Rib Pullover features an interesting cable stitch I developed on my own since I couldn’t find anything like it in my stitch dictionaries. It has a tricky maneuver that I haven’t seen in a pattern so here’s the tutorial.

You need two cable needles to accomplish the cable crossing. While a little fiddly, it’s so worth it and there’s only two rows of cable crossings on chest of the Fisherman’s Rib Pullover.

First, the definition of the cable crossing followed by step-by-stelp instructions.

C5f&b Slip front cable needle (CN) through the fronts of the first and third sts, leaving sts on left needle, slip back CN through the backs of the second and fourth sts, slip all 4 sts off together. K1 from left needle. P1 from back CN. Rotate front CN 180° counter clockwise, so the second st is present to be worked next. P1 from back CN. K1 through the back loop from front CN.

1. Ready to begin the cable.

Small green fisherman's rib swatch on the needles with first three sts worked and two cable needles resting on knitted background.

2. From the front, insert the first cable needle into the first and third sts as if to purl.

Left hand holding swatch on needles; right hand inserting a cable needle purlwise into first and third stitches on left needle.

3. Leave the sts on the left needle.

Right hand holding knitting on needles with both cable needle and left needle resting in first and third stitches.

4. From the back, insert a second cable needle into the second and fourth sts as if to knit through the back loops.

Right hand inserting a second cable needle into back of second and fourth stitches on left needle, while first cable needle rests in first and third stitches, and left needle is still going through all four stitches.

5. Slip all four sts off of the left needle. You have two sts on the front cable needle and two sts on the back cable needle.

Hands holding right and left needles with two cable needles holding two stitches each.

6. K1 from the left needle.

With one cable needle hanging at front and other at back, right needle is inserted in next stitch on left needle knitwise, preparing to knit the stitch.

7. P1 from the back cable needle.

With cable needle hanging at front, right needle is inserted purlwise into next stitch on back cable needle, preparing to purl.

8. Rotate the front cable needle around 180° counter clockwise.

Front cable needle is held in right hand with yellow arrows indicating that the needle is rotated 180 degrees in a counter-clockwise direction.

9. The sts on the front cable needle are twisted from the rotation with the second st presenting itself as the next st to be worked.

Stitches on front cable needle have swapped position and are mounted with the leading leg at the back of the needle.

10. K1 through the back loop from the front cable needle.

Right needle is inserted knitwise through the back of the loop into next stitch on front cable needle, preparing to knit it.

11. Repeat step 7—P1 from the back cable needle.

12. Repeat step 10—K1 tbl from the front cable needle.

13. Cable st is complete.

Left hand holds knitting to show that cable crossing is complete; it looks like a tight bunch-up of stitches.

While developing the cable stitch I tried out a few other options that create the same effect. They are perhaps easier to knit, but I felt that the actual cable wasn’t as polished.

Option 1: Slip 4 sts onto cable needle (CN) and hold at front, k1, return 3 sts to left needle (1 st still on CN), p1, hold CN at back, [k1, p1] from left needle, k1 from CN.

Option 2: Slip 2 sts onto CN and hold at back, slip 2 sts onto CN and hold at front, k1 from left needle, p1 from back CN, [k1,p1] from front CN, k1 from back needle.