Cables are a great way to add interest to a knitted piece. Easy to knit, they stand out, popping off the fabric. And they pop out even more when there is more than one color involved.
While it might look like it’s a difficult technique, knitting a two color cable is just as easy as knitting a single colored cable. The result is quite striking. (If you have never knit cables, you should try it. It is far easier than it looks.)
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This tutorial breaks down the two color cable technique so that you can use it on any cable pattern, including the free pattern used in this tutorial, the Simple Cabled Coffee Cozy, by Stacy Musch.
- Two different colors of yarn that are the same weight
- Size 7 knitting needles, or the appropriate size needle for your yarn weight *gauge is not really important
- Cable Needle
Here is what I’m using for this tutorial:
- Yarn: I Love This Cotton in Fantasy and Antique Cream – worsted weight
- Needles: Size 7 needles w/ 24 inch cable KnitPicks Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles
- Cable Needle: Large cable needle from Yarnology set from Hobby Lobby
Following the Simple Cabled Coffee Cozy pattern, cast on half of the stitches in one color (color A), and then switch to the next color (color B) and cast on the remaining number of stitches.
In this instance, I cast on 8 stitches in Fantasy (color A), and 8 stitches in Antique Cream (color B), for a total of 16 stitches on my needles.
When you are using two colors in a pattern, you want to divide your pattern in half, one half for each color. So, Knit 16 becomes knit 8 in color A, knit 8 in color B (reference above photo for example).
No matter where you are in the pattern, you want to make sure that the yarn color that you are knitting with matches the stitches that you are working into. Go slow and take care to make sure you are not knitting color A into color B’s stitches.
To switch colors, just drop the yarn from color A, pick up the yarn for color B, and continue knitting in pattern.
With the pattern used in this tutorial, the first 4 rows are not attached, and can slide apart on the cable. This will change as the cable is worked.
As you come to the cable, continue to knit, keeping the yarn color the same, corresponding to the color of the stitches that you are knitting into.
At various points in the pattern, this will cause you to carry your yarn color across your work to get to the stitches that match your working yarn. Make sure you are always carrying the color across on the wrong side of the fabric.
Important Tip! On wrong side purl rows, keep your yarn in front of your work so that it’s easy to pickup the color and carry it across as needed.
When you get to the cable, continue to knit using the appropriate color working yarn with the matching colored working stitches.
Continue following the pattern, always using the corresponding colored yarn that matches the color of the stitches that you are knitting into. That’s the hardest part of knitting two color cables.
Continue to knit following the pattern, and sit back, and watch with amazement as your work grows into a beautiful, two colored cable piece.
When you get to the end of the pattern, cast off as you normally would, continuing to match the working yarn color with the working stitch color.
And that’s it. As mentioned the two hardest parts of knitting with two colors (which isn’t hard at all) is making sure that you start with half your pattern in color A, and half your pattern in color B, and making sure you are using the correct colored yarn for the stitches you are working into.
If you make a two colored cable from this tutorial, I would love to see your results. Feel free to share your work with me on my Facebook Page, Facebook.com/ModernlyVintageCraft.