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How to Cable Without a Cable Needle

Now that you've learned to use a cable needle, what do you do if you want to start a cabled project and don't have a cable needle on hand? Don't fret; you can cross your stitches without using a separate needle! Here's how to do it.

Step 1 I'm going to cross the two right stitches over the two left stitches.
Step 2 Insert your righthand needle into the back of the third and fourth stitches on the lefthand needle. (Note: If you want to cross these stitches in front, insert your righthand needle into the front of these stitches.)
Step 3 Carefully slide your cable stitches off of the lefthand needle. Your two leftmost stitches will now be on the righthand needle, and your rightmost stitches will be dangling. They should stay in place without laddering down.
Step 4a Using your left needle, pick up the two right stitches. This will cross them over in front of the other two stitches.
Step 4b The right stitches have now been crossed in front to the left.
Step 5 Return the two stitches on your right needle back to the left. Your stitches are now in the correct order to cable! Knit as normal.
Step 6 You're all finished with your cable!

Now, a few notes on this technique. Cabling without a cable needle works best on smaller cables. If you're crossing more than 3x3, consider using a needle for stability. It's also better to use a yarn with more of a grab (such as wool) than one that's slippery (like alpaca) so that your stitches don't ladder down. With a little bit of practice, you'll be cabling even faster than with a needle!

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