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Cable stitch abbreviations

The world of cables can be confusing, especially if you see an abbreviation you’ve not done before. Sometimes cables can be called twists, so you might see T4F rather than C4F, but they often mean the same thing. If you’re working from a pattern, it should give you an explanation of the abbreviation and how to work the stitch. In case you do see a term you don’t know, here’s a guide to explain some of the cabling and twisting techniques you might come across.

As you read through all these different cabling techniques, you’ll see that some twists work with odd numbers of stitches, while others create rib-effect cables by mixing up knit and purl stitches. There are near-endless possibilities for cabling and twisting stitches to create all sorts of effects!

C2B: Cable 2 Back
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at back of work, K1 from left needle, then K1 from cable needle.

C2F: Cable 2 Front
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at front of work, K1 from left needle, then K1 from cable needle.

C3B: Cable 3 Back
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at back of work, K2 from left needle, K1 from cable needle.

C3F: Cable 3 Front
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at front of work, K2 from left needle, K1 from cable needle.

Cr2b: Rib Cross 2 Back
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at back of work, K1 from left needle, then P1 from cable needle.

Cr2f: Rib Cross 2 Front
Slip next st to cable needle and hold at front of work, P1 from left needle, K1 from cable needle.

C4B: Cable 4 Back
Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at back of work, K2 from left-hand needle, then K2 from cable needle.

C4F: Cable 4 Front
Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at front of work, K2 from left needle, K2 from cable needle.

Cr4R: Odd Cross 4 Right
Slip next 3 sts onto cable needle and hold at back, K1 from left needle, K3 from cable needle.

Cr4L: Odd Cross 4 Left
Slip next st onto cable needle and hold at front, K3 from left needle, then K1 from cable needle.

C6B: Cable 6 Back
Slip next 3 sts to cable needle and hold at back of work, K3 from left needle, then K3 from cable needle.

C6F: Cable 6 Front
Slip next 3 sts to cable needle and hold at front of work, K3 from left needle, then K3 from cable needle.

C10B: Cable 10 Back
Slip 5 sts onto a cable needle, hold at back of work, K5 from left needle, then K5 from cable needle.

C10F: Cable 10 Front
Slip 5 sts onto a cable needle, hold at the front of work, K5 from left needle, then K5 from cable needle.

Tw3B: Purl Twist 3 Back
Slip next st onto cable needle and hold at back of work, K2 from left needle, then P1 from cable needle.

Tw3F: Purl Twist 3 Front
Slip next 2 sts onto cable needle, hold at front of work, P1 from left needle, K2 from cable needle.

T3B: Twist 3 Back
Slip next st onto cable needle, hold at back, K2 from left needle, then K1 from cable needle.

T3F: Twist 3 Front
Slip 2 sts onto cable needle, hold at front, K1 from left needle, then K2 from cable needle.

Tw4B: Purl Twist 4 Back
Slip 2 sts onto cable needle, hold at back, K2 from left needle, then P2 from cable needle.

Tw4F: Purl Twist 4 Front
Slip 2 sts onto cable needle, hold at front, P2 from left needle, then K2 from cable needle.

T8B rib: Twist 8 Back Rib
Slip next 4 sts onto cable needle and hold at back of work, K1, P2, K1 from left needle, then K1, P2, K1 from cable needle.

T8F rib: Twist 8 Front Rib
Slip next 4 sts onto cable needle and hold at front of work, K1, P2, K1 from left needle, then K1, P2, K1 from cable needle.