Progress continues on the Debbie Bliss jacket. Slow progress, since I can only work on it at home, in my "knitting spot", where I have room to spread out the pattern and the notebook I use to keep count of the rows.
However, the work has gone faster because I've done most of the cabling without a cable needle. It's a technique I learned from an article by Meg Swanson in the Fall '01 issue of Vogue Knitting. If you've tried this method, tell me what you think. Faster, easier? I think so.
Want to see it in action? Here's an example of a 5-stitch front cable twist from the Debbie Bliss. The patterns instructions say:
sl next 3 sts onto cable needle, hold at front of work, p2, then k3 from cable needle
Here's how I do it without the cable needle.
1. Insert the right-hand needle through the next five stitches on the left-hand needle, and slide them to the right hand needle. The picture below shows the 5 stitches after I've moved them to the right-hand needle.
2. With the left-hand needle in front, slide the needle through the 3 furthest stitches on the right-hand needle. These are the stitches that will eventually form the front cable.
3. Slip all the stitches off the right-hand needle. The furthest 3 will stay on the left-hand needle. Hold your breath and let the remaining 2 just hang out there for a moment. Trust me, they won't unravel!
4. Now pick up the 2 "hanging" stitches that are at the back of the work with your right-hand needle. Exhale.
5. Now slip the 2 sts from the right-hand needle to the left-hand needle and knit all 5 sts sequentially. For this pattern that would mean p2, k3. The picture below shows all the sts slipped to the left-hand needle, waiting to be worked.
And here it is, all 5 sts worked into a front cable-twist, done without a cable needle!