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Cabled Decreases in Knitting

Cabled Decreases

I’m Holli Yeoh and I want to show you how to work neat and tidy double and triple decreases that lie flat. This is the Seaswell cardigan from the Tempest collection and I use them in the back shoulder shaping for the English tailored shoulders as well as on the sleeve cap for the set in sleeve. While a k3tog or sssk can be used for the double decrease, the double cabled decrease is a smooth, more sophisticated alternative.

Double Cabled Decrease Back (2decB)

As the name suggests, the decrease is worked with a cable needle. Work to the location for the decrease. I like to go at least 2 stitches in from the edge. For a Double Cabled Decrease Back (2decB),
  • transfer the next 2 stitches onto the cable needle,
  • hold the cable needle at the back of the work,
  • insert the working needle into the next stitch on the left hand needle and then into the first stitch on the cable needle,
  • knit these 2 stitches together,
  • then repeat it again, working the next stitch from the left hand needle and cable needle together
The decrease is completed—2 stitches were decreased. —

Triple Cabled Decrease Front (3decF)

It’s possible to do a triple decrease as well, simply slipping three stitches onto the cable needle. Next I’ll demonstrate a Triple Cabled Dec Front so you can see the decrease leaning in the opposite direction. This decrease involves 6 stitches. Since I’m working the decrease 2 stitches in from the edge I’ll need to stop when there are still 8 stitches left (2 edge stitches and 6 stitches for the cable decrease). For a Triple Cabled Decrease Front (3decF),
  • transfer 3 stitches to the cable needle,
  • and hold the cable needle at the front,
  • insert the working needle into the first stitch on the cable needle and the next stitch on the left hand needle,
  • knit these 2 stitches together,
  • then repeat two more times.
These decreases may look familiar to you when you take a close look at your commercially made sweaters. On this swatch you can see the double cabled decreases along the right side and the triple cabled decreases along the left side. 2decB Double Cabled Dec Back—transfer 2 sts to cable needle and hold at back, [knit first st on left hand needle tog with first st on cable needle] 2 times—2 sts dec’d. 2decF Double Cabled Dec Front—transfer 2 sts to cable needle and hold at front, [k first st on cable needle tog with first st on left hand needle] 2 times—2 sts dec’d. 3decB Triple Cabled Dec Back—transfer 3 sts to cable needle and hold at back, [knit first st on left hand needle tog with first st on cable needle] 3 times—3 sts dec’d. 3decF Triple Cabled Dec Front—transfer 3 sts to cable needle and hold at front, [k first st on cable needle tog with first st on left hand needle] 3 times—3 sts dec’d.

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