Correcting a Miscrossed Cable

Statement of the Problem

I committed a miscrossed cable in the complex (Saxon braid) cable on the "long white thing" that is part of the afghan I discussed in the "long blue thing" page. When discovered, it was already far past the point where dropping down would work (the cable having gone under and over a dozen or more others by then). For most errors, I'm of the "if you can't see it from a running horse, don't bother" school, but the whole point of a Celtic knot is that it is perfect in every crossing.

First Thoughts

So...I propose to do what I'll call (in a nod to EZ) the "afterthought" recrossing. I'll (inhale, exhale) snip the yarn in the center between the two stitches of the cable that mistakenly crosses over the top of the other one and unpick one stitch in each direction -- having secured the stitches above and below it on coilless pins to prevent runs -- and move the two severed ends below the other cable. Then I'll turn the thing over and hope (please, please!) that I'll be able to figure out how to graft the two ends together again.

Does that sound like a plan? Please, somebody, tell me you've tried this, and that it will work.

Judy (posted to the knitlist 6 Jan 1999)

Miscrossed Cable: Take Two (Snap!)

Fortunately, Louise from France reports that my proposed method has worked for her (thank you!). I also had several helpful suggestions from other listers, namely, practice on a swatch, and pick out more than two stitches (thank you all for your quick replies).

I did think of one thing that will help. I had planned to snip the errant cable between its two stitches and unpick in both directions. But on thinking about where the yarn goes to the left and the right, it occurred to me that on the left is the OTHER cable, the one that crosses under, while on the right are two plain purl stitches from the reverse stockinette background. And beyond that, fortunately, no more crossings, just knits and purls.

SO: I now have decided (encouraged by Louise's report) that I will make The Snip in the plain stitches to the right, and unpick toward the left, severing the overcrossing cable but not the cable which the severed ends must be regrafted UNDER. Clear?

Then, regraft the cable in its proper alignment, attach or overlap the new bit of yarn, continue grafting across the plain stitches and following the existing yarn beyond that for a few stitches. Whew!

This will work. I'm ready. I'm going to do it.

Done at last!

Boy, I sure thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong...

The last thing you want when you're unpicking stitches and trying to catch loops in a crowded space is surprises. I got one, and still haven't quite figured out what happened, but the unpicking and the two loose ends wound up over toward the right side of the gap row, while some of the loose loops were on the left! Obviously this was because of the crossing of the cable, but it was unexpected!

Anyhow, I did manage to graft the cable back together with the crossing in the right direction, and also to repair the gap caused by snipping the yarn, so all is well. My conclusion is: this method works, but save it strictly for a last resort!

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Judy Gibson
Descanso, California
Email to jgibson (at) cts (dot) com