Monday, February 25, 2008

CPH Viking Version Cable Instructions


I'm so excited by how the CPH "Viking Version" is turning out, even though it is just started. Here is a picture of the back, not quite done.

The following modifications apply to the “Central Park Hoodie” designed by Heather Lodinsky, originally published in the Fall 2006 Knit Scene magazine, and available for download via Knitting Daily. The modifications here assume the knitter has purchased the Central Park Hoodie (CPH) pattern. The “Viking Version” replaces the cable charts in the CPH, and provides instructions for incorporating and working those cables, but the CPH instructions are not provided here, for copyright reasons, obviously! If you want the “Viking Version,” you still have to buy the CPH pattern, then add these modifications.

The original CPH uses three cable charts, two 10-stitch charts (A and C), and one 18-stitch chart (chart B). The Viking Version substitutes 12-stitch cables for A and C, and a 28-stitch cable for B, with only 20 stitches in the “Chart B Foundation,” in the ribbing area. Charts A and C also have a “Foundation” chart, but it is the same width as the A and C cables.

The foundation charts compared to the CPH original cables are 2 stitches wider for A and C, and 2 stitches wider for B (10 sts after the ribbing area), making the cables in the ribbing area 6-stitches wider for the back, 4 stitches wider for each front, and 2 stitches wider for each sleeve. Since 2x2 ribbing can be adjusted in multiples of 4, the CO numbers have to change either up or down by two for the back and sleeves.

The back was adjusted down two stitches in the CO. The sleeve may be adjusted down 6 stitches or up 2, keeping a round number of ribbing repeats (plus k2) on each side of the cable. In general, insert the cables between k2 occurrences in rib, and adjust ribbing as close a possible to the recommended number of CO stitches, keeping a round number of 2x2 ribbing repeats (plus k2).

Setting out to make the 40” CPH pattern with substituted Viking Version cables, here is how the ribbing rows were set up:

CO 92 Stitches (instead of 94):
Row 1 (RS) *K2, p2*, rep * to * twice more, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm, rep * to * twice, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart B Foundation” over 20 sts, pm, rep * to * twice, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm, rep * to * three times, k2.

Left Front:
CO 44 Stitches, as instructed in CPH, or 45 if you want to add a slip stitch edge for picking up the front band.
Row 1 (RS) *K2, p2*, rep * to * twice more, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm, rep * to * once, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm, yf, sl1 optional. (If using slip stitch edge, first stitch on the WS is a k.)

Right Front:
CO 44 Stitches, as instructed in CPH, or 45 if you want to add a slip stitch edge for picking up the front band.
Row 1 (RS) [K1 optional, if you cast on a extra stitch for a slip st edge.] Work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm,*K2, p2* once, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart A and C Foundation” over 12 sts, pm, rep * to * three times, k2. (If using slip stitch edge, last stitch on the WS is yf, sl 1.)

CO 48 sts:
Row 1 (RS) *K2, p2*, rep * to * twice more, k2, pm, work Row 1 of “Chart B Foundation” over 20 sts, pm, rep * to * three times, k2.

To form the ribbing, proceed with the charts between each pair of markers, otherwise in 2x2 rib. (Read “Tips” below.) The “Chart A and C Foundation” is worked only once (four rows) for each cable, and then rows 5 and up will proceed directly to “Chart A” and/or “Chart C” (placed as per the CPH directions, which is simply A on the right side of the body and C on the left side of the body.) The “Chart B Foundation” will repeat every four rows for the entire ribbing height. End the ribbing as close as possible to the recommended ribbing height, but after four loops of cables A and C, which means after a cross (row 5 in Charts A and C). Turn to the WS, switch to larger needles. Begin stockinette instead of ribbing outside of the cabled/charted area, continue “Chart A” and “Chart C” as set, and start the “Chart B Transition” at Row 0 of the chart, which is a WS row. Note that “Chart B Transition,” of all the charts, is the only one that has a Row 0. That is because it starts on a WS row. After one use of the “Chart B Transition,” then repeat Chart B for the remainder of the back/sleeve, following all other instructions as given in the CPH pattern.

Here's a close-up of the transition:

At the top of the back and sleeve, the extra 8 sts added to Chart B in the “Transition” area need to be removed. I haven’t done that yet, at the time of this post, but I expect to end at a Row 9 and replace the three crossing cables with, “Put 2 sts on cn, hold at back; k2tog from left needle; k2tog from cn.” (6 sts dec’ed.) Then you just add two decs on the WS, or else just leave the 2 extra in there.

1. It is important to recognize that all stitches in both the ribbing and the body are either stockinette or reverse stockinette (except for special cases like inc/dec, BO, or switching from rib to stockinette). That means, generally speaking, that whether you are on the RS or WS of a piece, knitted stitches should be knitted, and purled stitches should be purled. This doesn’t mean, “What you did on the front, do on the back.” (That would be garter stitch.) It means, if a stitch is coming out of a little “v,” knit it. If a stitch is coming out of a little bar, purl it. This applies even when cabling. Once you acknowledge this, everything is easier. Consider that all WS rows of all cable charts (except inc’s in the “Chart B Transition”) are either k or p (no cabling). That means you do not need to read the WS rows of charts. Just work the WS row in the same stitches that are already on the needle, as you find them. You can refer to the charts to check your work, especially if something looks wrong, but you should not have to look at the chart and say to yourself, “Two knits, two purls, four knits, etc.” and then refer back and forth to the chart.

2. In the “Viking Version” cables presented here, the knits always travel in pairs, usually across two p’s to the right or left. That means that you almost always encounter k’s and p’s in groups of either 2 or 4. This will help you “read” the stitches (so you can “work the stitches as you find them,”) and also to recognize mistakes quickly. There are exceptions in Chart B where the knitted pair moves only one p to the right or left, leaving 3 p’s, but those are exceptions you will come to recognize and expect.

3. K’s are always “raised” in front of p’s in a cable. This helps you always know whether the cable needle goes to the front or back. When it is a combination of k’s and p’s, the k’s go forward and the p’s go back. The only time you have to check which direction to move the cable needle is when two pairs of k’s cross.

4. Even as the k’s move left or right, the k’s are still knitted, and p’s are still purled. The cable needle just moves them around. I obviously said that in rule 1, but this is an important rule.

5. Because of the rules above, it is not necessary to decompose the cable stitch legend into, “sl 2 st to cn and hold at back; k2; k2 from cn,” individually for every cable symbol, as shown in the stitch legend. Work would certainly be slow and painstaking if you did! All you have to do is use the charts to see *where* a cable stitch happens, whether it is 4 or 3 sts, and then do the following:

For a 4-st cable of p and k sts:
i. Put the first two sts from the left needle onto the cable needle (cn).
ii. If the sts on the cn are purl, hold the cn to the back.
iii. If the sts on the cn are knit, hold the cn to the front.
iv. Work 2 sts from the left needle, then 2 sts from the cn (k the knits and p the purls).

For a 3-st cable (always 2 k’s and 1 p):
i. If the 1st st on the left needle is a p, put it on the cn and hold it to the back. Then k2 from the left needle and p1 from the cn.
ii. If the k’s are first on the left needle, put them on the cn and hold it to the front. Then p1 from the left needle and k2 from the cn.

For a 4-st cable of all k sts:
i. Look at the chart to see whether to hold the cn in the front or the back. (See “Quick Cable Stitch Legend,” below.)

6. Use a sticky note to keep track of your row in each cable chart. Move it after completing a row. Then, if you put your knitting down, the sticky note is in the right place to begin again.

Using the above “rules,” you could think of the stitch legend as follows:

Then, the “hardest” rows in the chart become the easiest. For example, Row 7 in “Chart B” translates to, “Work 3 sts, 3-st cable, work 4-st cables until 6 sts remain, 3 st cable, work 3. You don’t have to look at the chart again until the row is done. Then, move the sticky note up one, work the WS stitches as set, move the sticky note, and then consider what Row 9 holds in store. (Work 4, cross to the back, repeat until out of sts.) That way, you rarely have to refer to the chart, except to just keep track of where you are. The most dangerous side effect of this approach is that you will get into a groove and do something by memory where it doesn’t belong. For example, I find myself cabling Row 1 of Charts A and C (as in Row 3), when Row 1 is really a “work sts as set” row, which occurs very rarely on the RS.

Have fun! It’s not nearly as hard as it looks!

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Addendum, added 4/13/08:
Lifted increases:
Call the stitch where an increase is to occur the "base stitch."

Left lifted increase in knit:
Knit the base stitch. With the left needle, lift up the stitch two below the one on the right needle. Knit into this stitch.

Right lifted increase in knit:
Work up to the stitch before the base stitch (which is to be knit and increased). With the right needle, lift up the stitch one below the one on the left needle and put it onto the left needle. Knit into this stitch. Knit the base stitch.

ETA: Finished

ETA: Ravelry download now (free)


Zonda said...

Wow, it is looking great already! I love your Viking version. (from Ravelry) :)

Christine said...

Wow! I'm knitting my first sweater in CPH and I'm going to consider your pattern when I'm ready to make another CPH! What a beauty you've got going!

Petunia said...

I did the CPH straight out of the box, but like your version even better. Thanks for taking the time to chart and post.

mknit said...

Hi, your cables are lovely! found your blog thru the CPH knit-a-long

Marianne said...

I LOVE your cable variation! It is gorgeous! I have just decided to switch from Mr Greenjeans to CPH because I think it will be a lot easier to fit over my hard shell back brace. I had been wishing that I could instructions on how to do your cable variation! Thank you very much! This is awesome!

Lisa Kay said...


I'm glad you like it. I haven't heard anyone say they are making it, yet. Let me know if you try it out, and if you have any comments on the instructions. (I've certainly had corrections on the Posey pattern!)

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Rachel said...

Found your Viking on Ravelry - it's great! I'm definitely going to make it, swatching right now, I will let you know it goes. Do you have any hints on printing up your instructions?
Thanks so much!

Lisa Kay said...


You can email me at lisakay2004 at, and I will send you a Word file. I'm also thinking about posting a PDF to Ravelry.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Trish said...

Very nice version! I might have to make a second CPH and use your mods! I luv mine, but would like one in a sturdier yarn and no hood.


BiniGirl said...

OMG Your pattern is so cool! I have been wanting to do a CPH for awhile now but was not wowed by the cables. I will definitely be doing your cable modifications when I start my CPH soon. Thanks for sharing.

sarah beatty said...

Lisa Kay: I'm finally knitting the CPH having bought the pattern several years ago. I like your version very much and will be using these interesting cables in place of the original. Thanks for doing this. This is a nice design improvement on a rather plain cable scheme.