Look what I am lucky enough to have my hands on a preview copy of… The new offering from the Arnall-Cullifords’ bottomless pit of amazing instructionals hones in on one particular area of knitting techniques: cables.
Where A Year Of Techniques touched upon introducing or firming up a particular single technique over each of the 12 months of the year, this new 88 page tome burrows deep into understanding why cables work, how they work, and how you can use their qualities to your advantage. Where this book succeeds so brilliantly is in looking at cable knitting from starting with a relatively basic skill-set but working up to advanced level of understanding, and with such an absolute clarity of explanation and instruction that it’s like somebody has popped the key to the cable-knitting universe into your hands. This is time to level up your skills.
Something new To Learn About Cables is spilt into three chapters, each teaching a range of skills and accompanied by absolutely beautiful patterns from wonderful designers that utilise your new learnings. Each new chapter builds upon the one preceding it, and though you do not need to press all of your new learnings into action for every pattern, you have the opportunity to try out the techniques as both the patterns and associated skills and tips increase in complexity.
I helped test knit a pattern included in the second chapter of the book: The Otrera Mittens, designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford herself. Here am I standing bare armed in the snow, with snuggly warm hands…poking some leaves. As with all of the patterns in the book these are knit in beautiful Coop Knits Socks Yeah! DK. The chosen yarn is a stroke of genius: the DK weight yarn gives you a good chance to see and understand your stitches and the cable construction, and if you need to put any of the instructions for not one but five different methods for fixing cable mistakes, then the high twist construction will help keep those frustrations at bay by helping avoid splitting the yarn you are rescuing.
The instructions that I am next going to put into good use will be the tips on tidying up cables. I suffer with the occasional (whispers) baggy stitch. You know… those ones that like to hang out on the edge of your beautifully crisp cables, taunting you with their non-conformist, relaxed attitude. Those are the stitches your mother warned you about, and though we could grow to love them, a quick tidy up isn’t going to do them any harm.
The confidence in learning all of the new techniques is baked up by the crystal clear explanations and detailed step-by-step pictures that are the trademark of the Arnall-Culliford way of learning.
As the team know that knitters have different learning styles, instructions are accompanied by video tutorials hosted on the www.acknitwear.co.uk website and Youtube channel, so demonstration-based learners can follow along and understand the movement of yarn and needles. The instructional videos produced by the team have been an absolutely invaluable source of learning to so many knitters as they are clear, concise and avoid any unnecessary confusion.
The book ends with a chapter on advanced cable techniques that I have not yet tried, and I’m really excited to delve into the world of closed-loop cabling, which is a new cable form for me to enjoy learning from all of the fabulous resource and support that this book and the team behind it offers.
If you want to supercharge your cabling skills, pre-orders are now open. The book will ship from Monday 19th March to addresses around the globe and also contains an online download code so that you have an electronic copy that can be added to your Ravelry library. The online store also stocks the recommended yarn and kits for each of the projects contained within the book, each of which comes with a really nifty project bag, for perfect gifting (to yourself).