Braided Cables in the Round Tutorial
Crochet cable patterns are really impressive when they flow along scarves, afghans and sweaters. Magnificent textures can be realized by combining their size and length in a thousand different ways. But could you imagine the wonder of a round play of twisting braids and ropes? Just look at the beautiful designs you can create by working different cable patterns in the round, by mirroring geometries in each quadrant, to make a square motif (see Diagrams 1, 2 and 3) I’ve used this unusual technique to create the square front panel of my Braided Cables Tote. The work was extremely fun and the result was very satisfactory. I am pleased to share in this article the main concept and construction for this design and to provide step-by-step instructions to overcome the trickiest parts.
The square shape is begun with a 4-chain ring and worked in the round, with 3 double crochet separated by 2 chain stitches per side ( foundation square), exactly as you do when you work a standard granny square. Crocheted cables are made by working around the posts of the stitches in front and in back. For the Braided Cables Tote, I used trebles to create a slouchy effect. So we will use front post trebles (fptr) for the foreground ropes and back post trebles (bptr) for the background stitches. The crossing and slanting lines of the cables are obtained by skipping a group of stitches, working around the next group of posts, and then going back and working skipped stitches. The work is not complicated if you just concentrate on working the stitches in the correct order. For the yarn I suggest a worsted-weight cotton or wool in a natural, light color. Off-white, beige and gray are particularly suitable for this technique as they make the cables stand out.
THE BRAIDED CABLES MOTIF
The Braided Cables Motif is achieved by repeating a set pattern in each of the four
quadrants that make up the square motif consisting of: A central cable made of two 3-fptr ropes, two lateral 3-fptr ropes and two thinner 2-fptr cables. All of the above stitches are made of four basic stitches: 3-fptr cross over 3-fptr right shift 3-fptr left shift 2-fptr cross over The two ropes of the central cable cross over each other
(3-fptr crossover), then they
diverge (3-fptr right and left
shift), rejoin and cross each other again. The two lateral ropes slant inward to join and cross over the central cable
(see Photo 1). Let’s look in detail step-by-step how to work the 3-fptr cable crossover; that perhaps is the trickiest passage of this work.
The cable crossover is worked on 7 stitches (3 fptr for each of the two ropes and one central bptr— see Photo 2). Work fptr in each of the 3 fptr of the left rope (in the stitch order
c,b, a) inserting hook around the front posts (see Photo 3). Then work a bptr back in the central bptr (go around the central bptr from the back, inserting hook from right to left around the post—see Photo 4). Work fptr in each of the 3 fptr of the right rope (in the stitch order g,f, e), crossing over the front— see Photo 5). Now that you have more confidence with these patterns and construction, you can easily follow the Braided Cables Tote instructions to complete the work.