Mirror Mirror, Cable Cable


I was going to wait for a nice sunny day to photograph these before posting, but I am just too excited! My mirror-cabled socks are done, and they are just exactly what I wanted them to be.

It is really hard to take picture of your own socks, especially when the details are on the sides of your legs.

You know how sometimes you decide what you want to knit before you find a pattern, and then you search and search and search and nothing comes up? Well, I spent a long time clicking through Ravelry patterns before I had to concede that the socks I wanted weren’t there anywhere. Maybe they’re too basic, I don’t know, but whatever the case, they weren’t there. So, I made them up. As I said, they’re fairly basic, but they’re just the blend of pretty and plain that I wanted, and although they were an easy knit, they were just interesting enough to keep my attention.

Also, I totally had enough yarn in the end. More than enough, as it turned out (remind me of this when I’m knitting my next pair of socks and have a similar fit of worry).  Just in case you wondered what happened.

I will post nicer pictures when the weather improves, but until then, here they are.

Pattern: Mirror-Mirror cabled socks by Me
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in colourway “Boticelli Red” (the real colour is somewhere in between the shades of these photos)
Needles: 2.25mm Clover bamboo dpns

I haven’t written this up as a formal pattern, but I might, since there doesn’t seem to be one out there yet. Would you want to knit these? (I have a sneaking suspicious they may become my go-to sock.)

For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a sock on my needles right now. I’ve got the sweater (goodness knows that isn’t going anywhere fast) and I’ve cast on a new project, but since it’s literally just 67 stitches on a needle right now, I’ll wait to show/tell you about that until it’s more interesting to look at.

12 thoughts on “Mirror Mirror, Cable Cable

  1. caityrosey

    Indeed, it is extremely hard to model socks on your own legs properly. I wish I had a willing model at home. The BF’s feet are probably too big for most of the socks I knit. And the cats, well…maybe as a tail sock?

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Yeah. L’s feet are definitely too big. I’m thinking I may have to start inviting my sister over more often. Maybe we can work out a deal where every few pairs she models will result in a pair going home with her…

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  4. De

    Say, I am just learning to cable and I’d like to know the formula for mirroring a cable pattern L/R, as you seem to have done here. I tried just reading the pattern backwards (written pattern not chart): this produced knitted gibberish so I think I must have needed to swap other elements, like cable fwd instead of back. I still don’t quite understand how the cable pattern results in the lovely 3D cable, but I’d like my left mitten to have a mirror rather than a replica of my right mitten cable (on back of each hand). Anyone know of a book or web site that would tell me, for any given written-out cable pattern, how to mirror it L/R?

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      The easiest way to mirror a pattern is more or less what you described trying. BUT, instead of reading it backward to change the direction of the cables you have to invert the directions. So, let’s say the pattern instructs you to place three stitches on a cable needle and hold to the back of the work, knit the next three stitches from the left needle, and then knit the stitches from the cable needle (this produces a right-leaning cross). To mirror this instruction on the opposite side (or mitten), instead of holding the stitches in the back, hold them in the front, work the next three stitches from the left needle, and then work the stitches from the cable needle.

      When you hold the stitches in the back, you work the lefthand stitches over top of them, producing a right-leaning cable; when you hold the stitches in the front, you work the lefthand stitches behind them, producing a left-leaning cable.

      So, to mirror a pattern, follow it as written, but on one side, hold your stitches opposite (in the front instead of in the back, or vice versa). Does that make sense?

      1. De Clarke

        Wow, thanks for such a quick response! I keep staring at my finished cable and at the pattern, and I still can’t quite figure out how the stitch sequences make the shape and therefore what effect it would have to alter them. Maybe I can impose on you just a little further and share the pattern (it’s a nice trad cable) and what I *think* would reverse it…

        5RPC: slip 2 st to cable ndl, hold to back, k3, then p2 from cable ndl
        5LPC: slip 3 st to cable ndl, hold to front, p2, then k3 from cable ndl


        1: k3 p4 c6b p2
        2: k3 p4 k6 p2
        3: 5LPC 5RPC 5LPC
        4: p2 k6 p4 k3
        5: p2 c6f p4 k3
        6: p2 k6 p4 k3
        7: 5RPC 5LPC 5RPC
        8: k3 p4 k6 p2

        So to mirror it L/R I guess I should swap c6b for c6f and vice versa…
        but should I swap LPC and RPC as well? somehow I fear that this would make the cables try to wander away from the 15 st pattern area, turning the wrong direction at the edges. but then, I’m confused.

        sorry to be so dense, I usually don’t have such a hard time with knitting concepts but for some reason the “twist” in the cable disorients my inner stitch counter. I think of knitted fabric as *flat* and when it starts getting all topological I get anxious 🙂

        thanks for any newbie-educating you are willing to do!

  5. De Clarke

    Hey, I figured it out for myself! DOH! I can’t believe I was trying to make it so complicated. The braided cable pattern I’ve used does reflect L/R in the course of its 8 row repeat. So the simple answer is to offset the pattern by 4 rows. Oh, I feel so stupid. [Bangs head gently on keyboard.] Start with Row 5 instead of Row 1, then go round as per pattern, and the cable will start with the opposite “polarity” and be a mirror image of the one on the other mitten.

    Did I say “sorry to be so dense”?? Can I underline that with yellow highlighter and blinking text?

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Now now, knitting is an art that reveals itself over time, so you shouldn’t feel dense for not getting it right away. Really, you should feel triumph that you figured out how to do what you wanted to!

      Let me know how the mittens turn out and, if you’re on Ravelry, please friend me. I’d love to see your finished project.

      1. De Clarke

        such kind words, thanks… I am brand new to Ravelry, but I will try to figure out how to friend you. digital photography I do know how to do! expect a pic in a week or two (I’m a slow knitter and I don’t get that much time at it to start with).

  6. nerdvogel

    these socks are just what I’ve been looking for!! So pretty, so simple. Haha, they are simple but I am still confused. Would you mind writing up a pattern for these? I have already started a sock with 60 sts cast on and I’ve finished the cuff and now I’d like to start cabling the rest of it! Thanks for any word!

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