Two-Stitch Cables Without a Cable Needle

Simple Way to Cross Two Stitches With and Without a Cable Needle

Whether you know them as two-stitch cables, 1×1 cables, crossed stitches or twisted cables, these little design elements are perfect for forming all kinds of geometric patterns, like the ones used in the gorgeous Japanese stitch patterns.

We can make these twisted cables just as we make other types of cables – with the help of a cable needle. But it is much easier and faster to cross the stitches first and then knit them one by one. In this case, there is no need for a cable needle.

Here’s how this method works step by step.


STEP 1. With the yarn at the back of the work, slip two stitches of the cable one by one to the right needle. Do it knitwise (insert the right needle into each stitch from left to right).

STEP 2. Insert the tip of the left needle from right to left into both slipped stitches and ease the right needle out leaving the stitches on the left needle.

STEP 3. Knit these stitches one by one and you will see that they form a neat left-slanting cable.


STEP 1. With the yarn at the back of the work, insert the right needle from left to right into both stitches of the cable as if you plan to knit them together. Take the left needle out leaving the stitches on the right needle.

STEP 2. Slip these two stitches one by one back to the left needle. Do it purlwise (insert the left needle into each stitch from left to right).

STEP 3. Knit the slipped stitches one by one through the back loop and enjoy the look of the lovely right-slanting cable you’ve just made.

Watch these steps in a video tutorial:

Because we don’t use a cable needle, we can make left-slanting or right-slanting two-stitch cable twists much faster.

It allows us to add these lovely decorative elements to our hats, scarves, sweaters and blankets without drastically increasing the time it takes to finish the project.

Download a Quick Reference Card with a step-by-step photo tutorial about this method from the Library of Free Knitting Resources.

If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book

Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.

Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko -