Cableship – Part 1

Welcome to the fall installment of the Progressive Needles Knit Along.  I’m excited to get back to sock knitting with you, especially one with so many great techniques and new videos!  As always, continued praise for our sponsor, Skacel Collection, whose support makes these KALs possible.

Before we begin, here is an overview of the KAL:

  • A portion of the 4-part mystery pattern is revealed here on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursdays in October at 9am Eastern time.  The weekly pattern, video resources and lots of helpful tips are included in each post.  An abbreviated, pattern-only version is included to download.
  • All techniques are supported with video instruction at
  • All questions and comments are monitored daily both here and in the Knit Purl Hunter group on Ravelry.  It’s like having  your own private knitting tutor!
  • Projects completed (one sock) by November 15 are eligible for the monthly prize drawing – first prize is a set of addi Clicks!  See for all the info.

When designing socks, sometimes the stitch pattern determines which yarn I will choose.  At other times, it is the yarn that is driving the stitch selection.  For Cableship, I knew that I wanted to design a sock using Zauberball yarn.  The deeply intense, gradient yarn has long been a favorite of mine.  I just knew I had to come up with a pattern that would do justice to this lovely yarn.  The answer?  Cables!  No matter which shade of Zauberball you chose, it will showcase the strong cable design.  As the colors flow, so will your stately cables!

Zauberball is a single ply yarn with a different “feel” than other plied yarns.  I firmly believe that every knitter and yarn have a get-acquainted period before reaching the zen moment when the stitches and yarn start to fly.  Every worthy yarn deserves a courtship, so enjoy getting to know this colorful beauty.  Because of the long color runs in Zauberball it is likely that you will not have identically striped socks.  I embrace this departure from the ordinary!

The pattern is written for one at a time sock knitting.  If you are a die hard two at a time knitter, wind off half of the skein into a second ball.  If you want the yarns to stripe in the same color sequence, the second ball of yarn must be rewound to run in the same direction as the original skein.

Gauge is very important when knitting any sock.  I have knit hundreds of socks and my experience tells me that a 64 stitch sock on #1 (2.5mm) needles is the formula for me so that is where I started.  Oh, how I hate to be wrong!  My first attempt at Cableship was with a #1 needle and too snug.  I knit the same sock on #2 (2.75mm) needles and the sizing is now perfect for me.  In the photo below, the blue sock on top was knit with #1’s and the lower green sock was knit with #2’s.  It’s amazing the difference made by a quarter of a millimeter!


I share my experience with you as a caution to the veterans who will jump in with their usual size needle.  Cableship is a bit firmer of a sock due to the cables, but it will also incorporate a rib based pattern to make it more forgiving.  If you have a go-to needle size, you may want to use one size larger.  For the diligent knitters who swatched, life is good and proceed with the needle determined by your gauge.

I think it is best to determine the size sock to knit by the circumference of your leg.  Measure about 4″ inches above the ankle and use this measurement to determine the best size option for you.  You can knit the foot to any length and the leg is knit to 6″ or shorter.  The medium size is the dreaded average women’s sock:)

Cableship is a toe up sock that begins with Judy’s Magic Cast On (JMCO).  My video is the most-watched tutorial of JMCO on Youtube.  I feel a bit sheepish about this since my video equipment has vastly improved since its debut.  This prompted me to film a new JMCO video in HD with clearer pictures and sound.  It includes the same instructions plus a few extra tips.  One of the tips is to work the toe increases using the make one stitch (which I use in Cableship) instead of a kfb.  Watch my new version and let me know what you think!

Once the toe is complete, begin the foot design over the first half of the stitches following the written or charted instructions.  The foot design is fairly simple once established because you will always knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches in between the cables.  It makes for fast knitting!   Take care to knit from the correct size instructions.  When using the charts, I like to color code the cable symbols for fast reading.  Below is pictured my color coding for the medium size.


Continue knitting the cable design over the foot until it measure 2″ less than the desired length ending after Round 4.  For example, if your actual foot is 9″ long then knit the sock to 7″.  (The heel will add the extra 2″ needed.)  If you are knitting with the magic loop or two circs, try the sock on your foot and assess the length from that vantage point.

Cableship’s foot is seen here below and ready for the heel.  Did I mention that we will be knitting a heel new to the series?  I can’t wait to share it with you!!!!

Happy knitting,



P.S.  The “bunchy” toe will smooth out on your foot:)

Part One

Click here to download printable version


  • Zauberball Socks, 75%wool/25%nylon, 100g/459 yards, 1 skein
  • US #2 (2.75mm) or size necessary to achieve desired gauge. Pattern may be knit with double points, two circular or Magic Loop method.  See Magic Loop Video
  • Cable needle
  • Two markers


8 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette


Women’s Small, Medium and Large.

Small – leg circumference measures approximately 5” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 10”.

Medium – leg circumference measures approximately 6” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 12”.

Large – leg circumference measures approximately 7” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 14”.


C4B (C2 over 2 Right) – slip next 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of work, knit next 2 stitches from left hand needle, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle. See Cables Video

 C4F (C2 over 2 Left) – slip next 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work, knit next 2 stitches from left hand needle, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle. See Cables Video

 M1L (Make One Left) – With left needle tip, lift strand between needles from front to back. Knit the lifted strand through the back. See Make One Video

 M1R (Make One Right) – With left needle tip, lift strand between needles from back to front. Knit the lifted strand through the front. See Make One Video


Directions are for Small (Medium, Large in parentheses when necessary).


Cast On – See Judy’s Magic Cast On Video

ALL Sizes

Using two needles, cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast On with 12 stitches on each needle.

Securing tail, knit all 24 stitches.


Toe Increases

If using one or two circular needle knitting method, increases are made at the beginning and end of each needle as follows:

Round 1. On 1st needle, k1, M1R, knit to last stitch on needle, M1L, k1.

On 2nd needle, k1, M1R, knit to last stitch on needle, M1L, k1.

Round 2. Knit all stitches.

If using double points, divide stitches evenly over 4 needles:

Round 1. K1, M1R, knit to last stitch on 2nd needle, M1L, k1. On 3rd needle, k1, M1R, knit to last stitch on 4th needle, M1L, k1.

Round 2. Knit all stitches.

All needle types: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until toe reaches 56 (64,72) stitches.


First 28(32, 36) stitches will form the instep (top of foot), with second 28(32, 36) stitches forming the sole.

Work appropriate size over instep stitches from written instructions (below) or from Instep Chart (following). Knit all sole stitches.

Continue knitting in pattern until foot measures 2” less than desired length of foot ending after Round 4.

(Example, if your actual foot measures 9” then knit sock to 7”.)


Instep – Small

Round 1. P1, k8, (p2, k2) twice, p2, k8, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 2. Same as Round 1.

Round 3. P1, C4B, C4F, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4B, C4F, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 4. Same as Round 1.

Round 5. Same as Round 1.

Round 6. Same as Round 1.

Round 7. P1, C4F, C4B, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4F, C4B, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 8. Same as Round 1.


Instep – Medium

Round 1. K1, p2, k8, (p2, k2) twice, p2, k8, p2, k1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 2. Same as Round 1.

Round 3. K1, p2, C4B, C4F, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4B, C4F, p2, k1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 4. Same as Round 1.

Round 5. Same as Round 1.

Round 6. Same as Round 1.

Round 7. K1, p2, C4F, C4B, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4F, C4B, p2, k1.

Round 8. Same as Round 1.


Instep – Large

Round 1. P1, k2, p2, k8, (p2, k2) twice, p2, k8, p2, k2, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 2. Same as Round 1.

Round 3. P1, k2, p2, C4B, C4F, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4B, C4F, p2, k2, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 4. Same as Round 1.

Round 5. Same as Round 1.

Round 6. Same as Round 1.

Round 7. P1, k2, p2, C4F, C4B, (p2, k2) twice, p2, C4F, C4B, p2, k2, p1. Knit all sole sts.

Round 8. Same as Round 1.

                                        Instep Chart – Small


                                         Instep Chart – Medium


                                             Instep Chart – Large



73 thoughts on “Cableship – Part 1

  1. For ease in counting along with the upcoming back of leg pattern, I would knit 4 more rows on the foot. Your heel will take up the excess length.

  2. I’ve knit the instep, to the correct length for my foot, but it ends on a Row 8. Does that mean I should take out four rows to end on row 4, or just leave it and continue on with the heel, remembering on my sock I ended on an 8th row?

  3. I wish I was sitting next to you to see exactly what the problem is for you. I suspect the problem may lie with the magic loop. Try watching that video to see if you are doing something wrong.

  4. i am dong the toe for cableship and no matter how tight i pull that 2nd stitch i have a gap…
    driving me crazy
    i am not new to knitting….
    i tried it again by knitting into the next stitch to increase instead of picking up but did not seem to make a difference…..

  5. The curious thing about tightening up stitches is that it is the stitch AFTER the loose stitch that will really tighten up the loose offender. Give the second stitch a firm tug and it will tighten the pesky purl stitch.

  6. I have a laddering/gap problem when beginning the round with a P1 at the instep. Prior to beginning the heel, I placed the beginning P1 stitch onto the sole needle. That helped a bit, but still did look as composed as the other side of the sock. I would like to knit the pattern as written and achieve consistency in the look of each sock; i.e., no gap. What do you recommend?

  7. Thanks for your suggestion of a lifeline, although I didn’t heed your advice, screwed up half way up the heel, carefully found my way back and then put in a lifeline! Ha ha, I think I’m so smart and always learn the hard way!

  8. Is it at all possible for you to send me part #2 because I never received it.

    thank you

  9. Just a hint to those on dpn going from two to four needles. I found it easier to knit the first six stitches onto the dpn then knit the next 6 on the needle they are already on. This kept the 4 needles in order. I found that switching from 2 to 4 needles before knitting the first six stitches caused my needles to get mixed up. Just my way of making it work.

  10. Hello Michelle!
    I was curious to know the names of the yarns you have pictured here.

  11. My foot length is 91/2 so I want to knit 71/2 but with the toe and the repeats doing to row 4 will make it 10″. Should I do 9″?

  12. Hi Michele,

    Just getting started on this KAL, when splitting the ball into 2 balls, do I rewind the first half off from the center or outside?


  13. Thank you! I have plenty of sock yarn, but I do want to see how it works out with this pattern and yarn. I also took a short class on cables last year, but I’m still new to it so this will be a new learning experience. But I love socks! I ordered a ball, should be here Wednesday! 🙂

  14. Hi Michelle,

    You will be pleased to know I finally finished “14 carat.” Pesky thumb held me up. Looks good. Wore it to church this am.

    Re socks: Love to do socks and the toe up. I have 2 skeins of yarn left over from the 14 carat, and I was wondering if that yarn would work too. I could make two pair, one with the ZB. I need to order it, since I can’t find it in a local yarn shop. AS always, thanks for the great instructions and patterns. Nancy

  15. Love this pattern – easy to memorize and is a fast knit. 2 inches left. Can’t wait to work a new heel!

  16. Divide your stitches among four needles evenly and then begin the decreases. I personally find the first few rounds easier on circular needles using the magic loop method, but lots of knitters work it out with dpsn.

  17. Zauberball is available at many local yarn shops and online retailers. You can knit with any fingering weight yarn that yields the stated gauge. Happy to have you along!

  18. Decided last minute to follow this kal. Didn’t want to wait for yarn to ship and local stores did not carry this brand. Drove 200 miles to halcyon yarn in Bath Maine and purchased last two skeins of crazy! Great foliage ride!! Bought two as want to knit pair for my sister. On goal to be done with week one by Thursday. Love the yarn!! Worth the trip.

  19. Hello, I just found out about this today at my Knitting Guild and I want to join in! Where did everyone get their yarn? Or can it be any sock yarn?
    Thanks, Shauna

  20. I am a relative beginner and have never made socks. I used the video to do Judy’s Magic Cast on, but since I am using double point and not circular needles, I do not know how to proceed to knit them. I am sure it is easy, I just don’t know what to do. thanks for your help!

  21. Hi,
    I’ve knitted cuff down socks on double points and double circs. These will be my first toe up socks and I’m trying magic loop for the first time as well. I’m wondering if I bit off more than I can chew. I’ve started the toe at least 3 times! I have long, loose stitches on each side of the toe and the knitting is a small rectangle shape. I’m wondering if I need to really tighten each side stitch? Thoughts? Thank you!

  22. Since I’m new to knitting socks and will be using magic loop does your instruction:

    ++++If using one or two circular needle knitting method, increases are made at the beginning and end of each needle as follows:

    Round 1. On 1st needle, k1, M1R, knit to last stitch on needle, M1L, k1.

    On 2nd needle, k1, M1R, knit to last stitch on needle, M1L, k1. ++++

    mean that first needle is the first half of the round of sock and the second needle is the second half of that round of the sock? That’s what it seems to me but I need to be sure since I’m a newbie. Thank you.
    (PS I’m sorry I cannot understand the instructions below for using HTML tags to do a block quote)

  23. I was recommended to do your KAL from Infinite Yarns in Farmingdale.
    I’ve never knit socks before, so this is all new to me.
    The closest I’ve come before was making a set of slippers by knitting all one flat piece and sewing it together.
    You’re videos are great for beginners, super easy to follow and very clear directions.
    Looking forward to next weeks part!

  24. Thanks for asking this question. My leg is also 9 Inches! I’miss knitting the medium but put in a lifeline on the last knit row just in case I decide I need the large size.u

  25. Hi Michelle, Thanks for a great video, however it did take me 3 times to finally get the toe right! its been over 3 years since I have knitted socks or used the Magic Loop method. You do such a wonderful job on your KAL’s. I’m unable to wear anything with wool so I’m knitting the KAL with a wool free sock yarn called “Naked Sock”

    Thank you.

  26. I am guessing that you are not picking up the running thread correctly for the make one on one side of the sock. Done incorrectly, it can create a hole. Try watching my Make One video to see if my suspicions are correct. You can send a pic to [email protected]

  27. I am concerned about a hole in one side of my toes and not the other so much. Can I send you a pic so you can advise?

  28. Thanks!
    Silly me….I should have known that you would have a tute for TAAT toe-up cast-on as well! What was I thinking??? Duhhhhh!

  29. Started my socks, 2 at a time and this yarn is delightful to work with. Thanks for this KAL . I have always had a passion for cables

  30. Thanks Michelle. I watched your video and I think I am doing it correctly. The holes aren’t big, so maybe they are normal. I will knit a few more rows and see what happens. Although I have been knitting for a long time, these are my first socks. I attended Kathy’s Fall Fling in Ligonier last year and really enjoyed your classes!

  31. Could it be your Make One stitches? If you are picking up the bar incorrectly it will leave a hole. That being said, there is a very tiny hole created in the process. Maybe the kfb increase would be better for you.

  32. I too am new to JMCO and magic loop knitting. Even though I’m snugging up my stitches I still have holes in the toes of my socks. What am I doing wrong?

  33. No special trick. The following stitch (3rd) will tighten up that loose second stitch. Things will firm up as you become more familiar with the technique. Good for you to stretch yourself!

  34. I am new to magic loop knitting and also to Judy’s magic cast on. I find that my second stitch in each row is enormous, even with careful snugging up of the yarn. Is there some trick I’m missing?

  35. You yarn is thicker and will result in larger, bulkier socks that may not fit in your shoes. You need fingering weight yarn – sorry:(

  36. Excited to start. Love your make 1 video. Have always avoided patterns when I see this. After an incident that involved the dramatic disposal of alpaca. Watched your video and was so happy to see how easy you make it. You really are a great teacher, thanks for the KAL and the chance to befriend cables and m1 incepreases.

  37. I bought a Zauberball Starke 6 at my local yarn shop this summer in anticipation of this KAL. It is 437yds and 150 g and recommends 3-4mm needles. Obviously a different yarn than the one you used, which I didn’t realize at the time! Can I use it for this KAL or should I order the one you used? If it can be used, what else would need to be adapted? Thanks.

  38. I got Zauberball Crazy and I cannot find a color repeat in the same sequence anywhere in my skein. Are the repeats in some standardized order in the regular Zauberball?

  39. Thank you. I will probably do one sock at a time since it’s been awhile since I did a sock. As far as the instep instructions, is it going to be the top or back needle for the first 32 stitches. Just trying to imagine how this works. Do you have a video referencing this part?

  40. Hi / I’m excited to get started …. determining the size ??? I measured 4″ above my ankle and it measures 9″ – I don’t think I have a large leg …. and everyone in my group doesn’t even come close to the 5″, 6″, or 7″ – should we determine the size according to the unstretched size of 10″, 12″, 14″? Thank you.

  41. You can catch up on the second sock and place them both on the same circular needle. I prefer a 40″ length circ for two at a time knitting. If this is your first sock, you may consider working them one at a time.

  42. Hello, I just read the comment and watched the video about two at a time toe up socks. I had already started with just the one sock, and already have 24 stitches on each needle. Is it too late to use another skein and begin doing the two at a time (I’m thinking yes).

    Thank you.

  43. 1. Check out my Two at a Time Toe Up Socks video to successfully cast on.
    2. If you are comfortable with no cable needle then you may continue that practice in the sock. I didn’t use a cable needle in my sample socks:)

  44. Can’t wait to cast on, but I have 2 questions:
    1. I intend to use your Judy’s Magic Cast On and knit 2 at a time, so how do I secure the last stitch on the first sock toe before casting on for the second sock toe?
    2. I use and love knitting cables using your method where a cable needle is not used. Is that technique appropriate for this KAL? Please say yes, as I hate using a cable needle!!!


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