I love how geometric cables can be. Often we only see cables being used in more intricate, ornate ways but they can just as easily be used to create crisp geometry. That’s what I was doing with The Arcade cap. It starts at the headband with standard 2 by 2 ribbing. From here several columns of the ribbing continue up as stockinette columns. Then you can use cables to start arching the columns towards each other. Each set of columns begins arching in after the previous ones has finished.
Finishing the Arch
Now, just because you can arch the columns with cables, that isn’t going to finish off the top of the arch. To finish off the arch you use a term in cable design called a ‘closed loop’ cable technique. It decreases all of the stitches very rapidly and then immediately changes from a knit stitch to a purl stitch. This give the illusion of a loop being closed when in fact you’ve just decreased and changed the stitch!
From the Harmony Guides 22o Aran Stitches and Patterns you can see how this ‘closed loop’ technique can be used to create loops at the side of a cable, that appear to grow out of nowhere and then disappear on the top. On the bottom you will change a stitch from a purl to a knit and increases it very rapidly then you will close the top as I’ve described above.
Closed loops are a very clever way of making cables look more complex than they are. However in the Arcade hat it’s used to different effect to create arches with the cables that close at the top.
Working the Decrease
The main skill needed for the top of the cable is the ability to work a tidy, large decrease. For odd number of decrease stitches you will slip the first one (or two stitches), work the middle one and then begin passing one stitch over the central stitch one at a time, alternating between sides. For an even number of stitches you’ll slip the first one (or two stitches), knit 2 stitches together at the centre and then start passing stitches from each side over, one at a time, alternating.
What you are trying to do is create a central stitch that all the other stitches decrease neatly around.
If you’d like to see a video of this in action you can check out the video on the MDK blog here.