Tips and Tricks: Five Ways to Make 1/1RC

I’m almost ready to publish the Swatch Clue for Flywheel!  I’m getting really excited about this M-KAL.  I’ve had four knitters test-knit the entire pattern in “clue by clue” format — they have all finished, and their work is spectacular!

In preparation for swatching, I wanted to talk about some different ways to make a 1/1RC.  This stitch shows up in several clues for this shawl, and I came up with five different methods, including one introduced to me by test knitter Mary B.  I made a video, but I’ll also write a short description of each variation below.

Here’s the stitch definition I use for the stitch in question:

1/1 RC: Slp 1 st to CN and hold to back of work; k1, then k1 from CN.

In essence, you are working the next two stitches out of order, with the 2nd stitch on the left needle crossing in front of the 1st stitch on the left needle.


Method #1: Use a Cable Needle

In this method, you follow the stitch definition literally — you get your cable needle and do exactly, precisely what the stitch definition says.  The only problem?  It’s super awkward to use a cable needle with just one stitch (at least it is for me).

Method #2: Cable Without a Cable Needle

There are lots of tutorials on how to cable without a cable needle in general.  (I like Grumperina’s picture tutorial.) To make a 1/1RC without a cable needle, follow these steps:

1. Hold yarn to front, slip 1 st from left to right.

2. Knit 1 st.

3. From the back, insert left needle into JUST the slipped stitch.

4. Pinch both stitches, to prevent unraveling — pull the right needle out of both stitches, and insert it through JUST the worked stitch.

5. Knit 1 st (the previously-slipped stitch).

Method #3: Work Out of Order

I would say this is my go-to method for working 2-st cables in general. There’s no slipped back and forth, so you don’t have to worry about dropped stitches or whether the yarn should be in front or back. It doesn’t work for bigger cables, but for this it’s just fine! It does involve a little finagling to get your needle into each stitch, so pointy needles are your friend. It goes something like this:

1. Knit the 2nd stitch on the left needle (leave both stitches on the needle for now.)

2. Knit the 1st stitch on the left needle.

3. Slide both stitches off the left needle.

Method #4: Twist

This is the only method that results in a slightly different topology.  Because the right-most stitch is worked twice, it is a little more bulky. It looks *almost* the same, but not quite, and because of that it’s not my favorite.  But, it totally works, and in some situations that’s just fine.  Swatch and find out if you share my opinion (or not!).  Thusly:

1. K2tog, but leave both stitches on the needle for now.

2. Knit the 1st stitch on the left needle.

3. Slide both stitches off the left needle.

Method #5: Swap

This is the new-to-me method, and I love it!  So clever.  Thanks again to Mary for bringing it to my attention. It works like this:

1. Slip 2 sts together, as if to k2tog.

2. Return both sts to left needle, in their new orientation.

3. K-tbl twice.

DONE!  Is that cool or what?