Updated: Jun 21, 2022
Join us for a whistle-stop tour of the Two Hour Mug Hug by Roxanne Yeun and provide you with some top tips for cable knitting. The Two Hour Mug Hug pattern will help you create a fantastic knitted mug cover, perfect for keeping hot drinks warm in those chilly winter months. You can also watch on the Crafty Llama YouTube channel for a handy video tutorial.
Pattern: 2 Hour Mug Hug by Roxanne Yeun
Yarn: Any DK yarn
What is Cable Knitting?
Cable knitting is the process of knitting stitches out of order, causing each stitch to cross over another and create a raised cable effect in your garment.
There are several different types of cables, the most basic being the rope cable, where two strands cross each other to resemble a rope. The Two Hour Mug Hug pattern uses this technique to create a sturdy mug cover that won’t slip off.
The pattern only uses one cable abbreviation, C8F. Although the abbreviations used in cable knitting might seem daunting at first, they’re quite straightforward once you understand what they mean - C8F stands for ‘cable 8 front’. The ‘8’ represents the total number of stitches in your cable while ‘front’ is where you hold your stitches. This cable is made of two different strands, so simply slip four stitches onto your cable needle in front of your work. The opposite instruction would be ‘C8B’, which requires the stitches to be held at the back of your cable needle work. These two abbreviations determine whether your cable will twist to the right or left by changing which strand is crossing over at the front of your work. Holding your stitches at the front makes your cable twist to the left while holding your stitches at the back makes the cable twist to the right.
Top tip: Use sticky notes to remember these abbreviations until you’ve memorised them. That way, you only need to glance at the sticky notes instead of searching through a pattern to find out whether there’s an abbreviations section.
When it comes to cable knitting patterns, always read the abbreviations and instructions written by the designer. Sometimes they may use slightly different terminology and most designers will explain how many stitches to hold on your cable needle, as well as where to hold them.
It’s generally recommended that you should use a cable needle that is the same size as your knitting needles, or slightly smaller. Using a larger cable needle may help stop your stitches from sliding off, but it’s also likely to stretch your stitches and make your mug cover, or any cable knitted design, less sturdy.
If you find that your stitches keep sliding off your cable needle, try a different style needle. There are several different styles to choose from, including ‘V’ cable needles (pictured) and ‘U’ shaped cable needles. Alternatively, try using a double-pointed needle (DPN) if your yarn is slippery. A bamboo DPN or wooden DPN will create more friction with the yarn, keeping your stitches in place.
The Mug Cover Pattern
Roxanne Yeun’s Two Hour Mug Hug knitting pattern is great for those new to cable knitting, as well as being a great project for stash busting. Mug covers are ideal gifts for friends and family, be it as birthday or Christmas gifts. Each project only takes a couple of hours and can be easily customised to create unique cover patterns.
Tip: Don’t forget to use a row counter (or keep a tally) to track progress!
The pattern suggests binding and blocking the mug cover as otherwise it will be fairly stretchy. If you aren’t familiar with the process, simply steam or wet the finished piece and gently stretch it into the desired shape, then pin it into position until dry. The blocking process is especially useful for accentuating lace aspects of your knitting, if used. Once done, your mug cover will become more relaxed and consistent, and only needs to be sewn up at the seam. Remember to leave space for the handle if your mug has one!
If you’ve found this blog helpful and give Roxanne’s pattern a go, tag Crafty Llama on Instagram so we can see your amazing mug covers. All of the tools you need to complete this project are available in our Knitting Shop.