We had a call from #2 son last night after choir practice. He is having a good time, but it would be better, he felt, if there were less working and more playing. I daresay we’ve all felt like that at some point.

There was a whole lot of playing at work yesterday, but it was still quite hard work. It was really, really crowded. Some of you live in places where it always looks like this, but I assure you that we were breaking the fire code. If, that is, you can break a code. I am not sure. In any case, I was the one flitting about helping people find things and collecting slips for door prize drawings and bringing water to the vendors and so on, and I felt like Indiana Jones making his way through a souk, if souk is what I mean. And it might not be. I can’t help but feel that there ought to be an “h” in it somewhere.

It was fun. People were catching up with old friends, and nearly all of my kids’ former teachers were there, so I got to do a lot of “My, how you’ve grown!” kinds of conversations, too. Definitely a party atmosphere. There was, as there always is in any group of educators, a certain amount of moaning over No Child Left Behind, surely the most ill-considered piece of legislation since Prohibition. But overall, I think a good time was had by all.

Here is a large picture of the second bawk. I am using a meld of the two patterns I’ve mentioned before. I am giving you a big picture in hopes that you will be able to see the cable.

One of my bad habits is that of deciding what I am doing as the project goes along, instead of planning it properly beforehand. I will not give you any justifications of this. If you share this bad habit, then you already have justifications on tap. If you do not share it, then you will not be convinced.

Be that as it may, my decision to make this bawk with a main pattern of 2×2 rib is resulting in a nice springy fabric. But the original bawk pattern calls for a 3×3 cable. Clearly, a 2×2 rib cannot segue smoothly into a 3×3 cable. But you can do what I did. You can pick out six stitches — k2, p2, k2 — for your cable. Then you put the first two k stitches on your cabling needle and hold it in front, p1, and k the two off the cabling needle. Put the remaining purl stitch on the cabling needle, hold it in back, k 2, and purl the stitch off the cabling needle. You will now have p1, k4, p1 in place of the six original stitches. On a ground of 2×2 rib, it will be p3, k4, p3.

Cable the four knit stitches in the usual way. The next time you get to the cable section, reverse the process I just described to get back to the k2, p2, k2. That is, hold the purl stitch before the cable to the back of the work, knit 2, and purl the stich off the cabling needle. Then hold the next two knit stitches in front and p1, then knit the two stitches off the cabling needle. Do six rows in 2×2 ribbing and start over.

The result is a nice fat little cable. I hope that clicking on the picture will allow you to see it clearly, in spite of the variegated yarn. I have not seen it collected anywhere, so I do not know its name, but it will allow you to put a 3×3 cable into 2×2 ribbing, if you should ever want to do a daft thing like that.

You can see that I am doing this on circular needles. If you are working on the flat, the directions will be the same, but referring just to the knit side. Whenever you are working on the flat with cables, the purl side is knitted as presented — that is, you knit all the k stitches and purl all the ps. Unless you are doing Viking knitting, in which case you haul out your bronze helmet (no horns, please — that was the Celts), grit your teeth, and follow the chart. I did my cable in successive rows, without plain rows in between, to make it look more like an ordinary 3×3 cable. If you work it on the flat, it will look more like a lozenge cable.