Meander wrap

Woman wearing large cable wrap in a variegated red and burgundy yarn
© The Knitter Magazine 2014

A cosy wrap

My latest hand-knit design, Meander, is published by The Knitter in issue 68. It is a wrap, knitted using Lima Colour from Rowan Yarns. Although Lima Colour is an Aran-weight yarn its chain construction makes it light and airy. It is spun from alpaca, wool and nylon. This makes it a wonderfully cosy yarn – a delight with which to knit! The wrap is knitted in Rosario (shade 712); there are four other shades in the Lima Colour range, all of which have subtle changes of colour. You could also use the original Lima yarn, available in 14 shades.

Meander wrap, The Knitter, p. 65
© The Knitter Magazine 2014

I used a variety of double cables in this wrap in a random arrangement. I know that many knitters avoid cable designs, thinking that they look complicated. However, most of them, the Meander wrap included, are easy to knit.

What do those abbreviations mean?

There are only two types of cable stitch used in the Meander Wrap. These are cable 4 front (C4F) and cable 4 back (C4B).

  • C4F: slip two stitches onto a cable needle and hold it in front of your knitting whilst you knit the next two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
  • C4B: slip two stitches onto a cable needle and hold it at the back of your knitting whilst you knit the next two stitches, then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.

The technique is the same whether you knit left- or right-handed. What is different is the direction in which the stitches move when the cable is finished. So for someone who knits left-handed the stitches will move to the left when they work a C4B while for someone who knits right-handed they will move to the right. Meander is a simple pattern, so there are no charts, but I have included some below to help you visualise the different cables. Here is a key for the symbols that I use in this post.

What is a double cable?

Double cables are formed by working two columns of cables with no background stitches between them. The other characteristic is that the pairs of cables are mirrored so that in the first cable the stitches move to the left and the second to the right or vice versa.


If you repeat the same double cable you will make what is often called a horseshoe cable in which stitches branch away from the centre (horseshoe cable 1) or towards the centre (horseshoe cable 2).

Charts for knitting right-handed

Or you could alternate the two types of double cable to produce a circle cable, or work each type of double cable twice to make an OXO cable.

Charts for knitting right-handed

How to knit random cables

Meander wrap, The Knitter, p. 67
© The Knitter Magazine 2014

A couple of years ago, I knitted swatches of the various double cable patterns. I became curious about what would happen if the orientation of each pair of cables were random rather than planned. I wondered if the resulting fabric would look good enough to use. It’s really difficult to deliberately create truly random patterns. So, I experimented with tossing a coin. Whenever I threw ‘heads’ I worked one type of double cable and ‘tails’ I worked another. The result is an interesting cable pattern that is quite easy to knit. All the double cable patterns I described above appear and disappear. And of course, there are so many possible combinations of ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ that most people knitting this will create a unique wrap.

It probably would not surprise you to learn that I was a scientist; my degree was in biochemistry. As a biochemist, I looked for patterns and had to work out if an apparent pattern was due to chance or some biochemical event. This throw has many apparent patterns, but in this instance, they are all due to chance!

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