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Howdy, cabled sock-knitters!

You’ve made it very clear that you’re smitten with Fatimah Hinds’s interchangeable cables that plug into any of her fabulous sock designs in MDK Field Guide No. 27: Sock Odyssey.  For each pattern, toe-up or cuff-down, you choose the cable. You are the captain of your ship as it sails the sea of socks. Nobody can tell you anything.

You’ve also made it clear that you want to see exactly what each of those six interchangeable cable charts looks like when it’s knitted up. The pristine, carefully laid-out charts on pages 38-39 are not—I repeat NOT—sufficient unto your needs. You want to see how those cables look in real life. So, let’s get to it.

See the Cables

The socks that were photographed for Field Guide No. 27 used all six of the cables that are charted on pages 38-39, so you can see each of the charted panels in living sock-ness! They are all right there in the Field Guide.

How do you know which cables were used for which socks in the photos? In the introduction to each sock pattern, we call out which cables appear in each of the sample socks.

If you’re wondering how any of the cables looks knitted up, you can find your cable in those introductions. Or you can clip and save this post, because I’m going to tell you (and show you) which cables are which, in alphabetical order.

Reminder: all of these cable panels are 6 stitches wide. Fatimah did so much with those six little stitches!

Cable A

Let’s hear it for Cable A!



Cable A shines in this version of the Cuff-Down Yak-Silk Socks:

Cable B

Mighty Cable B!

Cable B is the opposite of Cable A: Cable B’s twists turn inward, where Cable A’s twists turn outward.

Cable B alternates with Cable A in the Toe-Up Knee Socks.

See how one cable turns toward its center, while the other turns outward? It’s a very cool effect.


Cable C

Shout out to Cable C!

Cable C is the star of this version of the Cuff-Down Tweed Socks; it has a snazzy, slanty vibe.

Cable D

Cable D, come on down!

Perhaps the simplest cable in the Field Guide, Cable D has an undeniable elegance—long, sinuous, and nothing but knit stitches. It looks great in this version of the Toe-Up Lace Socks.

Cable E

Go Cable E!

With a center slot formed of purl stitches, Cable E alternates with Cable D in this version of the Cuff-Down Yak-Silk Socks:

Can you spot them? In both socks, Cable E (with slot) is on the left, Cable D (no slot) is on the right.

Cable F

F is for fancy!


Cable F, shown here in the Toe-Up Lace Socks, has a center filled with mini-cables, which are just stacks of two twisted stitches. A great effect for minimal effort. The mini-cables help you count rows between the twists of the large outside cable.

Save It for Later

Keep this post handy: save it in your MDK account.

Curious About the Yarns?

All the sock names in red link to the pattern page for each design, where you’ll find the yarns and lots more information.

yellow cable swatches were knitted by Kay Gardiner; she would like a belvita please.


  • This post is awesome! Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to make these samples and to connect them to the photos in the field guide and to the charts. I’ve only made one cable before — a cozy for a mug. But now, I feel really encouraged. You are a star, Kay! Saved this.

    • Can you make a pdf so we can print this fabulous cheat sheet?

  • Thank you!

  • I knitted my first sock. I knitted my first cable. Field Guide 27 has unlocked that stubborn little part of my mind that has said. “Socks? Nah…”, “Cables? Nah…” There will be no more of that! Thank you all. Also smitten with the photography

    • Congratulations! Cables open up a whole new world in knitting.

      • Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity explanation! Saving it right now to refer to later.

  • Thank you Kay. This is a very helpful visual !

  • Ok, this does it I’m getting the book! Fantastic explanations!

  • Thank you Kay! This is so helpful

  • I am not a sock knitter but love the look of Cable D next to the faggotted lace. Might use it for a scarf/cowl/fingerless mitt instead, a great resource – for me – of this Field Guide.

  • Nicely done. –I chose Cable A from the get go because it looked like it was easiest. And now, leg done, I can finally agree that if you make these socks you will learn how to make (at least a 1/2) cable without a cable needle! That has been revelatory for me.

  • Plus, I love the introduction….Cable D, come on down! Gosh, I may be seduced into cables, not by design, or sox, but by verbiage.

    • Yes they (Ann & Kay) really have a knack to drawwww usss innnnn Such great writing. Warm like a true knitting buddy with an unlimited selection of delicious tea

  • Thanks, Kay! The swatches are great. I love cables and can’t wait to knit up one of these beautiful socks. Just looking for the perfect yarn.

  • Great explanation gathering all the design ideas together, so clear. Thanks Kay!

  • Thank you!!!

  • Love this lay out. Thank you for the cable patterns and graphs.
    I like to add a cable here and there in my knits. I just knit up a tee and added a simple cable down the 3/4 sleeves.
    It just adds a personal touch.

  • Brilliant. Thank you so much. This page gets a bookmark. No no

  • It is magical, this set of unique 6-stitch cables. I plan to make pairs and pairs of Fatimah’s DK socks. _love_
    PS – I had to search Belvita lol. Would you like Cinnamon or blueberry…

  • Didn’t know I needed this until I saw it. Thank you!

  • Great job!! Thanks for this. As a relatively not new, but inexperienced knitter, can cables be put in anything?

    • Well I’m sure there are places you can’t put a cable, but in general, you can put a cable into any plain knitted fabric. Cables tend to pull fabric in (and the more twists, the more exaggerated this effect is), so sometimes you have to add more stitches to maintain the size of the garment. Fatimah figured that all out for these cables and these socks, so the knitter can substitute cables without a care.

  • Kay, I mean this in the most human way possible. I love you ❤️. Thank you for doing this, it helps me so much! I am a very visual person, and I was struggling to choose which cables I was going to use. You’ve just made everything so much easier!

    I will give you all the cookies!!

  • I’m going to try them all! And then, mix and match ! Such fun. Thank you for the cable cheat sheet!

  • Embarrassed to say, Loved the class but simply not in mood to try cables right now BUT am anxious to use the yarn I purchased. Possible to make socks without the cables?

  • I love cables!
    Am I right in thinking cable B is basically just cable A upside-down?

  • Thank you. The thing for me is seeing the designs in one visual space. I struggled trying to go from the graphs to the sample socks with my non-spatial brain.

  • I should have known. I am sorry! I am one of the folks who requested this. I was not expecting such a lovely, thorough layout (“ I should have known”#1). When I looked at my “Sock Odyssey” field guide, I looked at the photos and looked at the cable charts. I generally don’t read a pattern until I decide to knit it. I did the same in this case and was mortified to see “in the introduction to each sock pattern we call out which cable pattern appears in each sample sock” ( “I should have known” #2 and “mea culpa”). MDK does such a lovely job on each Field Guide that’s why I was surprised it wasn’t included when, in fact, it was ‍♀️. All that being said, Kay this is a fabulous tool, not only for the Field Guide, but to put in my Knitting Journal and infinite other locations. Thank you SO much for the time and effort you put into this post. Lesson learned : read pattern first. By the way, your stitches/samples are lovely Atlas, I presume? Thank you again!

  • Thanks so much for the cheat sheet. I have started the cuff down tweed sock and have hit a road bump. As you start the cable part of the pattern., it shows a two row repeat. All cables show at least 4 row repeat. I am confused about what to do and am stuck until I figure this out. I have emailed Fatimah but no response yet.. any suggestions. Thanks so much.

  • Perfect timing as I start the first pair! Thank you so much for this.

  • Ok, now I really, really have to break down and order this Field Guide! Thank you Kay for making this look so enticing and inviting.

  • Belvita awarded (virtually) to Kay! Love this post and your effort to help the visual learners in the crowd. 😉

  • I’d love to save this post — not much of a sock knitter but I do love cables.
    However, I don’t see the usual “save” icon.
    Am I missing something

    • Hey Barbara. Ooh! I know this one. The save icon is available when you are logged in to your account.

  • This is well and truly ABOVE and indeed BEYOND!!! Thank you so much Kay. Now I must knit all of them! X

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