I like to have my cables tell a story.
Not a literal story, with characters and conflict. I mean a logical progression through an introduction, development of the action, climax, denouement, and conclusion.
The introduction and the conclusion are the beginning and end of the cable in the knitted piece–if a cable panel is designed as a continuous repeat, the introduction and conclusion have to solve the problem of how the repeat is broken at the shoulder, neck, and hem. If it’s a motif centered against a plain background, the introduction and conclusion problems have already been solved.
The climax isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of the cable (um, if there is an exciting part of a cable, I suppose it would be the row with the most cable crossings), but it’s likely the focal point of the cable, or the function it’s meant to fulfill, like a cable meant to add body shaping or a border.
The development and denouement link the introduction and conclusion to the focal point, and are obviously not as exciting, but are just as necessary.
This probably explains why I’ve never completed a “traditional” Aran style sweater. I just can’t, because the introduction and conclusion are too abrupt and the cables don’t have any purpose besides acting as texture fills, meaning there’s no distinction between the climax and the denouement. I’ve started such sweaters, and never finished. I even have a St Brigid that will never be finished, and it might even be for that reason, although to my mind the principal cables in that design do have a “point” to them (the other possible reason I won’t finish it is the sheer size of the thing–the smallest size is still rather large on me, and I started that sweater years ago before I gave sizing very much thought) . I’m sure some day I will complete one (a traditional-style sweater, not St Brigid in particular), but I don’t know if I’ll like it very much.
This also might explain the plot, so to speak, in the hood of Rogue. See the part of the hood where the cables stop interweaving as a mesh, and pairs of cables twist for a single repeat before they rejoin as a mesh again? I made a deliberate decision to add that. For some reason, while knitting the prototype, I fixed on the notion that if the hood border continued as an uninterrupted woven mesh, I wouldn’t be able to hear things properly while wearing the hood.
No, I’m not delusional, and I don’t think the sweater is soundproof, or even that the additional density of fabric induced by a high frequency of cable twists would muffle noise. I was just captured by some fanciful idea that things that were trapped in nets might be able to escape between bars, so I needed to provide some bars just in case. I think those cable pairs occur at a point above the ears, but the fact that they were included somewhere in the border was enough to address this concern.
Some people think traditional fishermen’s sweaters were designed to allow families to identify drowned bodies, and link traditional cable designs to values like wealth and love. Maybe I think that cables increase your armour class but adversely affect your ability to cast arcane spells.
That makes sense–if arcane spellcasting is affected by cables, but divine spells aren’t. Druids cast divine spells. Ancient Celts had a Druid class. Celtic descendants introduced cables into their knitting repertoire (although that was long, long after the Druids). I like to design cables derived from Celtic art. See? It all fits, and clearly I should shut off this stream of consciousness now before it’s too late.