Fixing Wrong-Crossed Cables
Compensating for Cable Splay(Flare)
Cable splay is the flare you see in the non-cabled knitted fabric below or above a cable section.
It is caused by the fact that knitting cables pulls knitted fabric together width-wise, making that section of the knitted piece narrower; e.g. where you might have a gauge of 6 sts per inch[2.5cm] of knitted fabric in stockinette stitch, you might have 7.5 or 8 sts per inch[2.5cm] in a cabled fabric.
The only way to find out how much width you lose it to knit a swatch and find out your gauge for both your “regular” stitch pattern and your cabled stitch pattern. Once you know the difference in gauges, you can add sufficient extra stitches just before the cabled section and remove those extra stitches as you finish the cabled section.
Edit: April 2016 – There is a more detailed blog post here.
Edit: April 2016 – the links below are no longer available; they have been removed by the hosting website
As you may imaging, there are many differing points of view on this subject. As an example, here are some entries from the Comments section on the Knitter’s Magazine site:
~ casting on only half the sts for each cable
~ a “formula” from Meg’s (Swanson?) knitting camp
~ considering crossings, yarn and purl ditches