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Habu Textiles

This pullover might look complicated, but it's just stockinette stitch with randomly placed, randomly sized cables. Each instantiation of the pattern is unique, and it’s very forgiving: if you make a “mistake”, just forget about it and keep going!

The idea to randomize cables comes from Lucy Neatby's beautiful “Cables After Whiskey” sweater, but the additional randomization of the branch sizes and the sparseness of the cables gives this garment a more organic feel.

The yarn used is very fine silk with an even finer steel wire inside. The tiny steel wire inside the yarn gives the fabric body, so with a different yarn the results won't be the same. If you do substitute, at least use a yarn that is very fine relative to the needles. You want a very open fabric so that the stitches that cross behind the fabric show through and the result has visual depth.

I think the fabric looks like a fishing net, or seaweed washed up on the beach. I named it after the edible seaweed better known as kombu.

model: Kie Zuraw photos: Sherry Skipper, Bryan Zuraw, and Kie Zuraw

XS [S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X] (shown in size M)

Chest: 29[33.5, 38, 42.5, 47, 51.5, 56] inches
Length: 19.5[20, 20.25, 20.5, 20.75, 21, 21] inches

Habu Textiles silk stainless [69% silk, 31% stainless steel; 622yd/566m per 1oz/28g cone]; color: #03 top grey; 2[2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3] ounces

Recommended needle size:
1 set US #6/4mm straight needles
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

19 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Approx. 31 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Note: Gauge is rather flexible in this fabric.


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

Download the Excel file for your size.

It uses random numbers to create a unique pattern every time you open, print, or change it. No row is dependent on any other row, so it’s fine to start knitting, then reopen the file and continue under the new version.

If you reload the pattern in the middle of a row and the new directions don’t quite fit, don’t worry about it; just make a cable or two somewhere in the row and keep going.

If you are unable to use the Excel spreadsheets, download and print the PDF file for your size. We saved one instance of the spreadsheet for each size, so the numbers in each pdf are the numbers that were generated when we opened the spreadsheets; they were not specifically chosen. If you don't like the way the numbers are working up, change them as you see fit.

The cable abbreviations in this pattern are written in the form n-front-m and n-back-m, where n and m are numbers between 1 and 9. They are worked as follows:

Slip next n stitches to cable needle and hold to front of work; knit m stitches from working needle, then knit n stitches from cable needle.

Slip next n stitches to cable needle and hold to back of work; knit m stitches from working needle, then knit n stitches from cable needle.


Using the Excel file or the PDF file below for your size, make two sleeves, a front, and a back. The front and back are the same shape.

Editor's note: This is a fun, unorthodox approach to the creation of a truly random-numbered pattern. The spreadsheet can be opened with Excel as well as a number of free utilities, including Google Docs. Just type "open .xls files" into the box on our search page and you'll find an assortment of options to try. Please use caution when downloading applications from the Internet. Knitty provides this information only to assist you. Knitty and the designer of this pattern are not responsible for technical support and are not responsible if your computer should blow up, self destruct or anything else as a result of the use of this spreadsheet or any application you use to open it. Knit safe, people.

If you are unable to use the Excel spreadsheet, the PDF version will also give you great results with about as little fuss as is possible when it comes to technology.

Excel spreadsheet:


Gently but thoroughly stretch each piece lengthwise and widthwise to open up all stitches.

Sew about an 11-inch shoulder seam on each side—before weaving in ends, try it on and see if you want the neck hole bigger or smaller and adjust the length of the shoulder seams accordingly.

Sew sleeve seams.

Sew tops of sleeves to sides of front and back, then sew down the rest of the side seams.


Kie is a phonologist in Los Angeles.