X is always a tricky letter for this kind of exercise. Apple, ball, cat, xylophone? There’s not that much choice for the alphabetically inclined. Letterland decided that “kissing cousins” was the way around that problem, which always bemused me a bit. Of course, science has plenty of x words to choose from, x-axis, x-space, x-rays, but they’re not very fibre crafty. Luckily, there’s an X themed knitting pattern to the rescue, the XO, or hugs and kisses cable.
The XO cable is a cable that looks like XOXOXOXO. Fancy that! It’s one of the standard cable stitches you’ll find in most stitch dictionaries, and in various places online.
The stitches are worked as two mirrored columns of 6 to 8 stitches each. To make an X, you twist the cable of each column in (i.e. the outer stitches are to the front), and then out (i.e. the inner stitches are to the front). An O is made by twisting out then in. So to make an XO you twist in, out, out, in.
The XO cable is a lovely, big squishy cable that looks good in a variety of patterns. The above photo is a picture of my Milo socks, from Sock Innovation, and you can see how the sequence of twists creating the pattern. What I managed not to capture are the places where I twisted out instead of in, or in instead of out, throwing a few oddly shaped C’s into the mix. I made these while I was writing my thesis, which I think is a recent event, but is now almost exactly three years ago. Even still, my Milos are some of my hardest wearing socks, keeping their shape after all these years.
I finished a pair of socks this afternoon, and needed (yes, needed) to cast on another, so I’ve decided to make another Milo, this time in brown yarn. Hopefully by the end of May I will have a nice neat string of hugs and kisses ready to show you.