Cables without a cable needle

I LOVE the cable look and I think I’m almost ready to try an easy cable piece.

But I don’t have a cable needle yet.

After watching the how-to video, it looks simple enough.

But is it?

Do you cable with a regular needle, or do you use a cable needle? Which would be easier for a beginner cabler? Do you have any tips for a first-timer?


Cabling is simple, although it can feel a little clumsy at first. I would say get a cable needle or two; they come in different sizes and, while you could use other things to substitute, it is nice to have several in your knitting bag. Wow - good luck! I can’t wait to see pictures! :slight_smile:

(My only tip would be that when I knit off the cable needle, I tend to get a little tight… I try to make a habit of not getting too tight and too tense when I’m knitting off the cable needle so I don’t make it harder for myself than it needs to be!)

I use a cable needle if I only need to make a few cables. I learned to cable without one when I decided to make a sweater with a lot of cables in it. Part of how hard or easy cabling without a cable needle is depends on the complexity of the cable itself. I didn’t find it that difficult to learn, but I also had made cables with a cable needle before.

I think it may be a good idea to start with a cable needle. You can use a DPN in place of one if you don’t have one, or even anything small and rod shaped that’s smooth enough. (On a project with small stitches, I used a toothpick once.)

If you only need to cross 1 or 2, maybe 3 sts you can do it without a cable needle, but you really don’t need a [COLOR=Red]“Cable Needle”[/COLOR]. You can use chopsticks, a dpn, straightened out paper clip, a skewer - anything that’s smaller than the working needles and use it to hold the stitches.

I have never used a cable needle and I’ve done cables for years.

You just need something to hold a few sts while you knit the next few. I use a dpn or a crochet hook. If it’s something straight, it’s better if it’s the same or even a bit thicker than the needles you’re knitting with, otherwise it tends to fall out.

My favorite cable needle is… [drum-roll] a bent bobby-pin. No kidding! You can loop it through your work to keep it always handy because it has that dip in the middle; you put your cable stitches onto it via the wavy-bent tip, then knit those stitches off the smooth side - no worry about twisting!

And if you lose it or one of those end-cushionomg thingys come off, you just… grab another bobby pin and spread it open!

Best of all is the price.

Hope this helps,

My favorite cable needle is a bamboo DPN. I have several sets of “real” cable needles, but I find the bent ones to be more trouble than they’re worth. The bamboo grabs the yarn just enough to not let it slip off.