Cables WITHOUT cable needle?

I got the book “At Knit’s End - Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much” from the library and there was a little snippet in there that reeeeally interested me. She mentioned something about doing cables WITHOUT a cable needle, and that once mastered it is way faster and more efficient. But she didn’t say how. Anyone know???

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is so funny and so true. A great fun read. :thumbsup:

From what I understand, you’re really just slipping the stitches off the needle and holding them with your thumb instead of putting them on the cable needle.

I googled and found this:
Looks simple enough, haven’t tried it yet though!

I’m thinking you just have to careful not to tug on the work too much or the sts will unwind. :?? Personally though - I like my cable needle :wink:

I agree. I like the security. I’m sure that the moment I free up those stitches, the cat will jump on my lap and all will be lost!

Yep :wink: And for some reason, non-knitters get extra dazzled when they see a cable needle in the mix. And let’s not even mention dpn’s! :lol: It just makes me feel all extra special and phenominal and stuff … :rofling:

:roflhard: How true, how true! Knitting on dpns dazzles the crowd!! :roflhard:

I don’t know if you looked at the link I gave, but it seems like the stitches that are dropped are put back onto the needle as soon as they are off, so I wouldn’t think you’d need to worry too much about it unraveling. I’ll have to give it a try! :thinking:

The last cable project I did involved cotton…so I wasn’t about to try it. But my next will be wool, and I’m definitely going to give it a try! :thumbsup:

Kewl - let us know how you like it. The only reason I mention the unraveling is because when I used a cn shaped like this, my sts would fall off and unravel. Maybe it was so easy for them to unravel b/c I’m a tight knitter :?? Anyhoo … I use this shape now and love it because I can hook on my collar when I’m not using it. :wink:

Well, I did it and I like it!! Only problem is that I’m a bit of a tight knitter and I find it challenging to get the second needle through 3 stitches but once I do it works great. Now to see if it’s actually faster or not.

Worked for me too!!! No for fumbling with cable needles… Woo HOO!

i learned cables w/o a cable needle because my cats ALWAYS TAKE MY DAMN CABLE NEEDLES!!! :mad:

If you do a search for “cables without a cable needle” you might be able to find more threads that have links to other resources. I find it’s easier than fumbling with the needle anyway, especially for small cables. For the largerones (that i stink at) i use the cable needle.

good luck!

I usually do knit without a cable needle, so long as the cable isn’t too wide. I’ll use one for a 6/6 cable, for example.

However, for my Aran Afghan, one square required THREE cable needles to make one cable. :shock: The pattern doesn’t reallly say 3 cable needles, it tells you to use one CN and 2 DPNs which are used as CNs.

Wowwie!! :shock:


I saw an episode of Knitty Gritty where Annie Modesitt did this.

Since I have NO experience whatsoever doing cables, it’s over my head, but there is a segment on the KG site about it here:,2025,DIY_14141_3594971,00.html

Maybe this will help?


Anyone familiar with this method of cabling (ie. no cable needle) care to take a crack at this one???

(I’m thinkin’ I’m better off just using a cable needle but thought I’d throw it out there anyways…)

Slip next 6 sts onto cable needle, hold at back of work
Slip first 3 sts from cable needle onto left needle, P3
K last 3 sts from cable needle


Um - I don’t understand the question … :?? I would just use a cable needle for this one. I’m sure you could try the wendyjohnson technique. :thinking: But me likes me cable needle, or should I say, me cable “hook”. :lol:

I’d be scared to try this one without a cable needle too. With 6 stitches hanging loose at one time I’d be SURE to lose at least ONE. :rollseyes:

I’m with ek - I :heart: :heart: my cable hook.

Happy Cabling!! :happydance:


Yeah, I am currently using a cable needle for that one, but I’ve been experimenting with the ‘cables without cable needle’ concept lately and was just wondering if the one above was even possible without.