Changing cables on interchangeable needles on top down sweater

I have started my first top down, knitted in the round sweater. When I began, the pattern called for casting on 104 sts on the smaller needle. First try, I used the 32" cable, but found that the cable was too long and it was difficult to knit because the stitches were so stretched over the needle. Started over and used the 24" cable which worked better, but I still had to change out one of my needles for a “shortie” to ease up the stitches. Is it normal to have to do this? It would be nice if the instructions would indicate which cable length to use, but maybe I am just whining. The patter is “Good Egg” by Yellowcosmo designs, They go to a lot of trouble to provide great detail, but cable length and the need to switch (perhaps) was completely omitted. Any thoughts regarding this would be greatly appreciated, as always!

That sounds frustrating! It is more common to see circular lengths specified in a pattern than not, but there are still plenty that leave the length up to you ‘for comfort’. I ignore them anyway personally just because my knitting style does better with smaller than recommended and the stitches all bunched together as I work lol.
I can only speak for me but I think I would use the larger cable and ‘magic loop’ it until I had enough stitches to comfortably spread out.With your raglan or yoke increases your rows are going to grow wider in a hurry so it won’t take too too long. Thinking positive maybe this pattern wants you to be happy and do it however you want! (Realistically the designer forgot to specify :slight_smile:)


Thank you for the helpful suggestions; I have only tried magic loop once and found it pretty fiddly. Since this is my first top down, I am trying to keep things as straightforward as I can so I am not trying to learn too many new things at once. My plan is to switch to larger cable if I need to by simply knitting onto another set of circulars.

Thanks again!

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I also prefer using shorter circulars than suggested - I don’t like using magic loop! I think in time you’ll learn what you prefer anyway, but I think keeping the work on this cable and switching if you feel the need to later is your best bet.

Thank you!

What I sometimes do, depending on whether you want to spend money or not, is use a shorter ‘special’ needle on the interchangeable cable. It gives me the bit of extra length I need without feeling like I’m stretching my knitting.

That is exactly what I am doing now - I switched out the regular needle for one of my short set of the same size and it is working well. I am just not certain a 24" cable will suffice for the entirety of the sweater as this is top down and starting with the neckline. The notion of switching cables mid-project is a little daunting, even with interchangeable needles.
Thanks for the tip!

This is actually part of an alternative to magic loop. I use two circular needles at once similar to double pointed needles. I would have the front sts on one needle and the back sts on the second.

Circulars are flexible and when bridging the round between needles you can avoid the dpn’s long ladder gap by bringing the cord around under the new needle.

Here is a few videos I found on the subject.


a good rule of thumb, and easy to remember and calculate, is to divide your total stitches by your stitches per inch, and use a circular no longer than that from tip to tip. ex: knitting 80 stitches at 5 stitches per inch (80 divided by 5 = 16) means you should use nothing longer than a 16" circ.


Thank you for the suggestion - this is my first top down, knitted in the round sweater, so I am trying to keep things as simple as possible. What I have done is move my work (I’m using interchangeable needles) onto a longer cable just by knitting on to the new set. It was painless.

Thank you for the tip - I will remember to use it next time I start.

I really appreciate everyone’s suggestions - the more information, the better!

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