How to make home made cables

Hello Everyone,

I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to see if they carried a cable in size 8 for my boye interchangeable set. The smallest they appear to sell is a 16 which makes a 20 circular when the points are attached. Well, while I was there they are having a half off sale that ends saturday. This includes all knitting and crocheting assessories plus books. Sooo, I bought several packages of boye connectors and my husband made me a 6, 8 and 19 inch cable. The following is his directions:

To make any size cable for a boye circular needle set, use a piece of .080 (2mm-white) trimmer line. Shave the end down to a point that will fit in the coupling (connectors). Shave about 1/2" and when you have a fit, put a drop of crazy glue on the plastic end and push it in the coupling. The threaded end is a #2-56 miniature bolt 1/2" long cut off behind the head. Screw 1/2 of the bolt in the coupling after putting a drop of crazy glue in the coupling. The length is from one coupling end to the other not including the bolt threads. It takes about 15 minutes to make one of these cables up.

Material list:
2 couplings (connectors) where boye is sold
2 #2-56 miniature bolts 1/2" long
1 piece of trimmer line to length
crazy glue

You could also buy a boye cable and cut it to length and on the bare end glue on the connector. Cut one bolt the same as above.

I tried mine and they work fine.

Take care,
Arlene from Indiana

Kewl! :thumbsup:

Very ingenious!! Now this is why I love this forum. So many ideas and helps…and knitting too!!! :cheering:

This is great! (by the way, what is trimmer line?)

A question…what are you using the 8" cable for?? You can’t actually use just that and the needle tips, can you? I find that even with the 12" cable, plus two needle tips which makes a 20" circular, the tips are almost too long to knit properly. Are you using the 8" to make longer cables connected to others in the kit?

Hi Knitqueen,

Trimmer cord is the kind of cord that you use for the weed wacker. My husband had a spool of it. It is cheap and purchased at a hardware store. The reason I wanted a 6,8 and 19 inch cord is that the Denise set comes with those sizes and the Boye does not. So now I have the best of both sets in cable sizes. End to end the 8 plus points would be a 16 and I noticed that a lot of patterns call for a 16 circular. The 6 cable sure does look short to me. I have not tried anything with it yet.

I had a terrible time figuring out how to reply to a message. How is everyone doing this with out resorting to a quote?

Take care,
Arlene from Indiana


But is it actually possible to knit with the 8" cable (or shorter) when taking into consideration the length of the needle points??

Hi again,

Yes, because you have two needle points that are each about 4 inches. So that would be a total of 8 inches for the points plus the cable which in this case is 8 inches. So you would have a 16 inch circular. I found this to be a common size for a number of patterns.

I hope this helps.

Take care,
Arlene from Indiana

Yeah, sorry for beating this to death, but…

My point is that you’ve got your 2x4" needle points plus 8" of cord, that doesn’t leave much (if any) leeway for being able to maneuver the needles. I know that 16" is a common length for a circular, but the needles points are shorter to allow for enough flexibility to knit. I even have trouble (or at least have to modify my knitting style) with the 12" cable + 2x4" needle points = 20" circular needle.

Hmmmm, I have the Boye interchangeable set and all the needle points in the set have the same length…4". I have not bought any ready made sets, so I do not know if they come in different point lengths depending on the size of the cable that is attached permanently to it. Either way, maybe that is why I have not had a problem. Meaning I just adjusted my knitting to the 4" points.

This is a guess on my part, but if we are both talking about the interchangeable set, could it be that when you are making up what the pattern calls for…say a 16" circular…which is measured point to point, that you are not using a 16" cable and then with the length of the two points (8 more inches) you would actually be working on a 24" circular and not the 16" that the pattern suggested? The reason I ask this is because that was exactly what I had done and then could not figure out why my stitches were not reaching to the other end…finally figured out what I was doing wrong.

I feel like I am being really dense here (which I have been known to be) in not answering your question properly. I am really unsure if we are talking about the same thing.

Take care,
Arlene from Indiana

hehe :lol: I’m feeling kind of dense too that I’m not getting my point across!!

Let me try once more…

I have the Boye Interchangeable set. All needle points are 4", same as what you are talking about. The shortest cable length in the kit is 12", which when used with the needle points makes a 20" total length circular needle. I think we are in agreement with that.

Now, when I use that combination (ie. the 20" total length needle), the cable is almost too short when the needles are in use for the needle tips to meet to make the stitches properly. Do you know what I mean there??

So if using a 8" cable, such as you have made for yourself, which makes a 16" total length circular needle, I can’t see how there would be enough leeway for the needle tips to meet in order to knit properly. Obviously, only the cable portion of the needle is flexible, which is why I brought up shorter length needle tips. No, you can’t buy any different length needle tip for the Boye set, only the 4" length that it comes with, but I have seen shorter circular needles in stores (like for instance, a 12" total length circular needle) but they have MUCH shorter needle tips in order to allow for enough flexibility to knit properly with them.

Now do you know what I mean??? :wink:

Yes, we are on the same page! Okay, the only thing I can think of is the amount of actual stitches you are putting on the circular. Either you have too many, then it isn’t flexible. Or you have too few stitches on the circular and the yarn will not stretch that far to join up.

I know you can cram on extra stitches but only so many extra. It really depends on what the actual pattern calls for in regards to what length circular to use to accommodate the amount of stitches they recommend for that particular project. I know myself that I knit tight so I can cram more on and still have room to work the tips.

Take care,
Arlene from Indiana


Okay… we seem to have some miscommunication here… LOL

KnitQueen is talking about the physical needles.

Arlene is talking about the work on the needles.


I think what KnitQueen is trying to say, is that if you have the needle points, which are 4" each, this is 8" total length.

Now you make an 8" cable (for a 16" total length circular).

Now, you have a problem, as to get the flexibility in the cable area to allow you to knit with your needle points, there needs to be a difference of at least 1" per needle.

IE: Needles 3.5" long (total of “), cable 9” long, which still gives you a 16" circular.

Does that make sense now?

Yes, exactly what I was trying to say. And so since you cannot get needle tip sizes any different than 4" with the boye set, I think it would be problematic, at least for me, to try to knit with a 8" cable with this set.

Arlene, have you actually knitted successfully with such a short cable, using the boye set?


Ahhhhhhh, okay now I understand. I recently made the 6 and 8 inch and have not tried to do anything circular with them so far.

So, if I understand this right, when a pattern calls for a 16" circular set there is going to be a problem with the Boye interchangeable set. I know Boye sells individual circs in a size 16. The points must be shorter, right??

Take care,

That’s exactly right :smiley:

Here is a super link to making the Boye NeedleMaster Interchangeable set more enjoyable to use.

I bought my first set years ago when I first started knitting and I love the needles but I Hated the cables and how they connected so I never use them any more. That is until I found this link!

I wondered what the short cables are good for also. I now have the Denise set and use the short ones to extend the cable length and if I’m using the tips and cables as straight needles, a shorter cable is often handy. LOL Except for one, my cables are all in use in multiple projects. I have to finish something or buy more cables. What the heck, maybe I’ll do both.