Pros and cons of using cables please! I’m thinking about buying some wooden cables before the weekend.
What do you mean? Cable needles (the little short special needles you use for making cables), or are you talking about circular needles that have what is called a cable between the needle tips?
Sorry when I meant cables I meant knitting needles with a wire at the bases joining them.
Love 'em. Don’t want to use straights again. Except for double pointed needles (and yes, I know how strange I am for preferring DPNs to 2 circs or Magic Loop)
Okay! I love circular needles and many knitters use nothing else. You can use them to work flat on any size of a piece and to make tubes if you have enough stitches to reach around the needle. If you have a fairly long, and nicely flexible cable you can also do Magic Loop, which enables you to do something small on the one needle, like a sock or mitten (or a finger for that matter)
If you are buying new needles I would suggest you look for ones that have a very flexible cable. You should be able to fold it back on itself quite easily. Some needles have a thick inflexible cable. Even if you don’t do ML the flexible is nice and then you have the option to learn ML when you feel like you are ready for it.
Cable needles enable you to do fronts and backs of sweaters all at once, even if you want to work back and forth. Also they hold enough stitches to do an afghan. Of course, there are different lengths. You couldn’t make a full sized afghan on a size 16" long needle (but it is great for hats until you come to the top). A lot of people find circular needles easier on their hands and arms because any weight is carried in your lap.
They make shorter than 16" ones but I think most people find them hard to use. I don’t think they are real important.
Can you have circular needles that can have cable length changes/needle width changes?
Sure can! Knit Picks, Boye, Addi, and Deniseare four different brands that I can think of off the top of my head that have what’s called interchangeable circular needle sets. They come with different sized needle tips and different lengths of cables that you put together to make whatever size/length needles you need.
I love circulars. I just started making a scarf on size 8 straights (all my size 8 circulars are holding other things) and it’s driving me nuts. I keep hitting my thighs or if my kids are trying to snuggle with me, I smack 'em in the forehead with the ends of the needles.
I prefer the aluminum cables as they knit faster than wood. But either would work well. I think cable needles are easier to use than straight needles, especially those awful 14-inchers.
I have not used my old straight needles or circulars since finding KP’s interchangeables and dpn sets. I love them both and plan on continueing to add to my collection as needed. I tend to use from size 7 on down to 0 and hope to also get some 00 and 000 from Elann soon.
I haven’t used a straight knitting needle in years! Love, Love circular needles, either fixed or an interchangable set.
There are dozens of posts on this topic here in the General Forum. I grabbed these links off the first 3 pages alone.
I haven’t used anything except my KP Options since I’ve had them, 2 years I think. The cables are VERy flexible and easy to use.
Been livin’ and workin’ and knittin’ on the circular needles bandwagon for 15 years at least…and [U]would never[/U], [U]could never[/U] go back to straight knitting needles.
A bonus of using circs: [/B] after your knitting has gained some length…[U]the weight of the knitting rests in your lap[/U], and not on your wrists. With ‘straights’…the weight of the project is supported by your wrists and forearms.
Not so with circs.
Less stress-related syndromes like carpal tunnel and such.
I tend to use whatever kind of needles will get the job done. If you have limited funds, circulars can be used for just about any kind of knitting you can think of to do, so you don’t have to have as many needles around (and purchase). I still use my straights upon occasion; when I’m having difficulties with a cast-on or something, I’ll use straights and then knit it over onto circulars, for instance.
Needles are our tools, just like carpenters have tools, and each has applications that they’re best suited for.