Size (Thickness) of Cable Needle?

They only had a set of two at Michael’s and one looks like a size 4, which is the size of needles I am using on this project. But there is another that is half that size. Is it ok to use a smaller gauged cable needle than the needles your using?

Yes, the cable needle doesn’t make much difference. Well, you wouldn’t want it larger, but smaller is fine.

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:?? ya stumped me. I never thought of that. I can imagine that larger would throw the whole project off a bit though

It wouldn’t really. It might be difficult to put your sts on it, but you’re only keeping them on there for a short amount of time so it wouldn’t stretch out anything.

I recently did an Irish Hiking Scarf with size 8 needles, and the only cable needle I could find was [I]way [/I] smaller than that. It worked just fine, although I found it sort of inconvenient to work with. Just a matter of personal preference - the stitches themselves came out looking fine. I personally prefer using a DPN, or even just cabling with no cable needle (there’s a video on this web site that shows you how).

It’s really tricky finding cable needles in stores, isn’t it? I went to all the majors here and finally found one at Joann’s, I think. No go at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or the crafts section of Wal-Mart. I was surprised. I found some great ones in the Patternworks catalog that just look like little DPN’s - they aren’t very thin at all. I might spring for those.

I think cable needles are highly overrated, especially the ones shaped like a J. They’re fine for holding the stitches aside while you work the crossover, but a plain dpn makes it much easier to slip those stitches back onto the regular needle without wrestling them past the J-curve. For that matter, many people don’t bother with cable needles at all, unless the cables are very wide or the yarn very slippery.


We always used dpns as cable needles. Once you’ve been knitting a while, you will always have lots of dpns, so it is not usually necessary to spring for special cable needle unless you really want to.

The only problem I would see with a much smaller cable needle is that the needle would slip out of the stitches too easily while it is not being used.

I’m doing a cable scarf right now with size 11 straight needles. The only cable needle I have close to the appropriate size is maybe an 8, quite possibly alot smaller. It’s really difficult to not drop the needle out of the stitches. I’m a little worried about trying to cable without the needles.

Do DPNs come in size 11?

I like my cable needle. It’s small and has a dip in the middle. I dislike those j shaped ones. Worthless and not fast to work with that all.

It’s much easier to work with the small ones, I think, too.

Yes, they have dpns in size 11, but you might not want to buy a set just to use for cables if you don’t think you’ll use them otherwise. A cable needle set would be better if you’re going to buy something, you can use it more. But if you have size 10 or 10.5 in a regular needle you can use it, or a crochet hook, or pen/pencil. Just anything short and straight you already have will work.

Not knowing anything about cable needles, I bought a set of the j shaped ones, and frankly, I really like them. They hang nicely on the work, in front or back, and the stitches don’t fall off, even if the needle is a smaller gauge than the knitting.

The big plus, perhaps due to my lack of skill, is I can be sure to tell which end to knit from if things get twisted (I always slip them to the needle on one end, and knit them off the other. If you’re not inclined to get confused with which end you’re working,that may not be an issue. :smiley:

I have used the “J” or straight one with the dip in the middle for many years and have liked them just fine. I do think a straight needle would work though, but if it was too small or slick it might want to fall out.