A handy cable cheat

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently become obsessed with the Never Not Knitting podcast by Alana Dakos. When I first searched for knitting podcasts in the itunes store, her latest episode was the first thing I listened to.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been catching up on her older episodes (she’s done over 70) and it’s been amazing getting to know her and hearing her reviews about so much great yarn and patterns. One thing she mentions more than once is how much she hates using cable needles, and I’m sure a lot of you knitters out there can relate.

They’re so small and easily slip out and get lost in the couch or in Alana’s case, between the front seats of the car. I certainly sympathize, but I cannot say I’ve ever had this experience.

When I finally launch my shop and reveal the headbands I’ve been working on, you will all see that I simply LOVE knitting cables. I find them so visually interesting, and I’ve been hooked ever since I first learned to knit them.

I pointed out in my recent Trial and Error post that after a five year hiatus, I initially started knitting again because of all the beautiful things I saw on Etsy. Rather than pay for a set of lovely handmade boot cuffs, I figured that even with my dormant beginner skills, I could probably make them myself.

When I first hit my local Spotlight, the Australian chain craft warehouse, I stocked up on every skein that caught my eye and several sets of needles. All of my old yarn and needles are probably still buried in the closet of my old room at my parents’ house in Minnesota, so it was time to invest in new tools and a new stash. The one thing I forgot to get was a cable needle. Sigh.

But never fear, this is how I came up with this handy cable cheat that I would love to share with all of you. When I started to work with cables in my headbands, I didn’t have a cable needle, so instead I used my thin and seemingly useless circular needle as a substitute.

Circular needle to the rescue!

Circular needle to the rescue!

There are several reasons why this is an amazing cheat. First is that you can slip the stitches all the way onto the rounded plastic bit and LET GO. Yes that’s right, if you need to you can completely let go of the project and leave it right where you are!

Slip stitches to the circular needle

Slip stitches onto the circular needle

The second great thing about this method, is that rather than transferring the stitches back to your straight needle, you can simply push them around to the other side and knit directly off the circular needle.

Knitting from the circular needle

Knitting from the circular needle

Lastly, and probably most obvious, circular needles are much harder to lose to the hungry couch monster (although on occasion it can still happen — ravenous little bugger).

So give this cheat a go and let me know what you think. Is it easier or harder than using a standard cable needle? This little method works great for me, and I certainly don’t see myself wasting money on a cable needle anytime soon.