View Full Version : Instead of a cable needle I used a_____(fill in the blank)

03-25-2008, 03:36 PM
I am doing my 1st cabled scarf and can't find my cable needle (that came in my teach yourself to knit book- can't find 1/2 the stuff that was in there now!)

I have used:
a big paperclip (and I like this!)
another smaller knitting needle
a yarn needle

I usually put the stitches back up on the left needle instead of knitting them from my makeshift cable needle though- it's easier.

What have you used?

03-25-2008, 03:40 PM
I've used a ballpoint pen or pencil, bobby pin, option tip...

03-25-2008, 03:45 PM
hair stick

03-25-2008, 04:02 PM

03-25-2008, 04:59 PM
Ink pen
Just let em hang free for a second

03-25-2008, 05:01 PM
A pen top (the part that hooks over the edge of a pocket)
One of the silver metal loop parts of a black clip for clipping papers together
A locking stitch marker
A toothpick
A stitch holder
The end of a key
A circular needle
A tightly-rolled piece of paper (Post-It note-sized)
A twig.

03-25-2008, 05:01 PM
No needle at all--kept losing and dropping cable needles so I finally learned how to cable without a needle. It works great as long as purl stitches aren't part of the cable and the yarn is wool because those stitches just seem to sit up and wait to be picked up by the needle again.

03-25-2008, 07:44 PM
I used a DPN until I learned how to cable without a needle.

03-25-2008, 08:13 PM
I use a DPN that's close in size to the regular needle I'm knitting with.

03-25-2008, 09:07 PM
a cuticle stick or nothing.
The cable needle is so slippery

03-25-2008, 09:51 PM
We are certainly a resourceful (and compulsive) group. :D

My most creative one was a dinner fork when I was out to supper with a friend. She fussed, so I switched to using the little "saber" toothpick on which the maraschino cherries in my Bahama Mama had come.

*Note to self: add "friends don't let friends drink and cable" to the important information thread*

03-25-2008, 11:31 PM
dpn, but they are a little long/clumsy, at least for me
pin-style stitch holder
crochet hook
big safety pin

I'm a big fan of safety pins anyway, dating back to my college days as a theater major. Any "wardrobe malfunction" could usually be fixed with something from the chain of 30+ safety pins chained together and running from shoulder to shoulder of my clothing. :) Now, the biggie safety pin is my new "must have" multi-tool in the project bag - works as a temporary stitch holder on a raglan shoulder, emergency cable needle, helps pick up the stitch you just dropped, *and* it acts as the "key" when I need to change tips on my KP Option Harmonies. :)

03-26-2008, 01:35 AM
"Instead of a cable needle I use the needles I'm knitting with".

I don't like using cable needles. Grumperina has a great tutorial on knitting cables without a needle if anyone is interested:


There are 2 links on the bottom of the page - one for right twist and one for left twist.

03-26-2008, 04:03 AM
Here's how I do my cables. I put together a little video tutorial on doing them without a cable needle AND without that dangerous slipping stitches off the needle thing. LOL:)

Don't mind the background noise my kids decided at that very moment that they HAD to get the dishes done.:zombie:

03-26-2008, 05:34 AM
Wow, a cuticle stick is a great idea because of that extra grabbiness from the wood. Ditto for the rolled up paper! You guys are so creative. I've just used a DPN to make do, but I'm going to see what else is laying around that I could stick in my bag.

03-26-2008, 06:33 AM
My finger (I'd do without but I'm terrified of dropping stitches and having to tink back a whole row)
The closed end of a pair of scissors
A key
circ needles
various cords for my computer (not in use at the time I used them to hold knitting stitches) or the jack end of a pair of headphones
a rubber band

03-26-2008, 06:47 AM
I've used a pin-style stitch holder before, but I generally don't use a cable needle so... I use a nothing. :)

03-26-2008, 06:52 AM
Mostly no needle at all.
toothpick - expecially on size 0, 1 or 2 needles
safety pin - any type, stitch marker types to sewing types, to stitch holder types (easy to keep attached to the knitting so they don't get lost when not in use)
pen (remove the ink tube)

Really? - A key?? You must have small keys or use large knitting needles!

Fibernut - I'll have to try out your needleless method. I usually switch the stitches around but with my current socks on size 1, I have a hard time getting the dropped stitches back on the needle so it is taking longer then using a holder.

03-26-2008, 06:53 AM
RE:fibrenut (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/member.php?u=22631)'s video
This is how I thought cableing was done, before I was a knitter. I had no idea (until I actually started knitting myself) that people used special cable needles.
I've always thought this method (or other similar ones) made so much more sense than using an extra needle or what have you.

03-26-2008, 09:09 AM
I've used a variety of things from toothpicks to dpn's to pencils. I have wooden cable needles now and tend to stick them up between the arm of my glasses for "safe keeping" I tend to forget they are there and will be walking around town with this brown or rainbow stick stuck in my glasses. (I have a set of Brittany and a set of Harmony cable needles).

Lisa R.
03-26-2008, 09:24 AM
The inside of a ballpoint pen for cables that were to small for the whole pen! And paper clips.

Oh, and I've used the little silver ring on a ballpoint pen as a beginning of the round marker. Pens really are not safe in my purse when I forget parts of my knitting bag!

03-26-2008, 10:45 AM
Hiya Mirl56,
I just got done doing the sockamania sox "siimply cables" and used that method for the cables.
I'm now using it on a celtic cable neckwarmer.

Little Audrey
03-26-2008, 03:42 PM
Plastic clothesline with a rejoinder knot in the end; the other end of the clothesline pushed up onto a double point needle; a circular needle can be approximated by using a pair of DPs with the clothesline pushed up onto both.

03-26-2008, 04:03 PM
I don't know if anyone even knows about these.. but I have used a diaper pin... and a bag tie... and a q tip... don't ask why..lol just some things I've used...

03-26-2008, 04:17 PM
Coffee stirrer
pencil tip
home made cable needle (put both ends of a dowel through a pencil sharpener)
MOSTLY I use a crochet hook, cuz it's always in my knitting bag, but when in a pinch, ANYTHING!

03-26-2008, 04:21 PM
dpn, although they usually are a bit too long.
I like the cable needles that are shaped like a hook.

03-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Instead of a cable needle I use a double point needle.

03-26-2008, 07:25 PM
I wanted to tell you all I have really had fun reading your posts on this! I think we're all kind of creative people & I will have to try the examples without using a needle when I am a little braver & less fiddly!

03-26-2008, 09:49 PM
Pin style stitch holder. I'd love to see how people do it without anything.


03-27-2008, 01:03 AM
Bambi, on either page one or 2 there is a video showing how to do it without cable needles. :)

03-27-2008, 02:49 AM
I haven't learned to cable yet, but looking in my knit stuff I see a crochet hook, a latch hook (easiest thing for fringes on scarves) and the needles to my felting tool that might all work. Also the tool to the knitting looms that I don't really like after all.

03-27-2008, 09:46 AM
I've used a dpn, mechanical pencil and a darning needle.