Monday, August 25, 2008


I used to think cabling without a needle was the coolest thing on the planet. Fast, efficient, and you could do it anywhere. What's not to like?

Then I discovered Clover's cable needles at Jimmy Beans Wool and my theories were shattered.
Now it was a scientific study, I promise you. I made Goldisox time me with the stopwatch function on my (new) iPod Classic (more about that later; how did I live without having The Sopranos on a 2 inch square screen?) and I can tell you that I am a 50% faster cabler with those cute little Clover plastic fish hooks than I am without.
Right now I have another Irish Hiking Scarf on the needles and 40% of a Vintage Velvet and I'm working both with the Clovers so they're getting a workout. When I reach the cable stitches I scoop them up onto the hook itself, slide them to the bend, then knit them off the straight portion. Effortless cabling. You can even hang the thing from the cable gap so you can easily count up to the next cabling point.
Highly recommended!

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Blogger teabird said...

Must. Have. Those. Cable. Hooks.

I never learned how to cable without a needle. Instead, I use a dpn, the only tool I've found that lets me hold onto the stitches with a death grip until I knit them. These hooks look much better!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

I have a metal "u" cable needle shaped about like that. I want to say it's a Boye, but the packaginv is long gone, so I don't remember. There were a couple of others in that package in different shapes, but the pink metal "u" one is the one that I always use. And when not in use on your knitting, it makes a great hair accessory....just stick it in your French braid between cabled rows. And no, it does not fall out of my French braid. Or pony tail. And yes, I have gone to the store with it there, and no, nobody's asked me what the heck it was.

9:56 AM  
Blogger georg said...

I did basketweave stitch for my Firebird tsocks- you can do this without a needle, but for my sanity, I need one!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Nephele said...

I consider cabling without a needle to be one of those tricks that are good to learn just in case. Cable needles are small and they can get lost or just hide in the bottom of your knitting bag. It's good to have a back up plan.

I usually prefer the gull wing type needles - the straight needle with the little bump in the middle. I did one scarf though that had a 24 stitch reversible cable. That's 12 stitches crossed over 12 and all in 2x2 ribbing. There is no way I could have managed that with anything other than a U-bend cable needle.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Lovs2Knit said...

I couldn't get use to cabling without a needle. I have the exact same cable needle and I have one that is similar in metal and love both of them. One stays in the car at all time....never know when one will need a cable needle. :)

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Tanya said...

I,too, thought that cabling without a needle was the best invention ever! If you get those kind of time gains though, I must check it out! I am working on a mens large sweater (200 stitches across the back - p1,k1,p1,4stitch cable) and anything that would make it go faster sounds great to me!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

I never stop learning from this blog. Cable hooks? I had no idea. Now I have to go to my LYS (a terrible fate!) and get me some so I can do the Vintage Velvet Scarf in style.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I love cable hooks, and the whole look of cables!

4:59 PM  
Blogger OzKnitter said...

These are the cable needles I use. I could never get the hang of a straight one or the one with a bent section in the middle, so I was thrilled to find these. I wish Clover would make a thin, 2.25mm-ish one, but until then the Boye metal one is the right size for socks and works well.

7:41 AM  

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