What Are Cable Knitting Needles? Easy Guide – 4 top questions answered.

What are cable knitting needles? Cable knitting needles are a type of knitting needle that is specifically designed for working with cable stitches. Cable stitches are a type of stitch that involves crossing two or more strands of yarn over one another in order to create an intricate and detailed design. Cable knitting needles have a slightly different construction than traditional straight or circular needles, as they have a small groove running down the length of the needle which helps to keep the yarn in place when working with multiple strands.

A Beginners Guide to Knitting Cables

Cable knitting needles are long, thin needles that are used to create intricate designs in fabric. They are also known as “lace” or “rib” knitting needles. Cable knitting is a type of needlework that uses two or more yarns to create a design.

The yarns are held together with a cable needle, which is inserted into the fabric and then pulled through to the other side. This creates a loop, which can be tightened or loosened to create different effects. Cable knitting was traditionally used to create warm sweaters and other garments for winter wear.

Today, it is often used for decorative purposes, such as in afghans and throws. It can also be used to make beautiful scarves, wraps, and shawls. Cable knitting needles come in various sizes, from very fine (us size 0 or 1) to extra-large (us size 15).

The size of the needle will depend on the thickness of the yarn being used and the desired effect of the finished project.

Types of Knitting Needles

Different types of knitting needles are available to knitters, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we’ll take a look at the different types of knitting needles so that you can make an informed decision about which type is best for your next project. The most common type of knitting needle is the straight needle.

Straight needles are exactly what they sound like – long, thin rods with a point at one end and a blunt end at the other. They come in a variety of lengths (usually between 10 and 14 inches) and widths (from 2mm to 15mm). One benefit of straight needles is that they’re relatively inexpensive.

They’re also easy to find – you can usually find them in any craft store or even some general stores. Another benefit is that they’re easy to use; even beginners can pick up straight needles and start knitting without too much trouble. However, there are also some drawbacks to using straight needles.

One is that they can be awkward to hold for long periods of time; if you’re working on a large project, your hands may start to cramp up after awhile from holding the same position. Additionally, because both ends of the needle are pointed, it’s easy to accidentally drop stitches off the needle while you’re working; this can be frustrating, especially if you’ve already put several hours into your project! Finally, because straight needles are so narrow, it can be difficult to keep track of your place when working with multiple colors or patterns – it’s all too easy for stitches to get lost among all those skinny rods.

What are cable knitting needles?Wooden spokes and red yarn in the hands of a woman on a cozy sofa . Still life photo. The concept of comfort

What Does a Cable Needle Do?

If you’re a knitter, chances are you’ve used a cable needle before. But what exactly is a cable needle and what does it do? A cable needle is a small, pointed knitting needle that is used to hold stitches temporarily while other stitches are being worked.

This allows you to create intricate patterns with cables (hence the name!) without having to juggle multiple needles. Cable needles come in different sizes and materials, so it’s important to choose one that is comfortable for you to use and that will work well with the yarn and needles you are using. When choosing a size, err on the side of caution – it’s better to have a slightly too-big cable needle than one that is too small and causes your stitches to slip off.

To use a cable needle, simply insert it into the stitches that need to be held, taking care not to twist them. Once the stitches are safely on the cable needle, continue working the pattern as usual – the stitches on the cable needle will be waiting patiently until they are needed again!

Can You Cable Knit Without a Cable Needle?

Yes, you can cable knit without a cable needle. There are a few different ways to do this, and the method you use will depend on the type of stitch you’re working with. For example, if you’re working with a basic four-stitch cable, you can simply slip two stitches onto a spare needle or piece of scrap yarn, hold them in front or back of your work as desired, then knit the next two stitches from your left-hand needle; when you come to the slipped stitches on your right-hand needle, just knit them as usual.

If you’re working with a more complex cable stitch that involves crossing multiple stitches over each other, you can still do it without a cable needle – but it takes a bit more effort. In this case, you’ll need to carefully move each stitch one by one onto another spare needle or piece of scrap yarn (again holding them in front or back of your work as desired), then knitting the required number of stitches before moving the first group back onto your left-hand needle and continuing as usual. It sounds fiddly, but once you get the hang of it it’s actually not too bad – and it’s very satisfying to be able to do those complex cables without any extra tools!

What Can I Use Instead of a Cable Needle?

There are a few options for substitutes for cable needles. The first is to use a spare double-pointed needle. Simply insert the stitches to be held onto the needle as if you were going to knit them, and then proceed with your cable pattern.

When you come back to those stitches later in the pattern, simply knit them off the needle as normal. Another option is to use a small crochet hook. This can be especially helpful if you don’t have any spare needles of the right size on hand.

Again, simply insert the stitches onto the hook and hold them while you work your cable pattern; when it’s time to knit those stitches again, simply slip them off the hook and onto your working needle. A third possibility is to use a locking stitch marker. Open up the ring part of the marker and slide it onto your working needle, holding it in place with the clasped part of the marker; then thread your cable stitches onto this “needle.”

When it comes time to knit those stitches again, carefully remove each one from the ring part of the marker before knitting it.

Do Cable Needles Need to Be the Same Size As Knitting Needles?

No, cable needles do not need to be the same size as knitting needles. Cable needles come in a variety of sizes so that you can choose the one that is best suited for the cable stitch you are working on. For example, if you are working on a small cable stitch, you would use a smaller cable needle.


Cable knitting needles are a type of needle that is specifically designed for knitting cables. They have a cord that runs through the center of the needle, which helps to keep the stitches in place and prevents them from slipping. Cable needles come in different sizes, so you can choose the one that is best suited for your project.


I’m Jane and I’m the editor of janesknittingkits.com! I am a long-time craft and clothing design fan who has been writing about these interests for years.

I have spent many hours studying knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery, and quilting as well as learning about various brands and models of sewing gear and machines. In addition to this research, my work involves publishing information related to these topics in ways that will be informative for both amateur crafters like me and more experienced sewers!