Monday, March 5, 2012

Knitting needle Bling

I have a love/hate relationship with circular knitting needles.

I love that they are more compact than straight needles and therefore allow me to knit even when sitting in my recliner chair.  (The long, straight needles kept hitting the chair arms.) I tried short straight needles but they were not long enough to hold all the stitches I needed for a men's sweater.

What I hate about them is that the nylon cable that connects the needles is very stubborn and likes to stay curled.  I had hoped that after knitting with them a bit that they would relax a little, but they did not and I found myself struggling.  The perfect solution seemed to be a flexible knitting needle that would not extend to hit the arms of my chair, but that would not have the tension of being attached to the other needle.

I found a solution that worked for me
Prepare yourself. Some surgery was involved...
I snipped the nylon cable:
(Don't worry.  Those are NOT my fabric scissors!)

I needed to put a stopper on the end of the cable to keep the stitches from falling off.  My first thought was buttons, but then my thoughts turned to beads.  I am lucky enough to have a daughter who makes jewelry.  She was happy to let me dig into her bead stash:

The small seed beads would not fit on the cable, but I was able to find a few larger beads that would work.  I settled on these:

I slipped them onto each cable, then tapped the cut end of the cable a few times with a low-temp soldering iron to make a flat end that would keep the beads from sliding off:

a bit blurry, but I think you get the idea.

That's all it took, and now I'm a happy camper.  It's also kind of fun to have some needle bling.

This pattern called for 2 different sizes of needles, so I did the same to the second set:

One thing that I would change next time is to put the biggest bead closest to the working end of the needle.  Occasionally I have had one stitch go over the smaller bead and get momentarily stuck, but it's not a big deal.  My project may be gray, but my knitting needles are shiny and bright.

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  1. What a great idea and so pretty with the beads .

  2. Yikes, you are a brave one!

    This is a clever idea. I love my circulars too much to do this right now, but later, maybe. . .

  3. What a wonderful idea!! I'm not much of a knitter...I only do straight stuff right now. I actually knit because I spin =)


  4. Oh my goodness, this is the most fantastic idea! I have so many of those curly-cabled needles, I can't wait to try this. :)

  5. Dip the coiled plastic in hot water for a few seconds, pull tight while it cools. No more coils! :). Or warm up a rice pillow (the kind for your eyes or neck) for 2 minutes in the microwave, stretch the needles out straight, and lay the hot pillow on top of the plastic. Let cool. Works for me every time.


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