Lately a few people have said to me that they have trouble stopping stitches slipping off their cable needle. Although I know that the ‘slippiness’ of a knitting needle depends on the material it is made from, I’ve never thought about the slippiness of cable needles. Or at least I hadn’t until I travelled up country the other week.Packing my knitting before I left, I decided to take two cable needles for the Secret Sweater, just in case I lost one. When I checked my cable needle collection, I spotted amongst them a wooden cuticle shaper that had come from one of those kits you get in hotels.
Being a bit on the mean side, I chose the cuticle shaper, thinking that if I lost it, it wouldn’t need replacing. (Don’t ask me why I was so obsessed with losing cable needles – I have no idea.)
On the Tuesday I left, Lovely Husband dropped me at the station at 6.15am, because he’d got a meeting at 7am, that hadn’t been planned when I booked my ticket. Half asleep, I settled in the station café and took out my knitting. Still unexplainably obsessed with losing cable needles, I chose to work with the cuticle shaper. A few rows in, I realised my sleepy brain had missed twisting two of the cables.
Being allergic to frogging, I dropped the stitches for the cable back to where they should have been twisted, twisted them then picked them back up again. This involved using both the cuticle stick and a metal cable needle. (If you’d like to know more about how to do this and how to rescue wrongly twisted cables without frogging click here.)
As I worked, I discovered the apparently smooth cuticle shaper was relatively rough, compared with a metal cable needle, and it wasn’t easy to pick the stiches back up through the rows. Equally annoyingly, the metal needle kept slipping out of the stitches it had been assigned to hold. I swapped them around.
Et voilà! The stitches slipped nicely from the metal cable needle as I picked them back up and the ones waiting on the cuticle shaper sat happily waiting for their turn. Very quickly my mistake had been rectified and I was ready to knit on.
So, if you do have trouble with stitches slipping off your cable needle, I’d definitely recommend trying a wooden cuticle shaper or similar implement instead, because it wasn’t just when sorting out my twisting error that I found this increased stickiness useful. When I was finally on the train and it lurched dramatically, as trains do, my faithful little cuticle shaper stayed firmly in place inside my stitches.
Of course now I’m no longer obsessed with losing cable needles, but I am obsessed with losing my lovely cuticle shaper!