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 How to straighten circular needle cables

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lucybug Posted - 01/27/2013 : 3:15:42 PM
Has anyone come up with a good way to straighten their circular needle cables? I run mine back and forth under the tap as hot as I can get it while holding them taut. That is somewhat successful for most, but I have a few pairs that curl up again once I put the stitches on and start knitting. Any suggestioms?

Pam in the Colorado mountains
17   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
booklassie Posted - 02/04/2013 : 1:26:52 PM
I've used this method for years and it's never failed me. I fill a saucepan with water (around a 2 quart size saucepan) and bring the water to a boil. Then I turn off the burner and, holding the needles in one hand, I quickly dip and swish the cable portion in the water probably about as long as it takes me to count 1001, 1002, 1003. I pull them out and let it hang down, holding onto just the one needle. Usually that's enough to straighten the cable right out. If not, I just dip it in again and swish for a bit longer. Once I've done that, it's straightened for good. Then, when I'm not using the needles in a project, I hang them in one of those hanging circular needle holders instead of coiling them around and putting them into a small bag.
shar1ford Posted - 02/02/2013 : 06:12:32 AM
The best thing is to buy one of those hanging circular needle holders. They stay nice and straight. The hot water method is the best I've found. If I sat on mine, I'd probably break them!! hahahah

Sharon L. Ford
kkknitter Posted - 02/01/2013 : 07:00:34 AM
Thanks for all the good advice here! But, I have another question on the subject of straightening needles. All my bamboo sock needles in size 0 and size 1 are bent. What do I do to get them straight again?
Daylily Posted - 01/31/2013 : 8:16:41 PM
I put my one of my cables that has curled on my bed anchor one end with my foot under the big toe and stretch the cord out straight, and heat it up with my hair dryer. First few passes up and down the length of the cord on High heat and then a few passes up and down on Low heat. When I let it go and it just lays in to a shallow curve then I let it cool and the curling is gone and I can use it. It only takes a couple of minutes to do it.

Daylily, another one tomorrow
lucybug Posted - 01/31/2013 : 4:11:00 PM
The Kollage needles must be wood. I hate to think what would happen if I put my metal needles in the microwave!

Pam in the Colorado mountains
sbr Posted - 01/31/2013 : 1:14:09 PM
I just remembered, that one of the Kollage videos I watched mentioned putting circular needles in the microwave to soften the cables. I have no idea about time and temperature details, however.
sbr Posted - 01/31/2013 : 1:08:30 PM
Thanks for the tips on softening cables, as I wouldn't have even thought about trying it until reading a review of Kollage Yarns' Square circular needles with extra soft cables. I ordered a long one to try with an afghan, and I just love not having to wrestle with the cable. It is a bit harder to slide the work along, which may be why the company added the option of a slightly firmer cable for knitters who prefer that. But overall, I really love it and wish the rest of my needle cables were as flexible.
Susan1006 Posted - 01/31/2013 : 09:53:24 AM
I have to ditto steaming, but I am pretty sure my Options cables from Knit Picks are just softening over time. I don't have much trouble any more, but I have had those cables for a few years now and have had to superglue the ends back on a few of them :)

Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises. EZ
cutlermac Posted - 01/31/2013 : 07:56:01 AM
I steam them with the Jiffy Steamer.
Works very well.
sandy48 Posted - 01/31/2013 : 07:03:55 AM
The thing that helps the most for me is storing the needles in a hanging circular needle organizer, such as one from Della Q. I like that one the best because it has all the needle sizes, unlike others that have only the standard full and half-size (US) needle sections. By storing in this hanging organizer my needles are NEVER kinked! An unplanned side-benefit of getting organized and keeping track of the myriad of circs that I own!
Marie Posted - 01/31/2013 : 04:21:00 AM
Running it under hot tap water works in a pinch. I use this for plastic and metal needles, not wood or bamboo. I worry about getting wood and bamboo needles wet, and having them hold moisture as I begin to knit.

Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted. ~John Lennon Posted - 01/31/2013 : 12:01:46 AM
As I recall, after I wet the cord, I'd hold it taut and use a blow dryer on it. That usually did the trick. Hope it works for you.
Ceil Posted - 01/29/2013 : 7:36:18 PM
Sometimes time is the best healer. Leave them uncoiled. I once had an Addi cable that looked kinked. Well, it isn't any more, because I stopped wrapping each end around the coil.

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
dothead Posted - 01/28/2013 : 09:54:01 AM
Lucybug - I never gave it much thought before but if I read that comment from someone else, I would probably laugh too.

Good luck straightening out your cables. I hope whatever method you use works for you.

Vicki, the Constant Lurker(who sometimes stops lurking and actually posts)
lucybug Posted - 01/28/2013 : 09:42:03 AM
Dothead - I know you didn't mean your comment to be funny, but it is. I'll try the boiling water and sitting on them. After my last experience I'll try anything -- I was fighting the needles the entire time.

Pam in the Colorado mountains
dothead Posted - 01/28/2013 : 02:33:44 AM
I sit on the cable before I knit. It helps.

Vicki, the Constant Lurker(who sometimes stops lurking and actually posts)
LJ Posted - 01/27/2013 : 5:26:59 PM
Some brands will never uncurl. But try boiling water in a frying pan and dropping the cord part in. Pick them out with hotpads so you dont' hurt yourself. Run the hot cord through a towel pulling on the cord to straighten.

Linda in Va

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