My Cable Needle Guide – What You Need To Know

By Jodie Morgan

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Knitting cables looks beautiful but complicated! A cable needle is a handy little tool to make it easier to create cables in knitting. I share the best ones for your projects.

Cable Needle Guide

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Best Cable Needle: Our Top Picks

I reviewed and updated this post on August 13, 2022.

Natural Brittany Cable Needles

These are lovely to use and functional. Combining sustainable, ethical practices and quality materials, these are useful and guaranteed to last.

They’re made in the USA, they’re sold a pack of 3, they’re 3.75″ long, and they’re made with birch wood.


Stitches stay on the cable needle as each end is slightly flared.

It’s a suitable length, short and easy to manage along with your working knitting needles.

The points are rounded rather than a sharp tip

Easy to slide the stitches with the smooth surface


The straight shape may mean your stitches come off more easily if you are not being careful

Clover Cable Stitch Holders

Clover Cable Stitch Holders

Made by the company Clover, these are simple and affordable (Note: These are plastic, not Takumi bamboo.)

They come in a pack Of 3. Each is 3.5″ long. US Sizes, 3, 6 and 8. (3.25mm, 4.0mm & 5.0mm)


Each is a different color and size for easy identification

The quality plastic is hard wearing


The sharp tip helps with getting into each stitch to transfer onto the cable needle

Lightweight so stitches held won’t loose their shape


Not small enough for lighter yarns

Doesn’t ship to the United Kingdom

Clickin'Stix Walnut Cable Needles

Clickin' Stix Walnut Cable Needles

This trio pack of walnut wood cable needles is curved in the middle and polished for easy knitting. The sizes easily accommodate different yarn weights.

  • Pack Of 3 (Approx. 4, 4.5, 5 inches long)


Three included sizes in diameter – (5/6; 6/7 and 9/10 mm)

The slight bend in the middle holds the stitches to be worked

Easy to hold parallel to the working needle

Yarns move easily over the polished surface

A lovely natural wood color


A little more expensive

They may hard to find in your wooden needle collection as they’d blend in

Prone to breakage if left on a couch and someone sits on them

Check Price On Amazon

Knit Picks Cable Knitting Needles

KnitPicks Cable Knitting Needles

These super affordable needles come in three shapes for different yarns and uses: A (4.5″ long) = bulky yarn; B (4.25″ long) = thinner yarns, and C (2.75″ long) = smaller projects (socks/sleeves).

They’re made with aluminum, and you need to purchase them individually at this store.


The short double pointed needle with the bend is great for holding stitches at the back or front of the work. The J shaped cable needle uses the short end to hold the stitches and the long end to knit the held stitches it is great for chunky yarn. Similarly the V Shape one works like the J Shaped cable needle, it’s shorter, smaller and finer for sock cables.


Three types of cable needle for different projects and yarn thicknesses. This gives you greater flexibility with knitted projects.

The sharp tips makes it easy to move stitches off the working needles to the cable needle.

Durable aluminum metal. With care they’ll last a long time.


Being aluminum they’re a little slippery

The J Shaped ones are a little long and cubersome for some users

Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Cable Needles

Knitter's Pride Dreamz Cable Needles Check Price On Amazon

From the popular Dreamz brand, manufactured by the USA based knitting tools and notions company Knitter’s Pride. These are great quality cable stitch holders. Perfect for using with knit needles when you make cables.


  • Made In India
  • Pack Of 3 – US 3, (3.25 mm),US 6, (4.0 mm), & US 9 (5.50mm)
  • 4″ Long
  • Plastic


  • Smooth tapered tips which means you won’t poke yourself
  • The ridges along the surface keeps the stitches from falling off
  • Lightweight and easy to manage
  • Can hold parallel to your working needles when you knit the stitches off
  • Durable wood
  • Great for bulky yarns
  • Different colors are appealing to the eye and make it easier to identify the sizes
  • Easy to order with an affordable price and delivery


  • Hard to work with if you are not confident cabling with a straight cable needle
  • Some found the grooves snagged the yarn

Boye Metal Cable Knitting Needles

Boye Metal Cable needles Check Price On Amazon

This set includes three metal needles with pointed ends to prevent yarn splitting and a nice weight. Super smooth, so they won’t catch, but they may be too slippery for beginner knitters. They’re sturdier than plastic options.

  • Pack Of 3 (3, 4.5, 4.81 inches long) The range in diameter the J Shape is suitable for bulky yarn. The V Shape and the straight with the bend in the middle is for lighter weight yarns


  • These are made of aluminum so they are long lasting
  • The anodized surface is smooth so your yarns won’t snag
  • Variety of diameters and lengths allows for different yarns and projects
  • Sharp points helps with getting into stitches


  • The J Shaped version can be a bit awkward at first
  • Some products were reported to have nicks in the surface

Looking for something similarly cheap? Try a Cable Needle from Susan Bates.

Recommended Cable Needle Comparison Chart

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FAQs About Cable Needles

What Is A Cable Needle?

A cable needle in knitting is a small needle with a bend in the middle and a point at either end. They’re plastic, metal, or aluminum.

What Do You Use Cable Needles For?

You use cable needles for holding the stitches that need to be crossed while you knit the cable.

How Do You Hold A Cable Needle?

You hold a cable needle in your dominant hand and insert it into the stitches you need to hold in the back or the front when working a knitted cable.

How Do You Use A Cable Needle?

Here is how to use a cable needle to do cabling knitting in this excellent video tutorial from Lion Brand.

Why Are Cable Needles Bent?

Cable needles are bent because the bend in the middle of the needle keep the stitches from falling off.

Are All Cable Needles The Same Size?

No, cable needles aren’t all the same size. They come in different variations to suit yarn thicknesses and knitting needle sizes.

What Are The Types Of Knitting Cable Needles?

The types of knitting cable needles are straight cable needles and bent cable needles and J Shaped cable needles. Straight cable needles are more common, and bent cable needles are for more intricate patterns, as the curve creates a tighter, more complex pattern.

Can You Do Cables Without A Cable Needle?

Yes, you can do cables without a cable needle. With practice, you can move stitches around so they cross each other. For simple cables I find it easier to rearrange stitches than to use a cable needle.

How To Cable Knit Without A Cable Needle

Here’s how to cable knit without a cable needle. You’ll love or hate this method, as it takes practice. So be patient when learning! Cables Without a Cable Needle – Roxanne Richardson has an excellent tutorial on how to create cables without a cable needle.

How To Work A Back (Right Twist) Cable Without A Cable Needle

  • Pass the RH needle tip in front of the 1st and 2nd sts.
  • Insert it into the 3rd and 4th sts on the LH needle.
  • Remove the LH needle from all 4 sts.
  • (The 1st and 2nd sts are just hanging out, in back).
  • Pass the LH needle tip behind the 3rd and 4th sts.
  • Insert it into the 2nd and 1st sts.
  • Slip the 3rd and 4th sts from the RH needle tip back to the LH needle tip.
  • Knit across the four rearranged stitches.

Note: The same technique can work for turns that twist 3 over 3 or 2 over 4 twists.

How To Work A Front (Right Twist) Cable Without A Cable Needle

  • Rearrange the stitches on the left-hand needle by passing the right-hand needle tip in front of the first three stitches.
  • Insert it into the fourth, fifth and sixth stitches on the left-hand needle.
  • Remove the left-hand needle from all five stitches.
  • Pass it behind the fourth, fifth and sixth stitches.
  • Insert it into the first three stitches.
  • Slip the first three stitches from the right-hand needle tip back onto the left-hand needle and knit across the rearranged six stitches.

If you’re working a twist (with purls) rather than all knits, the process is the same. Rearrange the stitches on the left-hand needle and work them across.

Tips For Knitting Without Using A Cable Needle

  • Working without a cable needle is best for six or fewer stitches.
  • Keeping the stitches relaxed and tensioned correctly is key.
  • Pointy needle tips are best.
  • This technique works best with woolier yarns.
  • Avoid slippery yarns.

What Can You Use Instead Of A Cable Needle?

You can use household items instead, like a bent smaller paperclip, an extra straight knitting needle, the tip of an interchangeable circular needle, small double pointed needles, a bent safety pin, a needle comb, a fine crochet hook, a skewer, or a toothpick.

Does Cable Needle Size Matter?

Yes, cable needle size matters. If the needle is too big, it creates saggy stitches.

What Is The Best Cable Needle?

Out of all the products we researched, reviewed and tested, we liked the Brittany Cable Needles the best. The product is built with quality wood, ensuring your yarn doesn’t snag, and it’ll last for years.

It’s smooth, made with sustainable materials in the USA, and affordable. Given those qualities, we believe so many reviews from happy knitters can’t be wrong.

Our Best Recommendation:

Natural Brittany Cable Needles

These are lovely, functional, made with sustainable materials, and guaranteed to last. They come in a pack of 3, they’re 3.75″ long, and they’re made with birch wood.

Have a question or suggestion for others you’d recommend? Please leave a comment! Your email address is never published in the comments.

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Cable Needle - What they are, how to use them, and the best available.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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