5 Tips for Knitting with Interchangeable Needles

Article by Emma Lane

Knitting with interchangeable needles can be easy, as long as you know a few basics. Hopefully these simple tips will help ensure all the projects you knit with interchangeable needles will be fun and easy.

Welcome! I am so excited to help you learn more about knitting with interchangeable needles!

Are your interchangeable knitting needles coming unscrewed? Or maybe the cable keeps curling or getting in your way? Knitting with interchangeable needles doesn’t have to be difficult.

In fact, interchangeable needles can be a great, low maintenance option that works on all knitting projects! The five tips below are simple and easy but will make all the difference in your knitting!

1. Start with the right needles

Knitting with interchangeable knitting needles isn’t really any different than knitting with fixed circular needles. The key is to choose the right needle for the project, and to pick one that you are comfortable knitting with. Feel free to experiment with different needles. The worst that will happen if you start with the wrong needle is that you’ll have to take rip everything out and start over again.

When you look for needles, you’ll find a wide variety of options. While you should make sure you have the best interchangeable knitting needles for you, some things to consider are:

Material and finish. If you knit tightly or are looking for speed, metal needles may be your best option. If you knit loosely, wooden needles may work better as stitches are less likely to be dropped.

Points. Round tips are fine for plain knitting, like stockinette and garter stitch. Long, sharper tips are better for lace and cables.

Joins. The smoother the join between the cable and the needle, the easier it is to slide stitches without any snagging.

Related post: What are the Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles for Beginners?

2. Screw, screw, screw

If your interchangeable needles have a screw-in join, it’s normal for them to come loose as you knit. But you want to make sure they don’t become so loose that the tips and cable separate while you knit, causing all of your stitches to fall off your needle and into your lap.

That’s why every time you pick up your knitting, you should tighten the join. Even if you’re just taking a quick bathroom break or letting the dog out, tighten everything before you start knitting again.

3. Remove the kink and curl

If your interchangeable knitting needles have a plastic cable, odds are they like to curl, especially if they’ve been stored curled up. It can be very annoying to knit with them!

To remove the curl, hold the needle tips and dip the cable into hot water for a moment. When you remove the cable from the water, stretch it out straight to cool.

4. Check the length

The circumference of your project should be equal to or greater than your needle length. If your needle is longer, your yarn can stretch and become misshapen.

However, if the project circumference is a lot larger than the needle length, it is easier to twist the cast-on when you join to knit in the round. It can also be harder to find mistakes and to check your measurements. If you’re knitting stranded colorwork, too short of a needle can make it difficult to maintain your tension, causing the fabric to pucker.

If you find that your needle is too short, it’s easy to fix with interchangeable needles. Simply add another cable with a cable connector.

But if you needle is too long, you’ll need to move your knitting to a smaller cable.

5. Mark the join

If you’re knitting in the round, make sure you mark the join before you join your knitting by placing a stitch marker before the last stitch of the row (so it won’t fall off). This way you’ll always know where the beginning/end of a row is, and thus always know what row you are working on in your pattern.

I hope these tips for knitting with interchangeable needles help you! Let me know in the comments below about your success or failure, as well as an questions you might have.