Yesterday we had a delightful time on a virtual Zoom sesh with Patty Lyons as part of Virtual Knitting Live, Vogue Knitting Live’s delightful answer to how knitters can still gather together en masse, pandemic be damned. People sent in questions in advance, and typed questions into the live chat, and Patty fired off answers.
Patty fielded questions on everything from Moth Trouble to how to retro-install forgotten increases waaaay down below in a big piece of knitting. I have a strong suspicion that you and I were there for comic relief, and also because of our frequent expressions of genuine amazement at The Wonder That Is Patty. (If you’d like to watch the recording of this Festival of Quarantine Hair, here you go.)
While we were yapping, I was knitting. And the thing I was knitting was a little cable swatch for a project that you and I are working on. Someone in the chat asked, how do you keep track of your cable needle so you’re not crawling around on the floor looking for it all the time?
Patty oh-so-predictably chimed in that she keeps her cable needle in a drawer, because she never uses it. All her cables—no matter how big or how acrobatic—are worked without a needle. You, Ann, with a practiced ease belying a past life as teacher’s pet, echoed that you rarely use a cable needle anymore, either.
I love a cable needle, and I’m not ashamed to say it. If a cable has more than 2 stitches in it, I’m going to twist those stitches with a handcrafted wooden needle that is designed for this purpose. Dropping it on the floor IS a problem. I’ve tried everything, or thought I had.
Then someone piped up that they stick their cable needle in the band of their watch.
I gaped at this notion like the prehistoric humans at the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. What was this wondrous thing? I have a watch! I am never without it, because without it how would I ping my phone 18 times a day?
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
And it got me to thinking how, for the project we’re working on, and for our general betterment as knitters and humans, it would be super fun to know more little tips like this. I’m not talking about fancy Patty-esque or Atherleysian technical or mathematical feats. I’m talking Stick Your Cable Needle in Your Watch Band type of tips. The little MacGyver hacks that help you steer straight on the road to the finished object.
So readers, have at it! What are your homespun hacks to make knitting easier? Inquiring minds want to know!
P.S. I would have illustrated this post with a picture of my cable needle in my watchband, but . . . oh hell, it’s around here somewhere.
In a pinch, a tapestry needle will work as a cable needle.