Cables are simply another way designers add visual interest to a final product. Think of them like braiding hair - part of the work is picked up and laid to the side of another. They can be complicated or simple, but to make your life easier while doing them, you are going to want a cable needle (at least at first). Like most things when it comes to fiber crafts, there are many choices and it usually comes down to personal preference.
WHAT STYLES ARE AVAILABLE?
We usually carry three different types and, heads up, cable needles can vary WILDLY. Essentially what you want is a something short enough that it is easy to work with, has a bend to help keep the stitches in place, and is roughly the same thickness as the yarn you are working with.
- U Style - As the name suggests, the shape is vaguely like a "U" or a bar with a kink in it - like the Hiya Hiya Cable Needles.
- J Style - The bend in a "J" style like the Clover Cable Needle is usually more pronounced than the "U" style. Some people like that it can hang or be held like a stitch marker.
- Straight Wood - Wooden ones like Brittany Cable Needles or the Cocoknits Bamboo Needles tend to have some sort of ridge pattern in the middle which helps keep the needle from slipping through the stitches.
DOES MATERIAL MATTER?
Material matters here mostly in the form of personal preference. Some people just really like wood and that's what they pick. Some prefer the plastic ones that have shapes that feel more secure in holding their stitches. Like knitting needles and crochet hooks, you kind of have to give them all a try to figure out what works best for you.
Honestly, in a pinch you can use about anything - and we have! Spare double pointed needle? Pencil? Toothpick? Chopstick? You just need something to hold a few stitches and then to be able to knit off of it to get them incorporated back into your work.