Where to keep that cable needle? A solution.

Now as I’ve said many a time, I do love my cables. However it wasn’t until knitting on a particularly cramped plane once that I suddenly became self aware enough to realize I was sticking my cable needle (and extra double point for that matter) in my mouth when not in use. Oh.
So what to do with it?
I know many rave about cabling without a cable needle and I do it for 1×1 cables sometimes but generally it’s just not for me. (I end up feeling I’m strangling rather than working the cables). I like working fast though and all other methods have fallen short (sticking behind the ear- long hair bad idea / in the knitting – it falls out, split stitches / setting it down- the invisible gnomes abscond with it, etc).
With Mother Necessity nudging me, I set my mind to inventing a solution. I wanted a method that didn’t require letting go of the knitting and liked a similar idea to the wrist pin cushion. After a few failed prototypes this is what I came up with and Eureka, it works perfectly!
Cable needle holder
This cable needle holder is worn like a ring on any finger that’s comfortable. The elastic loop performs double duty as a button loop closure and holds the cable needle securely under tension. The cable needle is slipped in and out as needed without having to let go of the working yarn or needles.
What You Need (or what I used anyway):

  • 2 1/2″ long piece of round cord elastic
  • 3″ x 7/8″ piece of fabric (approximately)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • One 1/2″ button (with a shank strongly preferred)

If you’d like, you can print out this template for the fabric. First fold and press your hems, your final size should be 2″ x 5/8″. This final size is what matters, not the hem allowance. (Also, does pressing my folds with my hair straightener instead of the huge industrial iron make me a total freak?)
Hems folded and ready to be sewn - wrong side
I used the fabric selvedge here as it was a little sturdier for attaching the elastic.
Hems folded and ready to be sewn - right side
View from the right side. Note: if you have thin fingers (smaller than size 6), or would like to wear this on your pinky I’d recommend making the piece shorter.
half unfolded and elastic loop sewn down to hem selvedge
Next fold the piece of elastic in half and secure it to the inside hem fabric making sure not to go through both layers. It’s pictured here half unfolded on the right side. I found lashing down both ends by wrapping the thread around everything a few times help to initially secure it. Then work up and over each end in a figure 8 fashion being sure to pierce through the elastic a few times until it’s nice and secure.
All hems sewn
If you have greater finesse with a sewing machine than I, topstitch around all the edges to secure hem. Otherwise hand sew with backstitch.
Button added - all done!
Finally, sew on your button. If not using the recommended shank type button be sure you make a good strong thread shank. (You will be putting a lot a repeated tension on this closure.)
Action shot
Now you’re ready to zoom through your next cabling project!
I’m really rather fond of mine and happily wear it simply as jewelry. Definitely more stylish if forgotten than a needle behind the ear (or in the other stow-away place I’ve heard of- the cleavage)!

Leave a comment ?


  1. This is an Awesome idea!!!

  2. wow – you are a genious! lol

  3. That’s a fantastic idea. No more sticking the needle behind my ear for me. Now I just have to learn to sew.

  4. No, using your hair iron just means you saw the futility of lugging out that huge iron and trying to hold the pieces down and pressing them and… Yeah. Been there, done that!

  5. You are a GENIUS! Seriously, you should try selling those!

  6. What a neat idea! I am always putting my cable needle down only to pick it back up or sticking it in my mouth : )

  7. Haha. Very cute. I once worked with a woman who created a similar doo-hicky for holding her pencil on her finger while she was typing on the computer keyboard or filing, so she could flip it around and write with it when needed.
    Humans are so creative!

  8. Am I the only one who sticks her cable needle in her cleavage between uses!? It really sucks when you forget you put it there though and end up walking round the house for hours and then find the needle at bed time when you get undressed!

  9. This is a brilliant idea! One of my biggest annoyances when working with cables, or dpns for that matter, is that it’s difficult to keep the flow going when switching needles. I’m running to my scrap bin right now to get started on mine.

  10. Genius! You are brilliant!!!

  11. You are like genius woman of amazing talents! Hurrah! :) Thanks for the excellent tutorial!

  12. That is such a cool idea. I’m off to knit, I mean sew, myself one now!

  13. Love!
    That is great!

  14. I ditto everything everyone else here has said.

  15. if you do decide to sell these, let me know, i’ll buy one.

  16. Great idea! I generally stick my needles not in use in the base of my ponytail.

  17. Gah! That’s genius! I must make one!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  18. I used to make cables without the needle, but the for some project it just didn’t want to happen – the thread was too thin and the needles too… anyway – I needed the needle.
    Behind the ear – yes. But I can’t find it there LOL Yes, I have long hair, and I use a needle that is just bigger than the darning needle… (Or the darning needle).
    And, indeed, the stealing pixies nixed it if I put it on the table, in my lap, cleavage, the knitting etc.
    So I pushed it under my watch strap, and that works for me :-)
    But I have a leather strap – it might be different with metal strap.

  19. Brilliant! Adorable! Functional!

  20. Ooh, that’s such a great idea! Everyone says cabling without a cable needle is the answer, but sometimes you *need* that needle!

  21. You blow me away. That is so clever! And cute enough to be jewelry!

  22. That`s a greatest idea, they always knock around, but when it is cooler I normally knit wearing something knitted already so I just stick it in one of my sweater`s loops, ha… so this isn`t so bad… ;]

  23. Another wonderful idea by Lady PieKnits!

  24. Thanks for this pattern. I am constantly reminded of why you are in my bloglines. This ring certainly beats keeping it in the cleavage!

  25. that is genius! what a great idea. especially helpful was seeing the action shot :)

  26. Thanks everyone!
    I’ve found a couple of nice examples that others have made here!
    http://www.ravelry.com/projects/dharmabum/paisley-cable-needle-holder -
    Did a nice variation of folding over a larger piece of fabric twice-
    looks nice from all sides.

  27. Excellent idea. You should make a bunch and sell them on Etsy. I’ll have to remember this, much easier then always trying to find that darn cable needle every time I need it and it’s fallen into the cracks in the couch.

  28. Ha ha! I just stumbled along and found this. It’s brilliant! I’m planning to pick up my needles again soon and this is just what I need to make it less cumbersome.

  29. This is ingenious! I’m surprised no one has thought of this before. I second the Etsy idea. You’re so innovative!

  30. Oh.My.Goodness! This is amazing!!!! I have to make one. Thanks for sharing your creative idea with us.

  31. This is awesome! But my favorite part of your post is that you used your hair straightening iron to press the fabric. Brilliant. You are absolutely not a freak…you are inventive, creative and extremely resourceful.

  32. Just wondering, is there any reason why you couldn’t do this with two lengths of grosgrain ribben, stitched together with a little bit of heavy interfacing, instead of fabric with all the dainty pressing?
    Totally sweet idea, BTW. Thanks for sharing!

  33. I have forgotten who it was but I first found out about your website from a link posted on Twitter. . I truly love the stuff I have read on your site and plan to keep reading when I get more time. Do you have a Twitter profile?

  34. Sarah- that is a great idea to use ribbon as well! I may try that for my next one.

  35. This is a great idea. Now my dog won’t get to use my cable needle as a chew bone!

  36. I like the blog, but could not find how to subscribe to receive the updates by email. Can you please let me know?

  37. I don’t normally comment on blogs.. But nice post! I just bookmarked your site

  38. I love your site. My 13 year old nephew actually led me to it by way of your blueberry pie that he would like me to knit for him.
    I can’t wait to make myself a cable needle ring. I have a favorite cable needle that I almost lost recently because I had no good place to put it.
    Thank you!

  39. I love this! Thank’s for the info!

  40. just saw this what a great idea. thanks
    for sharing

  41. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  42. Il fallait la déposer votre idée avant de la dévoiler, trop “cool” !!!
    Bonne journée et si vous en avez encore , c’est avec joie …..

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