February 26th, 2013

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Fix Curly Circular Needle Cords

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Sometimes when you start using brand new circular needles, the cords can be a little unruly. They can get very curly and twisted from being in the packaging, which makes it hard to keep your project flat and can be frustrating to work with.

All you need to remedy this is some warm water. You want the water to be hot, but not boiling. I use my teakettle on the stove and wait until I see some steam, but warming up even just a mug of water in the microwave would work too. Dip the cords into the water for a few seconds, then stretch out the needles and give a gentle tug. ┬áThe warm water will relax the plastic enough to release the curl. Only do a few seconds at a time! You don’t want to accidentally melt your cords.

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22 Responses to “Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Fix Curly Circular Needle Cords”

  1. Heather Kaup Says:

    You can also leave them hanging over something with the weight of the needles to pull them down. Though your way is quicker, I have more luck with mine.

  2. Carrie Jackson Says:

    Thank you! I have been wondering if warm water would relax the curl but had been timid to try. It is on now, curly circulars!

  3. Barb Says:

    It doesn’t always work. I have really cheap needles that I got off eBay that won’t relax at all. Got what I paid for.

  4. A7dk Says:

    I have done with with Knitpicks cables. It works well, but I have to dip and straighten several times before the curl really comes out.

  5. Cheryl Says:

    Great tip – thanks so much!!

  6. Teree Beach Says:

    I have steamed mine with my iron. I stretch the cord out and place a small hand towel over it and then press.

  7. ggmmcn361 Says:

    Yep, that’s what I do. It’s better than having to cook water in a pot and avoiding getting the bamboo needles wet.

  8. MoonbeamMarigold Says:

    I never use circular needles, I hate them. 35 years ago when they were new and cutting edge I did, but now I always use bamboo DPN’s,so much more pleasant to work with. And versatile, too.

  9. Nancy Lemke-Bush Says:

    I have also used a hair dryer

  10. Jennie Says:

    Great tips . Thanks

  11. Cindy Says:

    I just run the tap water until it’s hot and hold the needles apart while running the warm water on the cord. It works, no danger of meting the cord with too hot water and I’m ready to go in a shorter time than it takes to heat the water on the stove.

  12. AuntSue Says:

    Please do not use that pot on the stove. It is not stove top safe, and is liable to shatter into glass shards.

  13. Kathy Shough Says:

    I always use my hair dryer and the cord relaxes quite quickly.

  14. Nancy Says:

    Try sitting on them for a while. No danger of melting here. Your cords need to be relaxed not straight. Of course, store them flat.

  15. Danelle OH Says:

    I’m pretty sure that actually is a stove top proof pot. I had a similar vintage corningware pot and it was fine for the stove top (just not in the micro or oven)…Otherwise, great tips!

  16. Sandy Walker Says:

    I use my hair dryer…works great!

  17. knitwit Says:

    I use a plastic skirt hanger, the kind w/ a clip at each end. . . i clip all my circular needles stretched out between the 2 clips, and hang it in the closet of my craft room. No need to “unkink” them when I’m ready to knit!

  18. Amy W Says:

    what do I do if I bought knitting needles the right size – but the wrong length. In other words too long?

  19. Tina Horan Says:

    Like someone else mentioned, I run my hot water tap and then run my KnitPicks cords through the running water. Much easier and faster.

  20. Lisa W Says:

    Thank you for the hair dryer suggestion! I think it may have worked! I have 47″ Addi lace needles that would not relax from hot water. They curled tightly and tangled in the two balls of yarn for my 2-at-a-time socks. I finally had to stop using them. I hope this does it!

  21. Michelle Says:

    This worked well with a little swishing with my cheap wal mart ones. Great idea and worked in like 30 seconds of heat. Zapped hot tap water for 2 minutes. Worked perfectly

  22. Carol Gutman Says:

    What can I do to uncurl metal cables on circular needles?
    Looking forward to your reply.

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