The Most Dangerous Experiment In Knitting

Circular Needles

Ooh, Karen. It must be really annoying knitting when your circular needles are so curly.

You’re right, readers, you’re right! So annoying, I decided to embark on The Most Dangerous Experiment In Knitting.

I took a warm iron and a clean tea towel…

tea towel

I stretched the plastic tube out beneath the tea towel and pressed…

Circular Needle Collage

Et viola! A much easier circular needle to work with. I’m living life on the edge, peeps! What’s the most dangerous experiment you’ve performed in the name of making?

plastic tube

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34 Responses to The Most Dangerous Experiment In Knitting

  1. Siobhan says:

    Oooo, you do like to live on the edge!

    I have actually taken in the sides on a cardigan before, cutting into the edges and everything! It still ended up in the bin.

    PS if you’re after a less exotic needle – straightener, you can put the cables in warm water and smooth them out with your hands.

  2. nicola says:

    i cannot get on with circular needles i just can’t they annoy me and i came to hate the project i was working on ended up cutting it up in frustration

    • Ros says:

      Nice quality circular needles are worth every penny, in my view. They really do make a much more pleasant knitting experience.

      • Helen says:

        I completely agree! Addi turbos or knit pros, all other cheaper circulars I have ever tried have been a total false economy, a nightmare. Pop their cords into hot water and boom, flexible as a flexible thing!

  3. “Adventures with a hot iron” should be its own category of experiments–MANY risky maneuvers there! I once ironed a seam on vinyl after reading in my fabric book that you aren’t supposed to (didn’t actually have any effect).

  4. Bekki Hill says:

    What a great question! . I’ve wracked my brains and can’t remember doing anything dangerous in the name of making – but when I was at school I did use a sewing needle to help one of my eight year old classmates re-pierce her ear when the hole had closed up, because she had taken the stud out, and was worried her mum would be cross with her. I can still see the blood and hear the screams. As for knitting needles, I love all knitting needles and would never dream of mistreating them.

  5. Jeanie says:

    Ha! Those curly bamboo needles caught me too… except I accidentally sat on mine and snapped one of the needles! I tried to repair it with sticky/cello tape but it caught my yarn on every stitch. So, back to the shops I went and purchased a new pair (such a waste!). I still haven’t finished that jumper yet. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually…

    • Thea says:

      I stood on mine before – I put them down on the bed (small bedroom, so you have to get around the bed or cross it…) thinking, of course I’ll remember they’re there! Needless to say, they snapped happily. Suplerglue rescued them. But, they were long and the break was near the end. Now, though, one of them has snagged at the tip, and that too catches the yarn at every stitch, driving me mad. I think it’s time to ditch them! (I’m now wondering why I haven’t done that already)

  6. andipi says:

    I’d love to try that because curling needles are a pain, but not on my KnitPros :/

  7. Emma says:

    I’m trying this tonight! I love knitting on circular needles, but it is annoying when they coil up and twist while I’m knitting. This sounds like a great solution!

  8. Chris says:

    You have literally solved one of THE GREAT PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD for me! Always wondered how those needles could be uncurled. So while I don’t knit dangerously I much appreciate your sense of adventure!

  9. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Ooooo, love this idea, Karen. Will remember it when the next project looms!
    Most stressful-to-moi adventure has been to machine wash wools, rayons, and silks marked with “dry clean only’ tags. So far, so good! (They do get hung to dry.) 💕 del

  10. Ellen says:

    I did similar, but instead of ironing, I carefully dipped the cord only into boiling water. Kept the yarn out, but did suffer a burnt and blistered fingertip. Not worth it.

  11. Emma Jayne says:

    I braved live stitches to fix an erroneous cable… and survived to blog about it!

  12. Carol S says:

    Can also be done by holding in the steam from a kettle or pot of boiling water.

  13. felicia says:

    For me the scariest part of knitting is pulling the project off the needles to unravel some rows because of a mistake. I just had to do it yesterday because after doing eight rows of a sock heel flap I realized I had read the directions wrong. Amazingly !! I managed to unravel just to the row I needed to get back to, and all the stitches were there and only too happy to climb back onto the needle (although all their feet faced in the wrong direction).

    • Yes, I think ripping back can be less dangerous than we fear. And yes, so annoying about how the stitches go back on the needle.

      • Anne-Marie says:

        I pick the stitches up on a needle a size or two thinner, that’s much less fiddly and when you knit them onto the normal-sized needle all’s back to normal.

  14. Asking my gran to teach me to crochet was a bit of a dangerous (for my ego) experiment. I blogged about it.

    I’ve been put off circular needles in the past mostly because of how unwieldy they have felt. Tempted to try ironing them, thank you for doing it first 😉

  15. I do such maverick things to get stuff done that I can’t even recall them as it seems to normal!! but that is something else. Brilliant! Jo x

  16. Hilary says:

    I’m not sure if this counts as a dangerous experiment for “making”, but once when I had made costumes for a period performance, we needed to give them a distressed look. Having been through all the usual techniques (dragging them round the floor, attacking them with a cheese-grater, etc), we gave them to my friend’s dogs as tug-o-war toys. It was very effective! The costumes got an organically “worn” look, and rather spectacularly didn’t fall apart! I was very proud. 🙂

  17. From watching too much HGTV back in the day when they actually showed you how to make things…
    I made and upholstered a king sized headboard and a 10 ft scalloped cornice over my windows. I was all alone (frantic over being recently separate and not having my child near) and go it all done in a weekend. I have never used a jigsaw or made anything with wood in my life. Came out perfectly!

    Knitting-wise, having to drop a handful of stiches down inches to work up a single dropped stitch on a sock while sitting in a meeting with my CEO behind me. In the end, he was fascinated by my Zauberball yarn!

  18. twotoast says:

    Nothing dangerous, but just wanted to tell you about Knit Picks circular needles – they have very soft and flexible cords, I think that they are now sold in some UK shops. Otherwise, try Addis – they are just as good but a little more expensive. I got rid of my UK circulars (Aero I think was the make) as they are so inflexible. They made knitting a chore and stretched my knitting.

    Glad your experiment worked out – I would have been devastated if it ruined my needles! Another way to soften the cord is to soak it in hot water. Not much good is you have knitting on the needles though!

  19. Sheena says:

    My cat took a bite out of the cord of my favorite sock needle once. I tried to smooth the bite marks , first with sandpaper, then by melting (with fire!) and stretching. Needless to say, neither worked. 🙁

  20. Melizza says:

    I dipped my cables in boiling water. Worked great. But they curled up again later. Whomp whomp.

  21. Ros says:

    That is a brilliant idea. I will try it on some of my cheap circulars. I do think, though, that good quality circular needles are worth every penny. I’ve never had this problem at all with the ChiaoGoos and the Kollage Square needles I have.

  22. Putting holes in the front of a corset using an awl so that you can push the “button” side through must be one of scariest things known to man. Too much pressure and you can make too big a hole and pull the fabric, not enough and you can’t get it through. The stuff of nightmares. 🙂 xx

  23. vickygorry says:

    Possibly scary rather than dangerous, but I recently faced a room of 30 Girl Guides about to make drawstring bags for camp, armed only with a couple of sewing machines and a tin of threads. Terrifying and rewarding in equal measure.

  24. Berte says:

    Like Siobhan suggests above, I use hot water to straighten my needles. And new cables. Anything plasticy that needs shaping gets a heat treatment, actually. But dangerous experiments? Can’t remember any. Either because it worked well, and thus was not dangerous, or it went to *bleep* and I have conveniently forgotten all about it. Or, I just don’t think any of the “off piste tracks” I take in crafting are dangerous. Adventurous and exhilarating, yes. Dangerous, no.

  25. Rachel-Lou says:

    I blast unruly cables with a hairdryer, it works and no injuries so far

  26. Drew says:

    Boiling water works for me when straitening needles. Thanks for the great advice!

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