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ok i need help, how do i make circular needles not curl and also if a pattern calls for size 10 needles ( which i dont have) can i go up or down a size?
and while we are on the subject of patterns.
i am going to knit a bag to felt so if i want to make it bigger can i double the cast on stitches and make it bigger?

oh dont worry i am sure i can find a lot more questions to ask..!
Thanks
Bethany
 

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I have asked the same questions about the needles. I was told to boil water, turn it off, and then put the needles in for about a minute or two, they will straighten right out. Now mind you I have not tried it, but really need too, mine are all very curly... I would go up on the needle size and just knit it a little bigger. I do with my afghans a lot and they usually come out looking really nice. In fact the one that I'm working on for my grandson I had to make longer and a little wider, just added stitches for the with and will stop when it is long enough. Have fun with it explore.....
Karyn
 

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Hi Bethany, I use circular needles on just about everything. This way I can't drop one needle to have it lost in the chair cushions. I've been told by soaking the cable in hot water, it should relax. When a pattern calls for a particular size needle, always start by making a 4"x4" swatch. The pattern will tell you if you have the right needle. Some people knit tight, some loose. Use what ever size needle to knit your swatch, compare your # of stitches to gauge recommendation. You can cast on more stitches than called for, realizing your final bag will be wider or longer when finished. If you are felting the bag, know that will make the project a little smaller. If you have plenty of yarn. Make your guage swatch, then felt it to get an idea of how much your yarn will shrink up. You are using pure natural wool aren't you. If it isn't natural wool, it won't shrink!
 

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All cables will curl somewhat. But placing them initially in hot water will help if they are the cheaper ones, I soon got rid of them, use them for teaching & loaning! Curling is a thing you get used to. It is important to use a good quality, like Harmony or Addi-turbo. I personally prefer the nickel plated needles. I do not like any wood or bamboo. They are too slow & on bamboo the tips get rough. I use harmony as they are the best for the price. If you can't afford a set, you can buy one length & add tips & extenders as you go. Sizes 0,1,2 & 3 are fixed needles. I use them for socks in 24". You can revise patterns almost any way you want. Experiment & don't give up. It is only a learning & practice process. On needle size, come as close as you can & adjust your knitting tension. This is not really efficient for an inexperienced knitter. Call 1- 800-574-1323 & request a catalog, they will also answer Q's very gracefully so don't be afraid to ask' I also recommend buying machine wash & dry yarn, unless you like to hand wash. I use a gentle cycle & cold water. Hope this helped!
 

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Hi,
I have the same issues with curling. But I am discovering that the better the quality the easier they are to work with. I started with cheap plastic and they act like cheap plastic. I moved up a price point. And they are better. I did splurge when I received a gift card and bought a better pair. And now I can tell the difference.
I don't have the interchangeable set. Way out of my pocket book range. So I try to get a new set when there is a 1/2 off coupon.
Linda
 

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DO NOT put your circular needles in hot or boiling water! Heat degrades man made materials and this is a good way to destroy a needle (someone did this repeatedly to a needle they borrowed from me and it destroyed the join at the needle tip). Curling needle cables shouldn't be a problem, you knit with the tips and the cable merely holds the stitches. Once you get enough weight (knitting) on the cable it will straighten out!

Felting requires a loose knit, going to a smaller needle will affect a felted item as much as it will any other project.
 

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I am also a "beginner" when it comes to circular needles. However, in answer to your question about the curling, I've found that if I use my hair dryer to warm up the plastic, it makes it more flexible and pliable. I do this before I cast on and it seems to help a lot.

I also use bamboo needles because they aren't so slippery (however the experienced knitters will tell you they are also much slower).
 

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Sherrie, even heat from a hair dryer will speed up the deterioration of circular cables. I'm not sure why this is such a big issue. It seems to come up here on a weekly basis.

I have 44 years of knitting and I don't believe that bamboo needles are any "slower". Last I knew, knitting wasn't a timed event.
 

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Thanks for your reply. As I've just begun subscribing to various websites and reading blogs, I find it very interesting to see everyone's ideas on various topics.

I just find it more difficult to cast on when the plastic is stiff. I will take your advice though about the heat deteriorating the needles etc. I guess I'll just get used it.

I agree, that knitting isn't a timed event. I use knitting to relax so I don't WANT to go fast. I've recently read an article where someone compared the addi turbo to another type needle to see which was faster. I guess that's for people where completing projects fast is their main goal. That same article indicated what I wrote about bamboo needles.

I will have to learn to decide for myself and make my own conclusions about people's advice. I DO thank you for yours.
 

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My ex's mother wanted to make a potato chip scarf when she was visiting one time. So I dug out some yarn and a circular needle for her. I came home from work the next day and she complained that she tried putting that needle in boiling water three times to get it to straighten out. I admonished her for doing that...well lo and behold, the next day, the cable broke! She was furious that all her work was lost and I was pretty unhappy that she destroyed a needle of mine.

Bamboo needles need TLC. You can buy a small kit that contains wax that should be used to regularly polish the needles and fill in any irregularities. Perhaps because I do this, I don't find my bamboo needles to be any slower.
 

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my 2 cents...i uncurl my needles all the time and they are fine...the key is.....do NOT put whole needle in...i use a 1 or 2 quart pyrex measuring cup in the microwave...heat to hot....now take out and HOLD your needle in the water up to, but not including, the join...whether molded or attached...i don't mess with the join.....hold for 1 minute, test, you can tell when it has softened, it might need another minute depending on your needle and your microwave...NOW.....hold straight with your two hands...pull just enough to straighten, and hold that way until COMPLETELY cool.....it will be 2 more minutes...you must hold it in the shape you want it to be...keep straight till cool and it will be soft and pliable and keep out of your way...I have never had a needle break in any way and have uncurled them countless times and all brands...

remember, protect the joins.....
 

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Thank you, thank you for the tips on circular needles. I joined this site a couple of wks ago and have been waiting for a good resolution for de- curling needles besides having to buy expensive ones!! The hot water answer came up but so did the don't ever use it from members. Your method sounds like a winner to me!!
 

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I especially don't like the curling so what I have done is hang all my circulars over a candle sconce on the wall. In the summer heat and over time they hang straighter. It took a year or so. I just can't put them away the way they came when I purchased them. I don't mind seeing them there. I also have straights in a large vase instead of flowers. I have also made a case for my 24-26" circulars that stores them straight except for the one bend in the middle. In the case I have labeled the needle size, otherwise you just have to get out your gauge to verify needle size. No hot water - just patience. You could also start a heavy project and just leave it there for a year or two :D
 

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I am a fairley new knitter,do know how to knit and purl. Have just started to use the curculer needles. I guess that I got the same problem as others with it rolling, however I would not think that heating it would be a good idea eigher. The main reason that I am sending this to you is that I would like to know what a potato chip scarf is?
 

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Bethany said:
ok i need help, how do i make circular needles not curl and also if a pattern calls for size 10 needles ( which i dont have) can i go up or down a size?
and while we are on the subject of patterns.
i am going to knit a bag to felt so if i want to make it bigger can i double the cast on stitches and make it bigger?

oh dont worry i am sure i can find a lot more questions to ask..!
Thanks
Bethany
Good Morning Bethany,

First...good quality circular needles are easier to "uncurl" than their less expensive counterparts. So purchase the Addis, either Turbo (metal) or Natura (bamboo) or the Knitpicks or the Crystal Palace. I have had very good luck with Addis and KA needles.

Second...if you don't want to use hot water to uncurl the cable (and that is the only part that should be in water, not the points), wear the needles around your neck and under your clothing for a few hours. Your body heat will do the trick.

Happy knitting.

:D
 

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I love the ideas here.... I also had a problem with curling circulars.... I wonder if hot water from the faucet would do the trick?

I love the bamboo needles....... the metal ones bother my hands in the winter and I game my away to a friend and switched to bamboo. I think they are great... I have been knitting for a long time (since I was a military depdent overseas in the 50's! I watched those ladies knit at the outside markets and talk about tomatoes without looking, and I made up my mind I wanted to do that!!! When I learned, I used to take my knitting to the movies, and knit in the dark! No complicated patterns - just garter stitch or stockinette back then! Now I am hooked on cables and newly hooked on twisted stitches!)
 

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Heat of any kind, water, hot air, etc., will speed the deterioration of the cable. Did you ever have one of those lawn chairs that was made from plastic tubing wrapped around a metal frame? After a few summers in the hot sun..someone sat in it and few of the wraps of the tubing gave way!

I'm not going to risk my investment for the sake of curling that doesn't have anything to do with the actual use of the needle, you don't knit with the cable, just the tips.
 
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