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How to Unkink Circular Knitting Needles and Tunisian Crochet Cords

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Do you have a brand new set of circular knitting needles or cabled Tunisian crochet hooks? If so, you’ll benefit from this super quick tip for straightening those cords before using them. It’s almost too easy!

unkink cords circular knitting needles or tunisian cabled hooks

How to Unkink Circular Knitting and Tunisian Crochet Cords

If you’re reading this, you must really love yarn. 🧶 As fiber enthusiasts we know that little compares to working with a fancy new set of knitting needles or crochet hooks. That being said, when you have new circular knitting needles or the cabled hooks used for Tunisian crocheting, it can be a pain (literally) to work with kinked or coiled cords.

Unkink circular knitting needles

This tutorial will teach you how to unkink the stiff cords or cables to relieve the stress on your wrists while you work.

When the cords are new and curled or kinked, the bulk of the fabric tends to sit right at your wrists. The weight of that fabric causes extra strain and stress on your wrist and forearm.

unkink circular knitting needle cords

You may also notice that you need to grip the crochet hook more tightly than usual to keep the hook from rotating as you work. Your hand can get sore as a result.

This won’t be as noticeable with the knitting needles since the orientation doesn’t matter as it does with a hook, but the coil in the cabled hook really pulls the work to one side making you have to struggle to add more stitches. I’m sure I am not alone when I say there has got to be a better way. One that doesn’t take away from your knitting or crocheting time because of fatigue.

Note: You may also benefit from this Pillow Support pattern and the stretches in this article.

Free crochet pattern pillow support

Straightening these cords and/or cables is so easy… All you need is steam. Whether that steam comes from a boiling pot on the stove or a garment steamer (like the one I use for blocking my finished work) it will work all the same.

For this tutorial I am straightening the cords on my Radiant Tunisian Crochet Hook set.

unkink circular knitting needle cords

The cord length does not matter. Some cords or cables can be up to 60″ long, and circled around several times on themselves. The steam will relax and uncurl the cord, and straightening this cable makes all the difference.

To relax circular knitting needles or Tunisian Crochet cables you will either:

  1. Hold the cable above a pot of boiling water. Simply set a pot to boil and once the steam starts rolling, CAREFULLY hold each end of the cord above the pot. Hold the cable taut while allowing the heat and steam to do their magic.
  2. Submerge the cable in hot water (not the hook or the needle, just the cord), and wait about 5 minutes. A microwaved tupperware full of water will suffice.
  3. Use a garment steamer and hold the ends of the cords taut in front, being careful not to burn your fingers. This is by far my favorite method.

unkink cords cabled knitting and crocheting

That is it! I can’t believe that I crocheted with kinked cords for so long when it really is this easy.

unkink knitting cords and tunisian crochet hook cables

I hope this tutorial helps you, and that you’ll use one of these Tunisian crochet patterns that require a cabled hook.

Tunisian Basket Weave Blanket: Free Crochet Pattern

Tunisian Sunrise Crochet Tank Top

Tunisian Knit Short Row Cardi

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  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I just bought the same set of hooks and have been practicing the stitches for the CAL. My curled cord keeps whipping around while I crochet (very annoying). I have my tea pot boiling as we speak so I can straighten the cord. Thanks for the wonderful tip.