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How to uncurl the cord on your circular knitting needles

how to fix a curly circular needle cord

It’s one of the biggest problems with circular knitting needles: the cord is often all twisted! When too curly, the needle is difficult to work with… and it’s often in it’s curly state when it comes out of the package or after being stored for a while (as pictured in photo 1, above). Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to solve.

To untwist a curly needle cord, just soak it in warm water (photo 2, above)!

How to fix a curly circular needle cord

The warm water relaxes the cord, and it will come out nicely uncurled… all ready for you to begin knitting! How easy is that?


  1. Margie SAYS...

    I have a question regarding my straight, metal knitting needles. The coating has come off the last 2 inches or so from the tips and it leaves a gray color on my fingers. Is there anything I can coat it with or do to the needles to prevent this?

    • Hi Margie- I don’t know of any suggestions for a material to recoat your needles… perhaps some other readers will chime in with a suggestion?

    • Lily SAYS...

      Paint the ends with clear nail polish, or toss them in the garbage and buy stainless steel needles this will not happen to stainless.

  2. Anna K. SAYS...

    Is it ok to do this with bamboo needles too?

    • Yes, of course! The warm water will not harm the wood and it will relax the cord in the same way 🙂

    • Elinor SAYS...

      Don’t dunk the wood in the water. Just to be safe 🙂 just hold the wood out of the water when soaking the cord.

  3. Gloria Beachy SAYS...

    What about when the cord gets curly while knitting?

  4. Janet Mayer SAYS...

    I tried this and it worked just ok at first. After knitting a couple rows, the cord started to curl again, I sat with my leg up, knee bent, on the coffee table and placed the cord under my thigh. That worked well. I had to adjust the cord under the thigh each time I started a new row. It must be my needle’s cord material or something. I’m going to get a different needle at the store and see how that works.

  5. Debbie SAYS...

    If you didn’t know about soaking your circular needles before you started your project will continuing my work with twisted needles be a problem? Should i rip out my work and start over

  6. Jarreau SAYS...

    i have pair of Bamboo Wood needles it is cord all curly is it okay to do this ?

    • I would keep the needles out of the water and just soak the cord.

  7. How warm does the water need to e and how long does it need to soak? I tried this and it didn’t work for me.

  8. Anonymous SAYS...

    Knit your work onto a straight needle temporarily. Straighten your circular needle. Knit your work back onto the circular needle.