Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Making knitting needles

When I went with my family and friends to that Arts Center in Alexandra, VA in May (the one that does art with recycled materials)  I scored something unusual.  They had a jar of unfinished knitting needles in rare woods in all sorts of sizes.  This used to be someone's business, I think she was turning knitting needles on a lathe in ebony, rosewood, etc. but then she retired...and donated her leftovers.  I got 2 sets of straight needles at $3 a piece.  I could have bought a ton, but in truth, I don't really need more needles.  I do use size #6 and 7 (4 mm and 4.5mm) pretty often though.  None of the needles were marked, and none had ends yet.  So, I eyeballed, bought two, and flew home to Winnipeg.
I have a weird collection of beads in many sizes.  I always thought I might get into beading, although honestly, it has never been my thing.  I've made beaded yarns, knitted beads into garments, and in the end, I find it a bit too fiddly and the end result was too girly for my personal taste.  However, I just happened to have some wooden beads...that would work well on these needles.

I did this in a low tech way.  I grabbed some of my kids' glue, some newspaper, and set things up on the front porch.  I didn't measure or get overly particular about details.  I put glue inside the beads, slid them onto the ends of the needles, and left it to dry.

Once dry, the needles look good to go.  I have knit on straight or double pointed needles without anything on the end, and while I can manage it in a pinch, I like a firm cap on the end so stitches don't fall off when I race off to chase a dog or kid.  These will fit the bill.  If for some reason the glue does not stick, I have more wooden beads and I can use fancier glue later.  I started with easily accessible non-toxic glue from the kids' art shelf.

If you are handy, you can easily sharpen dowels and make knitting needles.  I have also knit with pencils in a pinch.  Sometimes you need to knit and supplies aren't close at hand.  If you're not into sharpening dowels, consider visiting some thrift shops and secondhand stores to get needles affordably.  This is how I built up my big collection of needles when I first got married and moved away from my mom's stash of needles.  This also helps you learn to knit with a variety of needles.  I learned not to be overly picky about wood/metal/plastic but to enjoy knitting with tools that were well-loved by those knitters who came before me.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home