Sunday, February 19, 2017

Homemade Knitting Needles

When I found out I could make my own knitting needles easily and safely, I was floored. I was about fourteen when my mother said, 'Ok, we are going to make knitting needles,' I thought she was out of her mind. We went to our local drugstore and bought some dowels, sandpaper, wood glue and large wooden beads. When I started to understand how easy this was gonna be I became elated, ecstatic actually because I only had one set of knitting needles my mom gave me when I had started to learn to knit. I wanted every size needles so I could make anything and everything I took a fancy to, but buying that many knitting needles would be so expensive!
If you go to a home improvement store or craft store, depending on the size you get, you can buy dowel sticks for around 30¢ each. The craft store will be more expensive so I recommend the former, where you can also get a reasonable price for wood glue and sanding paper. Wooden beads, or any other kind of bead for that matter, that can fit at the end of a dowel is somewhat difficult to find-probably depending on your area. If you make larger needles, you will have to fine tune your whittling skills, but a size 8 knitting needle can be formed from a dowel using an electric pencil sharpener. I have five sets I've made in this size because I use them the most. I make Granny Dishcloths on them and one set is double pointed for knitting a hat on. I have a scarf I am knitting on another set of 8s. They are my favorite size.
So once you get your purchase home, you can measure the length and cut/break the dowel into knitting needle size lengths with about a half inch longer so you have room to glue a bead on the end. Sharpen one end of each dowel carefully so you don't shorten the needle length.
Then sand the sharpened end so that it is smooth with a rounded tip. (This is the best time to remove any product labels.) Make sure the shaft is also smooth so it will not snag any yarn.
Next, put some coconut oil or olive oil on a paper towel and oil the entire length of the needle.
Squeeze a sunflower seed size amount of wood glue on to the blunt end and carefully slide your bead onto the end (it may be a tight fit and sometimes takes​ a bit of gentle finesse. This is the most difficult part.) Wipe excess glue from the knitting needle and set aside to dry.
When dry you may begin use immediately, the needles will become smoother and more slick the more they are used. I really enjoy the feel of them in my hands and they knit so much quieter than other needles I have used. I really love them.
I hope you will try it and let me know how it goes, or if you have any questions.

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