April 11, 2011

Hand Made Needles

Speaking of needles, check these out:

I used these for the wrist warmers.  We made these a few years ago out of a dowel rod.  Mostly to see if we really could do it.  ("We"  means me and my mom).  I really like these needles, but there are a few things I would do differently were I to make some more.  Here's what I would do if I were to make more (and I really need to make more.  My 8 inch double points are just too long for little mittens).

First off, head to the knitting department of your favorite crafty store and find a knitting needle gauge that isn't enclosed in packaging.  Take it with you to the dowel rod area. (Or take your own gauge with you to the hardware store.)

Use the knitting needle gauge to check the dowel rods for the size you want.  Return knitting needle gauge to it's proper place.  Buy the rod that you need.

Measure the dowel rod and mark where you need to make cuts.  I think I would like a set of five inch double points so I would mark every five inches and I would cut out five needles.  Use a saw to cut.  We used a little handsaw.  If you are making needles around a size 10, 10.5, 11, and larger you may need something a little stronger (or a little someone else to do the cutting for you! hehehe).

After you get the needles cut, you'll need to make some points on the ends.  We used a pencil sharpener and it worked well.  However, on my next pair I will be sure to sharpen them.  And then sharpen them some more.  I find that the pair I have do not always go through the stitches as easily as I'd like.  So the sharper the better.

Now, you need to sand.  We used a fine grit sandpaper on these (I think).  Sand them smooth, but be careful not to sand down too much.  You don't want to change the size of the needle!  Once they're smooth enough  for your liking (my current pair are rough and snag my yarn.  They need to be re-sanded I guess.  While I'm at it, I ought to sharpen them too!) wipe them down with a tack cloth then go over it with wax paper.  I have no idea why we did that!  I think the wax fills in any craggy spots that might remain.

And you're done!  We made this set over two years ago and I have used them at least a half-dozen times.  Not only are dowel rod needles economical, they're customizable.  And durable!  Now I've got myself thinking about how much I like these things and how I would really like to make another pair.  And Hobby Lobby is closed for the night.  Darn!!

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