- Arts and Design
How To Make Homemade Crochet Hooks & Knitting Needles
Make Your Own
Knitting, crocheting, and working with fiber, are all important skills on the homestead. While they are relaxing and pleasurable hobbies, they're also skills that you can use to provide warm clothing for your family.
As more of us move back to nature, back to a simpler lifestyle, we become more aware of the artistic nature of the things we use everyday. Now that we are seeing art and beauty in everything the cold metal of the crochet hook doesn't feel quite right...the size knitting needle we have is not quite the length we need and the unnaturally bright colors are distracting.
The answer to all of that is to learn to carve your own needles from dowels that you can buy inexpensively at any home improvement store. You can also use twigs and small pieces of scrap wood.
Making a crochet hook is simpler than making knitting needles in my opinion because you only have the one hook- you don't have to match it. You will need a dowel in the diameter that you want (or close to it) and a small, sharp carving knife. To finish the hook you will need 40 grit sandpaper, 150 grit sandpaper and wood wax or bees wax to seal and protect the wood from the oils in your hands.
After you gain experience making hooks you can use small twigs from trees to make your artisan hooks.
Carve the wood to about one size larger in diameter than you want your finished hook to be. Carve the tip to an oval shape and smooth with the 40 grit sandpaper. Measure down about 1/4 inch from the top and make a pencil mark- this is where the hook will be.
With the knife make a slit at a 45 degree angle at the pencil mark and upwards. Continue to carve and sand the hook until it is the size you want with the size notch you want. Make it bigger for large plies and smaller for more delicate work. You can, if you are using a twig, leave some of the bark on the wood for a more rustic look. Be aware though, that anything rough will tend to pull at the fibers of the yarn.
Make Kitting Needles
How To Make Knitting Needles
Hand carving knitting needles is similar to make crochet hooks
You can buy a needles sizer to help make sure that you are making a standard size needle for the best results.
Again you will need to go to the hardware store and pick up dowels in the approximate size you will want for the needles. Cut the dowels to the length you want, most needles are about 8 to 10 inches.
An easy way to make the points is to use an electric pencil sharpener. Really, it doesn't get easier than that! Now, begin to sand down the wood until it is the diameter that you want.
You will need to put stops on the ends of the needles to keep the stitches from falling off. You can use sculpey or you can use anything you like to finish the ends.
When using sculpey make the design for the end pieces and push them onto the dowels. Bake as directed. When the clay dries pull the end pieces off and place a drop or so of wood glue in the hole. Now push the dowel back into the hole and hold tightly for a few seconds. Allow to dry overnight.
For a beautiful finish just use natural beeswax to rub into the wood, sealing it and protecting it from the oils that occur naturally in your hands.
Make needles that give you personal satisfaction when you use them. Why use commercially mass produced cold metal when you can use warm wood with a personal touch?