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How To Make Homemade Crochet Hooks & Knitting Needles

Updated on February 1, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

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.

Image: http://dodosdesign.etsy.com
Image: http://dodosdesign.etsy.com

Crochet Hooks

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

Image: Dawns Knitting Notebook
Image: Dawns Knitting Notebook

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.

To Finish

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?

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    • Marye Audet profile image
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      Marye Audet 4 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Aren't theycute?

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      I love the acorn tips on the handmade needles.

    • profile image

      blacita 5 years ago

      I recently bought a knitting gauge called the Count 10 Plus by Boye.It not only helps to determine knitting gauge it also has round holes to measure your needles to determine the size. I have made hand made knitting needles in the past and couldn't determine the equivelent size in commercially made ones. The gauge holes were great, the dowel sizes I used had corresponding holes in the knitting gauge. I was able to write the needle size on my home made needles by the size they fit in the gauge. Try to find a knitting gauge with this feature if you can.

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      I think it will be very fun to do this project-I'll have to get some family members to share the fun with me!!!

    • love2dogs profile image

      love2dogs 5 years ago from NH

      Thank you - I will be making some knitting needles :)

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 7 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      Great article

    • It's just me profile image

      It's just me 7 years ago from Alaska

      When i was about 10 I saw a woman on the plane I was in using the coolest looking crochet hook I'd ever seen. I asked her where she got it and she said her husband made it for her. I then asked him what he made it out of and how he made it. He said that he made several by trial and error and he used plastic drink stirers, he just heated the ends and bent them. What a neat way to remember special occasions and holidays.

    • profile image

      secret 7 years ago

      can you pls mke a video of how to make a crochet hook

    • Moonmaiden profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 7 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      Thanks for sharing. I'm doing my best to wean myself away from using store bought tools. And you are right, the garish colors don't really go with the primitive camping workshops that I go to.

    • GinneyHarris profile image

      GinneyHarris 8 years ago

      Thank you!!! I love the feel of wooden knitting needles. I'm not sure why I never thought to make my own though after years and years of knitting - but what a fun project, and oh how I could impress my knitting friends : )....who would love some homemade needles too!

    • profile image

      LaWanda 8 years ago

      Thank you for the inspiration! I own a Graydog hook and really like the way it works and looks. I just made a size H out of a 3/16 dowel rod. It looks nice and works well. I carved a sort of flame spiral in the tail section.

    • profile image

      yarntales 9 years ago from NY

      Very interesting. I enjoyed hearing how to do this.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      I still use my moms' crochet needle.   heirloom already...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Ecellent! As a child, I learned to knit, using Pick Up Sticks. I still use the wooden ones at times. I need to get a needle sizer. Thanks for the Hub!

    • profile image

      Eileen hughes 9 years ago

      Brilliant site, It always surprises me how much different crafts there are and the extent that you can take your crafts.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Marye! Your article is one of the reasons I just love HUBPAGES. I just never know what kind of awesome info or knowledge I'll find. I just love your HUB.

      I am the proud owner of dozens of knitting & crochet needle sets. I constantly have a project or two or three on the go with them. But, never in my wildest dreams has it ever occurred to me that I could make my own. To be honest I'm not sure I'll ever try but "if", you have given me the know-how. Thanks

      amazing HUB

      regards Zsuzsy

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