DIY Knitting Needles

July 17, 2012   //  Posted in: DIY   //  By: Emily   //  4 responses

File this under Things I Never Thought I’d Need To Make.

I’ve been toying with a handmade rug project on and off for the last month, and its ultimate success has been possible thanks to a set of knitting needles that I made myself using an inexpensive wooden dowel from Home Depot. I have a lot more to say about the rug project itself, but for now, a quick tutorial:

Learn to make your own knitting needles.

Why make your own knitting needles, you ask? Aren’t they supremely accessible in so many sizes that it would make your head spin?

I have some points to make:

  • I’m no knitting prodigy (har har, is it obvious?), but I was having a hard time finding needles that would be thick enough (think wider than US 50, 25mm diameter) to produce a rug that was loosely woven and appropriate for the “yarn” I was working with.
  • And sure, there are tons of varieties when it comes to needle length and material that the needle’s made from, but I wanted a rug that was at least 18″ wide, and the longest needles at the stores I scoped out that were also US 50+ were only 14″ in length.
  • Did you know you can find a 3/4″ dowel that’s 4 feet long for <$4? Right on.
  • And if you cut said dowel into two matching 24″ pieces right at the store, they’ll fit in the basket of your scooter and be easier to carry home. Or across your bicycle handlebars. Whatever works.

How did I take simple dowels and make them into functioning knitting needles? With a simple utility knife. Carefully so as not to razorblade off my fingers, through my jeans, or through the table I was working on, I carved away at the ends in small, choppy chisels until the point was narrow and gradual enough to easily hook and hold the strands while I knitted.

DIY knitting needles. Looking rough post-carving.

I did wonder whether the roughness of the wooden needles would end up snagging or wearing down the materials that I had planned to work with, but found that any sign of roughness wore down naturally, almost being sanded by the yarn I was using. No snagging, no tearing or shredding, and now they’re perfectly smooth and easy to use.

Any roughness on the DIY knitting needles softened right up once I began to knit.

Their length alone makes them a little more unnatural and unwieldy than common thin 10″ knitting needles, but they did produce an amazing product, which looks absolutely nothing like the teal yarn ball that I’m holding in the next picture. It’s all about the suspense this week, folks.

Knitting a rug!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a nice little recap of how my first attempt of knitting an rug went down. In the meantime, you might be interested in checking out a few DIY closet details can be seen in a little feature of mine on DIY Network!

  • Karen O'Donnell
    5 years ago - Reply

    This is JUST what I needed! I’m online looking for a place to purchase size 50 knitting needles that are longer than 14″.
    I’m so glad I found your site! Thank you! We
    I’ll be at the local hardware store tomorrow!

  • Aleece
    3 years ago - Reply

    You. Are. Amazing!
    Thank you! You not only saved me a huge hassle from online shopping, but a load of money, too! Sometimes the more brilliant ideas are the easiest!

  • Jane
    2 years ago - Reply

    you could of done it outside it probably would be easier lol

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Sweeping is pretty easy.

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