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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Patterns and a Knitting Needle Tutorial

Has it really been a MONTH?  I can hardly believe it.  It has been a very long month.  Lets see... Our daughter was diagnosed with asthma.  We tied that to the mold in our bathroom which we then gutted and are slowly putting back together.  We only have one bathroom so that means we've been staying at my mother-in-laws house.  I'm so grateful to have that option but we're all out of sorts.  Discombobulated.  We are hoping to move back home this weekend.  Anyway, that accounts for the absence. 

Lucky for me (and my mental health crafting) knitting is very portable.  I've mentioned before how I just hadn't jumped in to patterns yet.  Well, cross that off my list of things to learn!  I've been working it out with small, useful projects.  Just dish rags so far but I'm doing it!  I've tried 3 different ones and they are official patterns.  (here are my Ravelry notes )

Browsing Ravelry will quickly make you realize that you need a LOT of different needle sizes.  (I'm using US10 needles instead of 7's on these dish rags.)  Being an "I can make that" sort of girl I did just that... I made knitting needles.  Want to make some too?  Here ya go. 

Part one:

- Assorted dowel pack.  Mine came from Michael's and is an assorted box of 50.  You could also head to a lumber store for the specific dowel size you need. (but take your gauge thingy with you!)  I'm a beginner so I need lots of sizes.
- Dowel caps or any type of end decoration.  Buttons, clay, beads, etc.
- Pencil sharpener
- Your knit gauge/ needle size thingy
- Sandpaper. I used 150 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit. 
- Wood finish.  I used boiled linseed oil.  You can also use beeswax, a mixture of an oil and beeswax, or any type of wood varnish.

Step One:
Using your gauge/needle sizer choose the dowel that will fit your needs.

Step Two:
Take your trusty pencil sharpener and sharpen one (or two for double points) end of your dowel.  Try to get this point as smooth as possible. 

Step Three:
Sand sand and more sand.  I started with 150 grit and worked my way to the finest 320 grit.  Try and get your dowel and the point as smooth as possible before moving on to the next grit.  This part is really amazing.  It becomes so buttery and wonderful.  That's when you know you're almost finished sanding.

Here is my lovely 6yr old assistant making his very own knitting needles!

Step Four:
Attach your dowel cap, button or bead to the end.  I used dowel caps and wood glue.  I plan to try and make clay beads for some next.  (If your dowel cap has any rough edges - you should knock those off with the sandpaper also.)

I was able to make all of these for close to the cost of ONE
set of wooden needles at my local craft store

Look how pretty they are!

Step Five will come in Part Two - the finishing.  *Full disclosure*  I haven't actually finished mine yet.  With all the craziness this month that has been put on the back burner.  I have used them already though!  I finished up the Pixie Hat from last post with the double pointed US13's.  Even without the finish they were a breeze to knit with.  (it's all about the sanding)

There you have Part One of making your own knitting needles.  It's really a simple process and the results are beautiful so stay tuned for Part Two.  I think we'll also do a needle roll/storage tutorial soon.

I'm yarning along with Ginny at Small Things today which means I need to tell you what I'm reading also.  I'm still slowly going through Organized Simplicity on my nook.  I really love the idea of living intentionally and we are having one of those massive 10 yr spring clean and go through everything kind of seasons at the moment.  This book is pretty perfect for that.

Have a crafty day!


johnnybug said...

Yay!! You're so crafty! I need to make me some of those for sure.

Corduroy Fish said...

Very cool! Also, I need to read that book...

Meadow said...

Very cool! I just recently bought wood dowels to make needles for my daughter. She has bent 2 pairs of my bamboo needles and her sister sat on another bamboo needle! Good thing I always use coupons to buy my needles but even then they are pricy and add up. I've tried a few metal needles because they are cheaper but they hurt my fingers and are so slippery that it really is worth getting the bamboo ones. Anyway, the dowels are sitting in the closet waiting for us to work on. Thanks for sharing how you made yours!

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