Cheap knitting needles, aka the oddest brainstorm ever

As you guessed by the previous post, we were playing at the beach this week.  The week included a bit more rain than usual.  After we’d gone through a variety of books and board games, I found myself thinking of crafts.  Knitting would be fun, I decided.  Except knitting needles at $4 a set for half a dozen kids–yikes, that’d be $24 — for something I already had at home.  And then we’d need to buy yarn too.

I decided that we ought to stop by the lumber yard.  Maybe wooden dowels would be cheaper.  My husband and boys could whittle the ends to a point– bingo, two crafts for the price of one.  On the way to the lumber yard, though, we stopped at the dollar store.  In the kitchen aisle, I spotted 4-packs of wooden spoons and had an epiphany.  Why not whittle spoons to a point for knitting needles?  (About now, y’all can see why I am such a  trial to my dear husband, can’t you?)

I bought four 4-packs of knitting needles spoons, which, if this worked, would net me 8 sets of knitting needles for a mere $4.   I was immensely pleased.   Outside in the van (while I ran in to the grocery store for milk) my hubby got to whittling.  By the time I got back out, he had one slightly lumpy ‘needle’ — and a cut thumb.   But the pain had inspired him.   Our next stop was back at the dollar store, where we bought one of those foot-long ‘jumbo’ pencils– with an attached pencil sharpener.   The sharpener was the perfect tool to put just the right point on our spoons/knitting needles.  The plan was to cut the spoon end off, leaving enough of the spoon for a small flare at the end of the needle.   That proved to be a hassle using only a pocket knife.   So we opted to leave most of the needle/spoons intact, at least til John had access to his power tools back at home.  But we discovered they worked fine with the spoon still on.

If we did it again, we’d have used a little sandpaper to get the needles smoother.  Lacking that, we rubbed a dab of vegetable oil, and then a candle all over the needles, which made the yarn slide much more smoothly.  And the longer we handled them, the better the needles got.  The kids had fun knitting, and we were delighted not to have spent much money on needles.   I was even more delighted with our idea after seeing bamboo needles for $12 at Walmart.  Except, of course, you can’t stir soup with theirs.   🙂

{ 17 Comments }

  1. How creative!

    Of course, if my family were doing a craft like that, I’d have been saying, “It’s all fun and games ’til someone pokes an eye out.” (because that would have been my experience!) lol
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I vote you (or perhaps John) as person most likely to escape from a South American jail using a key carved out of soap! Such imagination in use, I love it.

  3. Cook and knit at the same time! Fantastic!

  4. That’s what I call a multitasking tool!

  5. Man you have agreat imagination, but the with 10 I guess you ahve too.
    Love the new picture of you.

  6. waxed paper is the key-once you get them sharpened, then grap a sheet of waxed paper and rub it vigorously all over the needle-same thing ad the candle but faster and easier for little ones to help out (not that i have ever done such crazy things as invent my own knitting needles in desperation before or anything 😉 )–and they can make super fun gifts for fellow knitters 🙂 but the spoons, love it!!!!! great idea! i just bought a pack of craft dowels for mine and made ends out of fimo clay.

  7. You’re so creative!!!

  8. I saw a post somewhere for a knitting kit. The needles were ones you made yourself with lengths of dowel, wooden beads, and a pencil sharpener.

    You could make your own knitting kit inside a saucepan with some recipes. 🙂

  9. Clever! *thumbs-up*

  10. Genius!

  11. You never cease to amaze me!

  12. Roxie Meiske says:

    I love your knitting needles made from spoons. I have not done any knitting in ages. But I had an idea. If you ever get a chance to eat at a Chinese restaurant you can get chop sticks. We had a gift card for a place called Pew Wei and the food is good, there are extra chop sticks given in the bag. (we got it as take out) I use the chop stick in my sewing room all the time. It is a great ‘point turner’ and many other things in a sewing room.

  13. What a great idea! Thanks

  14. Very clever, but somehow the classic mother’s line comes to my head when I see these: “Be careful with those or you’ll put someone’s eyes out!”

  15. I once made double-pointed needles from sticks I found in the woods, so I’m right there with ya. Great idea!

  16. love this! we’ve done it with dowels, and then a good rubbing with some olive oil followed by a rubdown (my oldest calls it “massaging the needles”) with some wax paper, and they’re slick as some expensive Addi Turbo’s!

  17. Hi
    WONDERFUL! I have thought of repuposing some dowel rod I have and popping a bead on the end as a “stpper” this is inspireing.
    Rachel
    Plymouth
    Devon
    England