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.   🙂