CraftSanity on TV: Making Handmade Knitting Needles

Wooden knitting needles are my favorite, so I thought I’d show you how to make some of your own on today’s Take Five & Company craft segment.

My inspiration was the rustic pair of needles I made about six years ago out of branches from the two cottonwood trees in the backyard of our first house. I wrote a post a couple years ago about how I used to sit in my swing and knit under the swaying branches that shaded our backyard. I’ve really missed those trees since we moved, but those needles help keep the memory of those lovely trees alive.

Rustic needles are intended to be natural and imperfect, so they’re not practical for any project that requires a precise gauge. They work just fine for scarves or felted bags that can be any random size. If you want to make needles that will allow you knit to gauge, use wooden dowels instead of twigs.

This project is a fun one to work on by the camp fire or while waiting for the sunset during your next beach vacation. And these needles actually look cool as a decoration. So you can make a pair, then knit a small swatch to leave out on the coffee table as an interactive conversation piece.


Twigs or dowels

Whittling knife or sharp pocket knife

Medium grade sandpaper and steel wool

Coping saw or sharp garden snips to cut twigs to equal size

Softened bees wax

Pencil sharpener for both small and large size pencils

Wood stains in desired colors & foam brushes (Natural wood patterns are beautiful, so this step is optional.)

Buttons, beads and other embellishments to glue to the end of the needles

Heavy duty craft glue (I used Goop.)


1) Cut twig or dowel to the desired length (8-10″)

2) If working with a twig or branch, use your knife to strip off the bark.

3) Use a pencil sharpener to sharpen one end of each needle to a dull point. If you’re working with large diameter pieces, sharpen to to a point with a knife.

4) Sand with sandpaper. Smooth to a shine with steel wool.

5) Stain the needles if you’d like like. Let dry.

6) If you want to add a little bling, glue a beautiful bead, button or other embellishment to unsharpened end of needle

7) Rub with beeswax if you’d like, or skip the wax and cast on.


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