Rustic knitting needles from episode 21

Rustic Knitting Needles

By Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

I made a pair of these about four years ago out of branches from the two cottonwood trees in my backyard. We moved since then so I no longer get to sit in my swing and knit under the swaying branches that used to shade our backyard. But in these simple needles I have the memory of those lovely trees.

These 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.

This project could be fun to do while sitting by a camp fire or while waiting for the sunset during your next beach vacation. Just think, every time you pick up your homemade needles, you'll have tangible memories of the place you found the sticks or the great vacation spot where you made them.

These rustic 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.

2 twigs about the same diameter, or one long twig cut in half
whittling knife or sharp pocket knife
sand paper
hand saw or sharp garden snips to cut twigs to equal size
white candle or other clear wax


1) First, find some twigs (the straighter the better) and cut them to the desired length.

2) Use your knife to strip off the bark.

3) Carve pointy tips. Depending on the size of the twigs, you may be able to sharpen them in a pencil sharpener.

4) Sand smooth with sand paper, rub with wax and cast on.