Picture of Knitting Needles On A Budget
We cut some dowels to fit a window we were hanging curtains for and forgot to take out the trash last week, so I had no room left in my recycling bin to stuff the remnants in. Fortunately, I have so desperately been wanting to contribute to the instructables community, so I gathered the discarded cut pieces off the floor to bring you this idea.

Disclaimer: This is my first one, so if you have feedback about what I could post differently next time, I won't be offended, but please be gentle (and I'll thank you now for making my next Instructable more instructable :)
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Step 1: Stuff you'll need

Picture of Stuff you'll need
Those left over dowel pieces/remnants
A pencil sharpener with a hole big enough to put the dowel in (or an Exacto Knife if your dowel is too big for the sharpener)
Several grades of Sand Paper (Coarse to fine)


Some kind of oil (lavender/olive)

Step 2: Sharpen the ends

Picture of Sharpen the ends
For each dowel, sharpen one end to your desired pointed shape. You can use either the pencil sharpener (if it will fit) or an Exacto Knife.

If you want double-pointed needles, follow this step for the other end of your dowel.

Step 3: Sand the dowel

Picture of Sand the dowel
Like filing your nails, rub in one direction. When you want to sand the angled edges, wrap the paper around the pointed part, hold it with your hand and turn the down with your other hand, like you're sharpening a pencil.

Start with the coarsest sand paper you have working your way to the finest until all the splinters are gone (you don't want that precious yarn fraying before the project is even finished! nor do you want the knitter's hands bleeding all over their expensive cashmere!)
My only suggestion would be to include what you're making in your title. It will help people who are looking for something like this fine it.
karizmatic (author)  Weissensteinburg6 years ago
Thanks for the tip (a duh! on my part!) - I've updated it for easy searching. Thanks again!
The title is still a bit misleading. I just clicked on it thinking it would be some way to make full trash bins easier to deal with using knitting needles! Maybe omit that part and put in something about DPs? This is great!
karizmatic (author)  susanrm3 years ago
thanks for the feedback... just updated the title again - hope it's more helpful!
It is! It's just that making double-pointed is pretty unique on here. What about calling it something like "Double-pointed knitting needles on a budget," or "Make your own recycled double-pointed knitting needles"? Just a thought.
karizmatic (author)  susanrm3 years ago
Thanks again :)

I did consider adding the words "Double Pointed", but it does include instruction on how to make them NOT double-pointed, hence the more generic direction - you can make them double pointed or not... maybe I'll add DP in parens, to indicate the option?
Staarrkatt4 years ago
Don't use any oil that is made from a food product. Reason? They will, eventually, go rancid on you. Instead, use tung oil, linseed oil or any other wood finishing oil. Believe me - I did this when I first started working with wood & was sorry later because when the oil went rancid, the piece I used it on .... smelled.

You can find many different types of wood oil finishes in stores like WalMart or check your local building supply stores. If you choose a product like MinWax, you can also color your new needles to look like various woods. Even spray on polyurathene finishes will work fine. If you use a spray on finish, tho, you'll need to prop your needles upright in something (rigid foam or a washed out glass jar, even a well-washed can will work) before spraying one end. When that end is dry, flip your needles over & spray the rest of the needles.

nice! I've made knitting needles too because it's hard to find double-pointeds in the large sizes needed for felting.
I've done a similar thing but with bamboo barbeque skewers. Instead of paying $12 (NZD) for a set of 5 bamboo sock needles, I paid $2 for a pack of bamboo skewers, $1 for sandpaper and made at least five sets!
karizmatic (author)  amethysteria6 years ago
i am still collecting the wooden chopsticks that usually come with chinese takeout and sanding those down the same way :) i'll post pictures if i ever get around to it.