Turn Disposable Chopsticks Into Knitting Needles




About: I make stuff.

I stopped knitting many years ago. More recently, I took up crochet. Over the years, all my knitting needles disappeared.

Then, I attended the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Among other things, there were some people giving knitting lessons. I didn't stop by until the second day, by which time they had given away all their knitting needles. However, they offered to teach me using sharpened chopsticks. This worked reasonably well, although the yarn did catch a bit on the rough wood.

Back home, I had some disposable chopsticks lying around, so I decided to see if I could improve on the chopstick-knitting-needles idea.

Much thanks to the Maker Faire knitting people for the idea, and also for teaching me a way of casting on that I will actually remember.

Step 1: Sharpen the Chopsticks

Snap the chopsticks apart, and use an ordinary pencil sharpener to sharpen the tips.

Step 2: Sand the Chopsticks

The tips of the chopsticks will be splintery. Use coarse sandpaper to take off the worst of the splinters, then use finer sandpaper to sand the tips until they're smooth. This will keep the yarn from catching on them. Run your fingers up and down the chopsticks and keep sanding any rough spots you find. Ideally, you want the tips to be blunt so they don't split the yarn.

Also sand the rest of the chopsticks to get rid of any splinters.

Step 3: Varnish

You should be able to use your knitting needles once they're sanded. I happened to have some varnish sitting around, so I thought it would help fill in any holes in the wood that were left after sanding.

I applied about 3 coats with a piece of sponge, then sanded lightly, then applied another coat. Use some clothespins or similar clips to hold the chopsticks upright while they dry.

And that's it. You're ready to knit.



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9 Discussions


5 years ago on Introduction

These chopsticks were very pretty and a great addition to my party favor bags. All of the designs were really enjoyable.


6 years ago on Introduction

I first learned to knit with chopsticks, although they were un-sharpened and not sanded or varnished. That provided quite the challenge! I wished I would have seen this sooner. Fantastic instructable!


7 years ago on Introduction

What Size would this be?

This would be a nice thing to give to shelters and such and cheap top be able to give in bulk.


7 years ago on Introduction

These are nice! I used the same idea! Now, I'm using them to make all of my knitting things. I don't have real knitting needles yet. :-(


7 years ago on Introduction

Question: I don't see the full sticks in any of the photos. How do you keep the knitting from falling off?

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

The sticks are not slippery, and my stitches are pretty tight so I don't think I'm going to have a problem with this.

Most disposable chopsticks are somewhat wider at the bottom than at the top. (There's a photo of the full chopsticks on the "sharpen the chopsticks" step - I didn't modify the bottom except for removing splinters.)

If you do have problems with the knitting falling off, then you could stick some clay or Sugru on the ends of the chopsticks.