September 22, 2009

Homemade Knitting Needles

Civil War Reenacting Knitting
My other half agreed to make me double pointed knitting needles in return for a Monmouth Cap.
They turned out really nice and you can't beat 6 knitting needles for under $4.00. It was a really simple project and we had fun sitting on the deck stairs in the sun whittling together.

Making your own needles:
  • Go to the hardware store (bring your needle gauge) and find a dowel of the correct width.
  • Add two inches to the length that you want the body of the needle to be and mark that length on the dowel. Continue until you have all of the needles measured out.
  • Score all around the dowel with a pair of scissors, on the marks you made (thinner sizes can be cut with the scissors.) *Don't worry about a rough edge, you'll be tapering them.* For larger sized needles, use a small saw to cut through at your score lines.
  • Mark each needle one inch from each end. Use this mark to form a slight taper to the ends with a pocket knife.
  • * Remember, the points do not have to be very sharp.*
  • After all the needles are whittled, sand them very smooth, and run a piece of pure beeswax over the needles, for a great smelling finish.
  • Use very fine grade steel wool to buff the wax, and keep it from getting sticky.
This site is great if you are interested in making a Monmouth Cap, these were popular up until the 17th century ( I'm sure there were multiple versions after this.) These were also featured in the movie Master and Commander. Making a Monmouth Cap.


  1. Oh thank you for this! Especially the finishing tips.

  2. P.S. Considering European knitting needle sizes are metric and equal the circumference in milimeters, I guess I don't even need the gauge if the circumference of the dowels is marked in the shop.


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