Unusual uses for knitting needles
Tuesday July 01st 2008, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Knit

I have an ancient curling iron that long ago lost its on button.  I am not a fan of the old gray plastic department-store-type knitting needles, so it gave me a way to put an unloved dpn to good use–the iron-y of it allin ten years of poking it into the on switch, I’ve never bothered to replace the iron.

The TSA inspectors must have dropped it out of the suitcase and the flying public is now safe from my deadly weapon.  I had to go looking for one of its mates in the Unloved Needles case.  And found–my old casein needles!

I’ve always thought these were pretty. I wonder, though, who ever thought that milk protein, of all things, would be good for knitting with.  There are urban legends of them melting horribly into one’s knitting in hot cars, but I don’t know.

I picked them up just now, curious.  The 9″ set I bought way back when turned out to be too long for comfortably knitting socks, so they’ve never really been used.  I pressed into them and then raised my thumbs and they came up partway before detaching from my skin and falling back down.  Hmm. Might be good for when you need the needles to hold onto a silky, slippery yarn.  Dunno.

I wonder what the strangest needles and uses for needles others have encountered are.

I don’t wonder what the strangest knitting material I’ve ever heard of is: that would be the salmon skins knitted into a jacket that won a prize at a World’s Fair in the early 1900’s.  Hmm, thought I read about that in “No Idle Hands,” but it’s not in the index.  Googling for a reference led me to these.  (No, those are not leather.  Not in the traditional sense, anyway.)

Should I ever buy one, I’ll keep my casein needles out of it.  Just in case.

14 Comments so far
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OK, I’ll play. My mother had an old knitting needle in a kitchen drawer. She used it for testing to see if cakes wee done. It’s never occurred to me to use anything else. 😉

Comment by Lene 07.01.08 @ 4:05 pm

I’ve used them for temporary supports for traveling plants, back scratchers, reach extenders and for securing home made beeswax candle wicks.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 07.01.08 @ 4:17 pm

Sometimes it is best not to know: Who looked at the ‘whey’ of the tofu production and thought it would be a good fiber to knit with? But good-o for whoever it was, for now we have soy silk.

Comment by Lilly 07.01.08 @ 5:32 pm

And spider silk from goats:

Comment by AlisonH 07.01.08 @ 5:45 pm

Love the caseins! They’re very pretty!
I have some of those (awful) metal (aluminum, I think) needles that I sometimes use when sewing. They’re great to help when turning thin tubular shaped pieces like a sash or tie right-side out after sewing the seam.

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 07.01.08 @ 6:44 pm

Have you seen the square needles? I tried them at Stitches; they’re actually not as weird as they seem like they would be – kind of nice, certainly different.

Comment by Rachel 07.01.08 @ 7:29 pm

That sounds like something that should be sent in to Mythbusters. Maybe they could do a whole show on Knit busters! HA HA HA!

Comment by Christy 07.02.08 @ 3:58 am

Knitbusters sounds good! We use the 14 and 10″ straight needles as back scratchers. The strangest thing I’ve used a needles for is to secures the layers of a cake for transport. Ok it didnt work real well but I had to try 🙂

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 07.02.08 @ 4:49 am

No weird uses at my house, but fun to read about everyone else’s!

Comment by Channon 07.02.08 @ 7:02 am

I have occasionally used a dpn as a coffee stirrer. Stir the coffee, wipe the needle clean, and back it goes into the sock-in-progress. Desperate measures in desperate situations. Tee-hee!

Comment by Paula 07.02.08 @ 9:25 am

Hmm. I don’t know that I use knitting needles for anything odd, but my crochet hooks and pins keep vanishing into the cellar for use in model railroading. My own fault, though- I’m the one who, watching my husband try to feed wires up through the layout to solder to the track, suggested a crochet hook. (And the pins are exactly the right size to tack down HO scale track without sticking up enough to catch the cars rolling overhead.)

Comment by RobinH 07.02.08 @ 9:42 am

I have a picture of my odd use of a straight needle. It’s hard to explain so maybe just come and take a look.

I don’t know how to live link in comments, but if you type “wet paint” into my blog’s search bar you’ll find it.

Comment by Marlene 07.02.08 @ 10:06 am

Alright, how embarassing is this??? Just yesterday we went miniature golfing on one of our day trips for our vacation. When we arrived, around 2 PM with our five children, my husband took the four girls to golf, while I waited in the car with our sleeping three month old little boy. Here I am, a “starving” nursing mama, with a bag of supplies to make Fluffanutter sandwiches (a treat for our vacation outing!). But, wait, no knife. Aha, a knitting needle!. So there I am, stirring a brand new jar of oily peanut butter, and proceeding to make my ooey gooey sandwich. At least it was whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter! Sorry so long…had to get the whole “gluttonous” picture!

Comment by Lisa 07.02.08 @ 7:39 pm

Needles, schmeedles, what I can’t get over is the image – and the thought of the smell – of someone knitting a jacket out of salmon skins!

Comment by Wunx~ 07.03.08 @ 1:28 am

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