Knitting Needles in Handwork inspired by Waldorf Pedagogy
Making knitting needles for Christmas!
In first grade students in a school inspired by Waldorf Pedagogy learn to knit! They start by making their own knitting needles. My son being in the first grade at The City School has been knitting about 4 months now and would love a pair of needles for home use. He’s lucky because Santa heard him;-)
I just whipped up a couple pairs in 5 minutes. Doing it like this will save you a lot of money since a nice oak or birch dowel costs around $.50. If you feel like being fancy you can buy some wooden toppers for the needles as well. All can be purchased at your local craft store.
You can use a saw of any kind to cut the dowel to size. A pencil sharpener will make a point on the dowel and turn it into a needle. Then a quick sanding with some fine grained paper finishes it off. Use some wood glue to attach a bead, or some sculpee, or a wooden topper and you’ll have a great set of needles.
When I finish making the needles I usually take a piece of cotton cloth and buff the needles. Some Waldorf teachers use beeswax to coat them, but I prefer the smooth buffed wood without oil or wax.
To know what size your needles are use this very accurate guide.
Natalie at Craftzine.com shares this dowel to needle size conversion chart:
Approximate dowel sizes are:
5/16″ = about a size 11
1/4″ = about a size 10
7/32″ = about a size 9
3/16″ = about a size 7
1/8″ = about a size 4
For a first grader I suggest the 5/16 size. My daughter’s (third grade) are smaller at size 10.