Versatility of Needles & Hooks

Needles are great for many things besides knitting.   With a child’s imagination, the sky’s the limit!

To the left is a picture of an orange “alien” made by my four-year old granddaughter this afternoon. You will note that she stabbed the orange through with three different kinds (and sizes) of single pointed knitting needles.

(Perhaps she’s been playing with her older brother too much.)

As a child, I routinely slipped knitting needles from my mother’s stash.  Now as any Norwegian woman her age, she of course knew how to knit, but she hated it.  Actually, she hated everything even remotely domestic – just the opposite of my grandmother.  The only time I remember my mother knitting was (1) when my grandmother was visiting, (2) to ensure I was prepared to be a good Norwegian husmor (housewife), and (3) after my father left.  (At that time she crocheted an afghan and knit three sweaters in a week or so, if I recall correctly.  Except for color, the sweaters were identical.)

Anyway, I digress.

Because my mother rarely opened her knitting box, I was able to put her unused needles to good use!  Once when a group of my friends spent the night at a sleepover on our living room floor, I passed out her (very) long single pointed metal needles, and we ran them through marshmallows to roast in the fireplace and then made smores!  (Picture from Along the Trail)

Other times I used her hooks to hold up plants that I grew for various science experiments.  Trying to sprout avocado plants, I routinely skewered them with double pointed sock needles.  Other times I used needles and hooks to clean the sink drain.

My few examples demonstrates how needles and hooks can be misused. But they can also be weapons!  Remember the 1987 comedy “Foul Play” starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase?  (Well, maybe you don’t actually remember it, but perhaps you’ve seen it.  🙂 )  In that, Goldie Hawn’s character successfully fends off an attacker (who’s broken into her apartment) by stabbing him with her knitting needles.

Knitting needles also can be accidentally dangerous.  On an earlier blog I shared that one night I was up late knitting an arm of a sweater in the round on a set of 5 needles. When I took a break, I gathered the needles, shoved them into the couch – between the seat and back cushions – and went to make coffee. As the water boiled, I listened to some old song and danced around the kitchen.

Anyway, when the water was ready, I made coffee, put it on the end table near the couch, danced back to the couch and plopped down. I had forgotten about the needles until one of them impaled itself through jeans and into my bottom!

Please tell me I’m not the only person who’s used knitting needles and crochet hooks for other purposes besides knitting and crocheting?!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Crocheting, Knitting, Weaving and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Versatility of Needles & Hooks

  1. Yes, now I shudder at the thought of using knitting needless to roast marshmellows! And it couldn’t have been healthy roasting on aluminum needles! 🙂

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  2. Haa…Got to love the imagination of children! I haven’t (yet) found other uses for my knitting needles but I do like the idea of using them for marshmallows…wouldn’t use the plastic or bamboo needles for that though….

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  3. Perhaps we should pack them in survival packs! Multiple uses, plus keeps the crafter occupied!

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  4. Hanne says:

    Glad to see I am not the only one running around with crochet hooks in my hair 🙂 They make great hair sticks. So does the short knitting needles. Tunisian crochet hooks are great for “fishing” stuff out of the vacuum hose, and to clean out the bath tub drain for hair. Knitting needles work great for making holes in drywall to put a screw in, to clean out little holes nothing else fits into, poking holes in the foil on top of new vitamin bottles etc to get hold of the foil and tear it off… The thin steel crochet hooks work great for cleaning out lint in the sewing machine… Hm… I can’t remember what else I am using hooks and needles for, but they seem to be the tools I go to when I don’t have what I really should use 🙂

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  5. Wooden DPNs could be quite attractive!

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  6. Julia says:

    I tend to put my hair up with DPNs – and then remember when I lean against the back of the couch or something.

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  7. Good use! Multi-purpose tools are great to have around. 🙂

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  8. Now you are one innovative person! 🙂

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  9. I have to admit that I am relieved to know I am NOT the only person who has done this!

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  10. Socioknit says:

    Ouch…I have done the same thing with my sock knitting! Impaled right on some US 2 needles after doing a quick errand and setting my work aside…..ugh…..

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  11. perigrine says:

    I have a ‘spare’ needle in the bathroom for poking bits in the bathroom plug hole – usually hair that’s fallen in. In the laundry there is a long tunisian hook for fishing the lint filter out of the centre doodad of the machine. In the kitchen I have a ‘ladder’ of long 14″ needles tied together for holding foil, plastic wrap and baking paper.

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  12. That is a bad tangle but it certainly turned out well – except for the fish, of course. 🙂

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  13. What a great use – certainly multi-purpose tools! And what a great find – and I think it is wonderful when craft tools find a new home where they will be used and loved!

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  14. I am sure that made you look wonderfully “arty.” 🙂

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  15. Yes, and I think the metal ones may be the worst … less friction! 🙂

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  16. Your granddaughter sounds adorable. And yes, I have totally stabbed myself with my own needles before. Sock needles are dangerous!

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  17. gossycrafts says:

    Before I had a decent set of sticks for my hair, I’d regularly use a crochet hook to hold up my bun.

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  18. Ethel says:

    I have and number of single dpns of various small sizes in my polymer clay tools to create dimples and put holes into beads. They are perfect for that application. I have an ample supply of dpns from a stash of needles once belonging to the grandmother of a friend – she saved every needle she ever owned whether one had gone missing or not!

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  19. whatzitknitz says:

    Last week I had my sock knitting in the boat so I could knit when the fish weren’t biting.
    Lucky that I did — I had an awful tangle in my fishing line and inserted one of the dp into the mess and to gentle tease the knot until I could untangle the line. While my line was sitting idle in the water a fish took my bait and I reeled in a 10 1/2″ crappy when I was done ‘knitting’ my line ; )

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  20. ordinarygood says:

    I use a knitting needle to turn a thin strip of material ( such as a waistband for an apron or a handle for a tote) through to the right side. Once turned through I ease the corners out with the knitting needle to make the corners nice and square.

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