Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I've been getting a rash of rather odd emails via the website recently. I mean in addition to the usual spam promises to "increase the size of my tool" (not an offer to turn a #4 into a jointer, regrettably) and folks falling over themselves to give me degrees. Lots of combination plane ones, of course. In fact enough of them to start to make it worthwhile getting together an FAQ. Mind you, the questions are easy - it's the answers that give me trouble... But probably the most bizarre email was a local one. Was I in a position to make wooden knitting needles? For knitting plastic bags into, erm, other plastic bags.

Yes, you read it right. Knitting plastic bags. Not even sure where to begin with that one. I did my best to suggest something sensible, but it was quite, erm, difficult to keep it serious. 

I tell you, sometimes the emails alone are worth the cost of having the website...


  1. I made a set for my wife once, so that she could make a plastic bag door mat or something. (I don't remember exactly what she wanted to make)

    Basically, the knitting needles I constructed where made out of 3/8" dowels I chucked up in my lathe, and a spindle rest. I used sandpaper to shape the ends to points. 1 4' dowel makes a decent pair of knitting needles for this purpose.

    BTW. I didn't get the reasoning behind using a plastic bag to make another bag, or door mat either. I just said sure, I'll make you some, and knocked it out in about 10 minutes.

    She still has the needles, but they are currently being used to make a cloth bath mat.

  2. Whenever I think of knitting needles, I always think of my Grandma (my Mum's Mum) who used to knit the most fabulous bedsocks (in the days before central heating)using the really big needles - No. 0 size, I think. Much nicer than plastic bags.......


    Paul Chapman

  3. Along the knitting needle line...Check these out!


  4. I hate to add to such an old post, but since I may be the World's only Woodworker and Knitting Designer, I can actually answer the question.

    Plastic grocery sacks (as we call them in New England) can be cut in strips and knit for sturdy mats that might have to deal with water. They look rather funky and home-y, and I wouldn't dream of making one — my tastes in knitting run more to silk/wool shawls, or sturdy multicolored mittens, or a knit Moebius strip scarf for my 8 year old.

    Alf, I'm still catching up to the present day ... I'm reading the whole blog. You write the way I think, and it's always nice to see how another "weedy girlie" deals with tools made for big men.



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