Did you ever experience being stuck because you run out of supplies and you have nothing to use for knitting? Did you know that you can use other materials to substitute your needles? One of the things you can use to knit is chopsticks!
Knitting with chopsticks is a fun and unique thing to do if you start to feel bored with the craft. Aside from those people I know knitting with long nails, I know many knitters who learned to knit on chopsticks, and they all agree that it works well!
When you try knitting with chopsticks, you will find that it is easier to use rounder ones because of their tapered points. But, keep in mind that because they have tapered tips, chopsticks will give you variable gauges.
You should also know that there are many differences between knitting needles and chopsticks, making them less ideal. Here are some differences that you should consider before trying knitting with chopsticks:
- Knitting needles have the same diameter, except their tips, which allow them to create uniform stitches. But, chopsticks usually increase in diameter throughout their length. Sp, your stitches may not be as uniform as stitches from knitting needles.
- Manufacturers smoothen needles so you can work with them smoothly without snagging or catching your yarn. But, chopsticks usually have rough surfaces with splinters. It is best to use polished ceramic or ones that have smooth surfaces.
- Unlike when knitting with needles, you may drop your stitches more often when using chopsticks. It would be best if you place a stopper at the end so they could keep your stitches in place.
So, yes, you can knit with chopsticks for projects that do not need strict uniformity. But, expect that you will not get the same precision and uniformity that many knitters demand from needles. Please continue reading to know more about knitting with chopsticks.
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How to knit with chopsticks?
Now that you know that you can knit using chopsticks, I will show you how to do it! Follow this guide on how to knit with chopsticks:
- Sharpen your chopsticks. Snap your chopsticks apart, then use a pencil sharpener to sharpen the tips.
- Sand them. Chopsticks usually have rough surfaces that can catch your knitting threads. You need to remove the fragments using coarse sandpaper, then fine sandpaper after to sand them until they are smooth.
– Run your fingers up and down your chopsticks to know if you need to sand them more. Keep smoothing the chopsticks until there are no more rough spots left. But keep their tips blunt, so they do not split your yarn.
- Apply varnish if you want to take extra measures for higher-quality knitting with chopsticks. The varnish may help fill in any boles in the wood left after sanding.
- Start knitting. As you stitch, your stitches may slide off the bottom of the chopsticks. To prevent them from dropping, you need to tie small rubber bands around the non-pointy ends. They will serve as stoppers to keep your stitches in place.
What can you use instead of knitting needles?
Knitters are resourceful, not only in creating beautiful designs but with their materials as well! There might not always be needles lying around, but knitters will almost always want to knit. Here are some things you can use instead of knitting needles:
- Long nails. Until the 70s, it is typical for men from other countries to smooth out, file, and round the tips of very long nails. Children then used these 5 to 7-inches nails to learn how to knit. But, of course, they will not work as well as knitting needles.
- Match sticks. Although these are much less sturdy, many knitters from other countries learned how to knit using match sticks. You can use the long match sticks, but I cannot guarantee you the precision and quality of your stitches.
- Pencils. Many kids are fond of using pencils, and I think it is a fantastic tool, even in knitting! It is relatively easy to knit with pencils. But, there are a few factors to consider before you do, like other alternatives.
- Drumsticks. Drumsticks are fantastic alternatives if you do not have or cannot find larger knitting needles for your project.
- Paintbrushes. Paintbrushes usually have close sizes to needles. Some can be sturdy enough for you to use in knitting as you do with knitting needles.
- BBQ skewers. Like chopsticks, you can sand and smoothen BBQ skewers and make the tips dull. They could work well with a stopper at the bottom. But, still, they may not work as well as knitting needles.
- Hard plastic straws. Knitting with straws is a fun activity to do with kids! But, like other alternatives, you need to do certain things before you knit with them.
- PVC pipes. PVC pipes can work well as giant knitting needle substitutes to knit projects like oversized chunky blankets. You may make things work better when you use it with super-sized yarns.
- Wooden dowels. Wooden dowels could also work like chopsticks. You may need to sharpen, smoothen, and add stoppers for it to work well.
- Toothpicks. Toothpicks are fantastic knitting needle alternatives if you want to try tiny knitting pieces. You can create ornaments and other creative decorations with them.
Can you knit with pencils?
As I mentioned, you can knit with pencils relatively easily. But, you need to ensure that your pencils are not too sharp. It would be best to use pencils with ends that taper off to make it easier for you to knit.
How to knit with pencils?
There are a few factors you need to consider before you knit with pencils. Choosing the wrong type or failing to use the right yarn can make your project a tangled mess. Follow this guide on how to knit with pencils:
Picking the Right Pencil:
If you want to knit with needles, you will need two pencils around the same size and have smooth surfaces. You also need to ensure that your pencil is sharp but not too sharp. Avoid using old pencils with missing pieces because they may snag your yarn on the outside.
Knitting with Pencils:
- Choose your pencils. Choose your pencils according to the quick guide I mentioned. Doing so will help you create better pieces compared to using random pencils.
- Sharpen them, so they taper off. Using pencils with tapered tips will make knitting much easier for you. You may also want to remove the lead to avoid leaving marks on your yarn.
- Cast onto one of the pencils. You can cast onto your pencil like you would when using knitting needles. Follow the following steps if you want to use the longtail cast-on method:
a. Leave a long tail of yarn. Then, hold the knitting needle in your right hand with the tail of the thread closest to you.
b. Place your thumb and forefinger between the working yarn and the tail. Then, grab and secure both strands of thread with your other fingers.
c. Turn your hand, so your palm faces you. Bring your needle down to form an “x” with the strand around your thumb.
d. Take and bring your needle under the outside of the “x” around your thumb. Then, bring it up and through the center.
e. Take your needle and pick up the strand around your forefinger from the outside. Then, take it through the center of the “x” around your thumb from the top.
f. Next, bring your needle down and through the “x” and use your thumb to bring the yarn over your needle’s top.
g. Finally, remove your thumb from the yarn and tighten it.
- Start knitting. Like your cast on, you can start knitting like you would when using knitting needles.
- Like when using your regular knitting needles, you need to ensure that you have the correct gauge. Try comparing your pencil to a knitting needle size to determine its gauge.
- Add a dollop of craft glue or other stoppers at the end. Doing so will ensure that your stitches do not fall off and mark up your project.
- Ensure that your pencils’ surfaces are smooth. You can use sandpaper to smoothen them to ensure that they do not snag your yarn.
- Do not use expensive yarn if you want to use needle alternatives. I cannot guarantee that your finished project will be as good as pieces made with knitting needles. So, you might want to use cheaper yarn or scraps.
Can you knit with crochet hooks?
You may have crochet hooks when you cannot find or run out of knitting needles. Yes, you can knit with crochet thread and hooks. Knooking is one of the methods of crocheting knitted fabrics using a tool called knook. This tool is essentially a crochet hook with a cord attachment.
Knooking is a technique that crosses between knitting and crochet. You will discover that you can make stitches that are almost like knitting and purling. But, you will have to learn slightly different techniques when knooking.
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How to knit using a crochet hook?
As I mentioned, there are a few ways to create knitted fabrics using a crochet hook. But I will focus on knooking on this article. Follow this guide on how to knit using a crochet hook by doing knooking:
Learning to knook can be straightforward. Follow this guide to learn how to knook:
- Thread your cord through the knook’s eye so it will act as your second needle. It will hold your stitches when you start knitting the next rows.
- Crochet a single chain for the number of stitches that your pattern needs. Then, insert your hook into the chain stitches and pick up your working yarn to knook the first row.
- Next, you need to turn your knook like you would a knitting needle and slip all your loops back onto the cord. Use your hook to form the knit or purl stitches to knook the next row.
a. Insert your hook knitwise to knit.
b. Insert your hook purlwise to purl.
- Finally, wrap your yarn around the hook clockwise and pull the thread back through the stitch. Let it rest on your knooking needle.