Care for Knitting Needles: 10 Tips for Lengthening the Life of Your Favorite Tool
This week on Ask Me Monday, I give ten tips on how to care for needles so that they last you as long as possible!
Knitter’s Pride Needles Featured in Video
10 Tips on Caring for Knitting Needles
1. Stay moisturized. High-quality wooden needles will naturally become slicker with use (from the lanolin in wool and oil from knitters’ hands) but it’s a good idea to occasionally clean and moisturize the needles with beeswax and a muslin or shammy.
2. There’s a wax for that. Polish bamboo needles with waxed paper to add a sheen when they become dull or “grabby” from use.
3. Smooth operator. To avoid potentially snagging yarn when knitting, use a very fine sandpaper or emery board to smooth out any rough patches on a bamboo needle.
4. Pretend they’re vampires. Keep needles out of extreme temperatures and when possible, avoid direct sunlight.
5. Get to the point. Use point protectors on needles, especially smaller gauges and when tossed in your project bag, to prevent tips from chipping.
6. Don’t be a McGyver. To keep needles undamaged, use them for knitting ONLY (and not to open a wine bottle, poke holes in packaging, or help reach something from a high shelf.)
7. Shine on. If nickel-plated or electroplated brass needles start to tarnish, use a microfiber cloth to polish them back to their original shine.
8. Stay calm; dip and pull. To calm down curling circular needle cords, dip them in hot (but not boiling) water for a few seconds. Pull out and give a gentle tug to straighten. Repeat, if necessary.
9. Knit the straight and narrow. To straighten out plastic knitting needles, boil water in a pot on the stove; hold needles over the arising steam; remove from steam and straighten with your fingers; plunge straighten needles in cold water to set.
10. Know when to say goodbye. If metal, plastic or weed needles get a significant nick in them, in most cases, it’s time to let them go so you don’t damage your yarn by snagging or tearing it on the gash.
As always, you can find all episodes of this series under the Ask Me Monday playlist on the Videos section of my Facebook page. Enjoy!