How can I reuse or recycle odd or bent knitting needles?

knitting_needles.jpgA few weeks ago, someone emailed me to ask for creative ways to re-use old shopping bags. I directed her to the shopping bags post we did last year and told her about my experience of knitting some flimsy bags into a heavy-duty shopping bag: I used large gauge needles and it was surprisingly easy and fun – until I accidentally leaned on one of the (plastic) needles and snapped it clean in half.

Recalling the story and my clumsiness made me realise I still have the odd knitting needles kicking about in my craft box and I wondered, as I frequently do, “how can I reuse or recycle that?”

I could keep it in my stash to use as a spare in the future but I hope I won’t repeat my snap-happy snapping again so won’t need a spare. My needle stash is already quite sizeable (thanks to eBay and raiding my mum’s old needle collection) for the amount of knitting that I do and keeping spares might make it quickly spin out of control.

But what else can I do with the odd ones? Or what about the couple of bent ones I’ve got a little over-eager about a scarf? Some of them are grey plastic while the bent ones are usually grey-painted metal.

(Photo by n0nnahs)

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22 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle odd or bent knitting needles?”

  1. Attila the hen says:

    I use them as plant supports, pointed end down, especially in a circle around bulbs, e.g. daffodils or hyacinths which sometimes flop. I also tie the plant within the needles with string.
    Knitting needles are useful to keep for poking things out of inaccessible places.

  2. shine says:

    If you dip plastic needles into a pan of boiling water (carefully!) you can bend them into circles and wear them as funky bangles :D

  3. John B says:

    I use them for marking the ends of rows of seeds so i don’t forget where i planted them and pull them all up thinking they’re weeds.

  4. Carlos Z says:

    do the boil water thing then only turn up the first little bit and u can make them extended crochet hooks

  5. Jen says:

    I know that the plastic ones are solid, but the metal kind are hollow on the inside. If you cut them up, you can use them for making jewelry or all sorts of things!

  6. Bree says:

    Why not use the orphaned ones as purse handles?

  7. Rachael says:

    Jewelry making people will use metal knitting needles to make their jumps rings & such. Just wrap a coil of wire around it, & cut them up. Sizes already labeled on the needles.

  8. Lynne says:

    I use bent or orphaned needles to unclog the hose in my vacuum cleaner.

  9. Nanacindy says:

    I use my wooden ones to test when a cake is done.

  10. Olia says:

    Single metal knitting needle can be shaped into a letter and hanged for decoration.

  11. Olia says:

    Wooden needles can be used as hair pins to hold a hair bun together, Japanese style.

  12. Olia says:

    Build a kite with them.

  13. Karen says:

    Letter Opener.

  14. gebrichi says:

    Plastic knitting needles can be recycled into bangles or bracelets or other jewelry.

  15. Uluska says:

    Band them even more to make a bracelet.

  16. Vera says:

    If you lack any knitting needles, use sticks from Pick a Stick game.

  17. Scithia says:

    Plant English ivy and use the knitting needle to form mini topiary.

  18. Dulat says:

    Use the knitting needle when sewing on sewing machine, for adjusting fabric close and under the sewing needle to prevent finger injuries.

  19. My mama told me says:

    If the knitting needle is hallow, cut of edges, sand them and use as drinking straw. :)

  20. Blueshield says:

    Cut needles into pieces and tie them with ribbon, thread, etc. to make cute crosses.

  21. Frances says:

    I have quite a few knitting needles with no pairs to them. I have heard that you can craft them into many types of jewelry. I am also thinking that you can also recycle some types of them.

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