The quote from Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat, “We are all mad here”, applies to every single knitter and crocheter I know. I realised this when I was in the shop one afternoon and we were all going about our conversations as we worked our projects. Designer Jen made some cups of coffee and placed them in front of us. She was talking about a pattern she was tweaking as she poured some milk in her coffee (and maybe sugar, I really wasn’t noticing) when all of a sudden, she took her knitting needle and stirred her coffee…
She stirred her coffee…
She stirred her coffee with her knitting needle…
No one said anything. We just continued on and carried on with our delightful afternoon.
The thing is, I was not so surprised at the fact that she actually stirred her coffee with the needle as I was that I used needles and hooks for unconventional uses as well. I thought I was just the mad one. It turns out, EVERYONE IS MAD!
“A tool is a tool. You can find innumerable uses for any tool,” said a man who was using a butter knife as an impromptu flat head screwdriver.
“The way humans make and use tools is perhaps what sets our species apart more than anything else,” said Charles Q Choi in his contribution to Live Science website about human evolution.
As a full-blown knitting and crochet hobbyist, I tend to buy and collect beautiful tools for my craft. However, I started with very inexpensive and basic needles and hooks when I first started on my journey. The first 4mm needles I owned were hand-me-downs, bent and felt so cold and slippery. I bought some lovely Knit Pro Symfonie wood needles and those old needles became a letter opener, to name only one of the many uses.
I became intrigued. The awareness that other people use their needles and hooks for other purposes is so odd, I began to compile a list. Here they are in no particular order:
- Letter opener (as mentioned before)
- Coffee/tea stirrer (as mentioned before)
- Fire poker
- Back Scratcher
- Crochet hook for getting the hair our out the drain after a shower
- Hairpin (straight needles and Dpns are great for this!)
- Plant pot trellis/stake
- Outdoor trellis (takes a few but great for training vines)
- Cake tester when baking
- Cat and dog scratcher
- Pom Pom maker
- BBQ skewer
- Spool Pin
- Dpns used in tabletop wargaming (true fact)
- Jewellery! Makes a great bracelet!
- Rubbish spear for picking up stuff after BBQs in the garden
- A ruler to draw straight lines
- Hook to check if spaghetti is done
- Hammer them into the shed to hang stuff from them (metal needles, obs…)
- Grabber of things high up on a ledge or under the sofa, fridge, bookcase, crack in the pavement…
- “Furgle” things off a high shelf (their word. Not mine.)
- Eating utensil when out camping and lost the camping flatware
- Flip on switches (try not to use steel needles or hooks. Electrocution is not fun for most people and can result in your terminus…)
- 15 mm needles make good vampire stakes (this might have been said in jest but this person gave me a reason to believe this might just be true… but I digress…)
- Reaching deep and narrow vessels
- Outdoor wind chime
- Music baton (a music teacher told me this one)
- Presentation pointer (a project manager told me this one)
- Weed tweaker-upper (needles and hooks!)
- Spider Tamer (making it go outside… no spiders were hurt in the demonstration of this example)
- Impromptu Pick Up Sticks game for when the nieces come over and you have no toys for them to play with…
- Herb Garden/ Allotment Plant Label Holder
Leave your particular uses for needles and hooks in the comments below! Remember, we are all mad here!