Saturday, February 09, 2008


For hundreds of years, most knitters made their own knitting sheaths. Many must have been "funky.” Certainly, we have examples of sailors scrimshaw and sailor carved knitting sheaths that were real art. These became sentimental keepsakes. However, knitting sheaths as tools wore out in a couple of thousand hours, the knitter made themselves another and they tossed the old one into the fire.

Knitting sheaths were tools that wore out. They carved themselves a knitting sheath that was the right size and shape, and had a nice feel, but it was just a tool that would be tossed in the fire in 6 months.

As I started making knitting sheaths, I was looking for, “What would work?” “What was the right size?” I make a bunch of rather “funky” knitting sheaths. Many did not work very well. Some of them worked. Some of them worked very well. One of the very best is in the photo.

It was on the kitchen table this morning. My wife said, “That looks funky!” Nobody would want it. She did admit that it had a lovely feel to it in the hand.

It was carved from California Black Walnut, and it does have a nice feel to it. It feels good in the hand, it feels good in the belt, and it works very well. It is not pretty, but it works very well and it is a pleasure to use. It only cost me a few minutes whittling to make, and when it wears out, I will toss it in the fire. It is not a pretty keepsake, but it is a good functional tool.

1 comment:

Wannietta said...

Is it just a lightly hollowed length of wood or is there a groove/slot that the needle sits in? Is there something that keeps the needle from sliding along the wood - maybe the wood is soft enough that the needle digs in a bit?