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Knitting needles
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Knitting needles

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Knitting needles
Knitting needles
Knitting needles, made of wood and whalebone, wood approx 16ch long. Bone approx 22cm long.

This set of short wooden knitting needles are hand-made and are squared off at one end. They are possibly missing knobs off the square ends, which were used to stop the knitting from falling off the other end of the needles.

The whalebone ones are double-ended. They are very straight and smooth, which implies that they are machine-made and have been polished. With the advent of plastics in the 20th century, whalebone and ivory knitting needles were no longer made.

Until knitting needles came to be made of commercial materials such as steel, brass, whalebone and ivory in the 19th century, they were hand-made of wood. Imported steel 'wires' were always preferred to wooden ones for knitting Shetland lace, as the work was so fine.
  • Shetland Museum