Originally uploaded by plainsight.

I’ve fallen a bit behind in my blogging, so the needles pictured are actually from early July… I was teaching a class at the Takoma Park Rec Center–a rough-around-the-edges sort of place with extremely caring folks who offer day camp to lots of inner-city kids who otherwise would have nothing to do while their parents are working.

They loved learning to knit–what started as a group of 10 grew to 15 by the end of the week. They were enthusiastic and impatient and chorused, “Miss Amy, I need help” for the entire hour I was there (I came three times during a week).

Unfortunately, the city didn’t have the money to buy them needles they could take home, and the needles they did buy for the kids to use were aluminum and slippery and too long.

At Home Depot, I picked up the smallest dowels I could find, 1/4″–which turns out to be a US10 1/2 needle. (By the way–I love finding knitting supplies at HD–I also picked upt some rainbow twine, some cool coated wire to use for stitch holders and more, and some great clear flexible tubing for purse handles.)

James cut the dowels (I can usually get him to help me with knitting projects if they involve tools), and Johanna and I sharpened them, she sanded and waxed them with a soy candle and buffed them.

At Target, I found some over-sized thumb tacks which we used for ends–they weren’t perfect, if you tug hard, they’ll come out (maybe wood glue would have helped)–but they worked, and they look great.

The kids loved having their own needles to take home, and I’ve size found 3/8″ dowels which are a perfect US8, so I’ll be making more.

Home Depot Needles