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Bone Knitting Needles – Your Complete Guide – [ 2020 Update ]

One of the least common materials used for knitting needles, bone is the material of the first makers of textile crafts.

The earliest of which is the nalbinding technique, using one needle that looks somewhat like a large modern sewing needle.

A knitting needle made with bone is smooth, slightly flexible, has a bit of grip, and is warm to the touch.

Most bone knitting needles you can find today are antiques. They’re very rarely still made.

Table Of Contents

Elk Bone Double Point Needles

Monika Hint has great reviews for her Bone Art

Handmade bone needles made of elk bone, (the elk or wapiti is a large mammal from the moose family, common in North America & Europe.)

These are made by an Estonian artisan who makes a variety of rustic accessories and tools from recovered bone, horn, stone, wood & hide.

Features

  • Needle Sizes Available – US size 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.
  • Total Needle Length – 17 cm
  • Comes In A Pack Of 5
  • Made From – Elk Bone

Pros

  • Comes with a unique set of point protectors
  • Made with natural processes and natural dyes
  • Smooth and warm on the hands
  • An exceptional thing to knit with
  • Durable

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Limited sizing available
  • Not suitable for speed knitting

French Antique Bone Double Pointed Needles

Laurette from Vintage Decor Francais has excellent customer reviews

A set of 5 french antique bone double pointed needles from around the 1920s. In excellent condition and made with high quality, these would be an heirloom and a very functional tool to last for lots of knitting.

Features

  • Needle Sizes Available – Only 2.25
  • Total Needle Length – 19.5 cm
  • Comes In A Pack Of 5
  • Made From – Bone

Pros

  • In excellent condition
  • Great customer service
  • Fast shipping
  • Smooth
  • Guaranteed to last for years

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited sizing available
  • The nature of the material slows the knitting down

Bone Double Pointed Needles

Several sizes of bone double pointed needles are available from this store, though the sizing is slightly limited. They’re vintage knitting needles, in excellent condition.

Features

  • Needle Sizes Available – US 5 & 6 – 7″ In Length & US 5 & 6 – 10″ In Length
  • Comes In A Pack Of 5
  • Made From – Bone

Pros

  • In great condition
  • More affordable than other knitting needles you might find for sale on the internet
  • Smooth
  • Warms to the hands
  • The right length for a variety of projects
  • Your yarn won’t accidentally slide off the needle

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not a good idea for those who like to knit fast
  • Limited sizing available

Lacis Bone 10″ Straight Knitting Needles Size 7 (4.5mm)

A set of straight knitting needles made by Lacis and manufactured in India. They’re smooth and though not vintage, an excellent set of quality, well-made needles.

Features

  • Needle Sizes Available – US Size 7 – 4.5mm Only
  • Total Needle Length – 10″ Only
  • Made From – Bone

Pros

  • Smooth
  • Warm to the touch
  • Yarn won’t slide off the needle accidentally
  • Comfortable to use
  • Has just the right amount of grip

Cons

  • Limited sizing available
  • A little expensive
  • Not suitable for speed knitters

Bone Knitting Needles Vs Bamboo

Here is a breakdown of bone knitting needles and bamboo knitting needles.

Bone

Differences

  • Made from a variety of animal bones
  • Quite rare, you usually only find antique models
  • Expensive

Bamboo

Differences

  • Made from a select few species of bamboo
  • Readily available and one of the most popular knitting needle materials
  • Quite affordable

Similarities Between Both Materials

  • Smooth and lightweight
  • Comfortable on the hands
  • Useful for those who have hand pain/hand strain, arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Keeps you knitting for longer
  • Has a bit of grip
  • Not suitable for speed knitters
  • Good for slippery yarn
  • Stops the yarn from accidentally slipping off the needle

Your Questions Answered

Where To Find Bone Style Knitting Needles?

It can be quite challenging to find a bone needle for knitting these days, as they’re hard to come by and quite rare. However, your best bet would be vintage/antique shops, both online and physical brick-and-mortar stores.

Hopefully, this post helps you discover a bit more about a bone knit needle. The tools of our ancestors and with a surprisingly lovely feel to the hand. They’re full of history, and many find them a pleasure to use.

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

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