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Vintage Knitting Needles – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

Vintage knitting needles are favorites with collectors and knitters who love light-weight needles. Double Pointed needles are the oldest form of knitting needles.

These were typically sold in sets of four to six with shorter lengths than straight needles. They were used for circular knitted items such as sleeves, socks, mittens and collars.

Brands such as Aero, Boye, Inox and Susan Bates, Zephr (made by the American company CJ Bates & Son) are popular vintage needles. Many of the older style are straight with a knob at the end.

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A Little Bit Of History On Vintage Needles

In the past materials such as tortoiseshell, ivory and walrus tusks were used in the production of knitting needles or knitting pins. Use of these materials are now banned due to the protection of endangared species.

You can find imitation or faux Tortoiseshell vintage needles, they are made of cellluloid.

Other materials used in the early 1900s were wood, metal (nickel plated steel), celluloid (xylonite), casein (made from milk protein) which were often colored, bakelite and bone.

The process of making bone needles was a smelly and dirty job.

Many of the metal needles were prone to rust and are fine in diameter. Lace knitting was very popular in knitting’s early history.

In the 1930s the circular needle became popular due to the ability to do both flat and circular knitting. Usually with a metal needle tip and flexible plastic cable.

Here are some of the vintage knitting needles on sale.

Susan Bates and Boye Circular Vintage Needles

Unique handicrafts by Vermont Girl Vintage

Set of circular needles Size 4, 6, 8 in package, Size 6 double point needle, stitch holder

Aero Vintage Straight Knitting Needles

Di Vintage Blessings has excellent customer reviews for great service and fast shipping

Beautiful silky grey knitting needles from Bernat by Aero. Made in England for the North American market.

All of the needles in this listing are/have: 14 Inch length Grey Finish

The size on the stopper is the US number.

Boye Vintage Plastic Knitting Needles

Di Vintage Blessings has excellent customer reviews

Begin or rebuild your collection of vintage Boye USA Single point knitting needles. All needles are plastic with Steel stopper unless stated otherwise.

Vintage Susan Bates Double Pointed Knitting Needles

Di Vintage Blessings looks after her customers and receives 5 Star reviews

Genuine Susan Bates Double Pointed Knitting Needles made of aluminum

They are 10 Inch in length. Made in USA.

Most, but not all, in the original package.

Zephr Knitting Needles Vintage

Di Vintage Blessings ships fast and has excellent customer reviews

All nylon circulars.

All of the needles in this listing are:

Zephr (BATES) – All nylon – points and cables – Slightly tapered points

Most in the original package.

Vintage Wooden Knitting Needles

Vintage Fourty Four has great customer reviews for timely shipping and service

A lovely choice of vintage wooden knitting needles – various sizes

Each pair measures 34cm long unless otherwise stated.

There are many to choose from, and with these type of needle, you’re sure to experience a little bit of living history when you knit.

Do you love Vintage Knitting Needles? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop me a note below in the comments section or get in touch with me here.

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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.

Please say hello!

5 thoughts on “Vintage Knitting Needles – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews”

  1. I recently received Susan Bates wooden knitting needles that my mother got from my grandmother’s things. Neither one ever knit. I’ve been trying to find out when they would have been made.

    Reply
  2. I have just found my father’s knitting needles, There’s a pair of 14 inch size 2’s and a single 14″ size 3 made by Berkalin. What can you tell me about them? What was the Berkalin Company? What might they have cost?

    I remember him knitting even in the 1940’s and perhaps in the early 1950s and remember that the needles were off-white. I also have some of his other needles. There’s a pair of 14″ size 4’s that have a peaked black metal cap (rather the shape of the Chinese worker’s hats, one is broken. Another pair are size 4 14″. with a flat plastic top.

    I have several DPNs. One set is green plastic, 3 of them measure size 4 and one measure size 3, which I suspect is a manufacturing flaw as I have never seen any other green plastic needles. I have one set of 4 white plastic 7″ needles, size 5, and 2 partial sets, 3 of size 3 and 3 of size 4.

    Can you tell me anything about these needles?

    Reply
    • Hi Charlotte. How lovely that you have your father’s knitting needles. I am no expert in vintage knitting needles, so I’m not familiar with the needles you describe above. I’ve done a quick search for Berkalin Needles and only found this on the Webster’s Knitting Needle Notions site – length 14″ straight, name Berkalin, and size in mm marked on shaft of the straights near the stopper and at the midpoint of the DP. Black hemispheric stopper engraved with the size or with K or with W or M inside a diamond.
      Good luck in your search for more information. Cheers Jodie

      Reply

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