turned cherry wood bowl

Birds Eye Maple Clasp, Walnut Pin

One day not so long ago my wife’s sister-in-law asked me if I could make one of these. Her name is Linda Krag and she is a very interesting person. Knitting has been her passion like woodworking is mine.

About five years ago she decided to buy a company that made interchangeable knitting needles. The company had been started by an engineer and his knitting wife, who designed the dies and equipment for the injection molding process of making the needles. They had gotten old and the needles had not been on the market for some time.

The product is really a clever design. It allows a complete set of all the major sizes of knitting needles to fit in a case about the size of a VCR tape. The needle heads, which are short to fit in the case, are connected by plastic tubing with fasteners so that they can accommodate any size of knitting project.

So Linda, with the help of her family, started Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles and resurrected this business into a thriving concern. Always with an eye for innovation, she brought me this clasp design and wondered if I could make it.

My son at age four told his Montessori teacher that his dad could make anything and I have been rising to try to meet that challenge ever since. I thought about it for about six months and then one day figured a way to turn the clasps. I made a jig for the lathe to test my hypothesis. It worked very well. The second jig worked even better and then I was off on production runs.

The wonderful thing about this project is that it allows me to find a use for small pieces of wood which are absolutely beautiful but too small to make into a spoon, bowl or platter.

LIke an old piece of rock that is transformed into an object of great beauty when it is cut and polished, an old chunk of scrap wood is transformed with a little cutting and polishing into wooden jewelry.

It is also a very practical way to keep a shawl from flipping off of one shoulder or the other. By pushing up some loosely knitted fabric through the hole and securing it with a pin you have a button that can be put anywhere on the garment. It can even be used alone just for decoration.

The pin pictured on this page is from birds eye maple wood. Birds eye maple is a genetic mutant of hard maple, with tight swirls of circular wood fibers resembling the eye of a bird. The fastener pin is made of black walnut.

These make ideal gifts for your knitting friends or those who love beautiful wood and the look and feel of hand knitted garments.