Mar 31

Needle Butts

Posted by Nanc

Okay, what would YOU call them, huh?

It’s the end pieces on knitting needles, usually -but not always- made from polymer clay. I’ve also seen buttons, glass beads, and acorn caps. They’re there to stop your precious knitting from falling off the not-working end of the needles. Kind of what may stop your pants from falling down (if you’re built right wink, wink).

Well, whatever you want to call them I’ve made a few for my new needles. (And no, none look like rear ends.)

Using polymer clay is pretty easy and rewarding. The two most difficult things are first trying to decide what to make, and then stopping. I’ve jotted down some notes from my attempts with the clay, but this stuff is nearly limitless.

Tools needed:

  • polymer clay (brand names: Fimo®, Scupley®, and Cernit®) *note: be sure to get firm-after-baking products
  • wax paper (or a clean, non-stick surface to work on)
  • oven
  • aluminum foil
  • glue (to secure the clay ends after baking, if needed)
  • and I find toothpicks helpful for a myriad of things

There are a few tips to keep in mind when working with polymer clay:

  • Polymer clay comes in a great variety of colors, styles and effects. For this project, you’ll want to stick with a hardening clay.
  • Try to stay with the same brand/product, or with similar baking times and temps.
  • The colors will stain whatever it comes into contact with, so be certain to protect what you like.
  • If the clay is dry out of the package, simply wet with a little water (or damp paper towel) until it’s pliable. It also “loosens up” after working it in your hands for a while.
  • Can’t quite find the color you want, or don’t want to buy every possible tone and shade? Much like paint, simply mix your clays to create different colors.
  • Everything leaves an impression. For fingerprintless masterpieces, use disposable gloves or wax paper.
  • Keep your eye on the size. Too heavy ends on the needles will make them unusable. Keep the size minimal and light.
  • Use aluminum foil to protect your baking sheet and to prop up your creations in the oven.
  • Read the products directions and warnings. I’m not your mom.

Other than those tidbits, enjoy yourself and be creative. Here are some pix of the ‘needle butts’ that Bonez and I made:

I can’t take the credit for the idea, but only for the conception. A delicious, red apple and a yummy, green… eww, there’s a worm in my apple! [hehehe] Yin and yang, my good friend. Yin and yang. The yarn is gray Merinos Dodici.

These were Bonez’s contribution. Bowling pins *and* needles! Oh, that Matt. The yarn is a great wow ’em red and black eyelash called The Baroness. Very punk.

Inspired by my apples, but wanting something different (ergo, oranges); I went with a citrus theme. I used a toothpick to give the lemon and orange texture. Now if only they made scratch’n’sniff clay. Unfortunately, the yarn’s true color didn’t show up, but I promise you that it’s a gorgeous, chocolaty-brown with brightly colored tuffs and called Blossom, from Trendsetter Yarns.

This is my hippie contribution. (Whenever crafting, I find it necessary to give homage to the hippies that have gone before us. um, yeah) It was really me playing with colors and design. Posed with Sirenetta, a soft cotton/acrylic blend, in what I call lavender-berry.

And finally, my mismatched, two-toned spirals. No idea what motivated me (or didn’t), but I’m happy with the silliness. They’re shown with a pound (!) of golden-tan 100% wool purchased on eBay.

3 Responses to “Needle Butts”

  1. kathy Says:

    Ooh! Loving the bowling ball & pin set. But then, I’m really pretty partial to the fruits. (Love the texture on the orange & lemon!) Any time you wanna make a set of Peeps for me, have at it!

  2. Mary Kay Says:

    Silly Wabbit…they are called end caps. I enjoyed meeting you tonight, and I am enjoying reading your blog. Until next time…

  3. Sara Says:

    I love the name needle butts! I think I will try this and actually make little butts! THANK YOU!