Brett Beauregard writes:

I needed a break. I’ve been working hard on the osPID for several months, and I just needed to not look at code or control algorithms for a little bit. Nothing says “break” like an out-of-left-field project.

I only started knitting recently. Something that’s been bothering me about it is the length of the needles. They’re 14″ long, and I’ve been worried they’ll be bent while riding in my backpack.

It occurred to me that some sort of collapsible needle might be useful in this situation. Taking my inspiration from elastic tent poles, I got to work on my “not PID” project.

I’m really happy with how these turned out. The weight increase was negligible, and the seam is almost invisible. It puts a slight drag on the yarn, but nothing major, and I haven’t had any hangs yet. Also, because the halves are connected, you can fold the needle with your knitting on it, without worrying that things are going to fall off.

[via Kevin Groce]

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • http://N/A Barbara

    Wonderful Idea. Also, would make them safer around children. GOOD!

  • apocaknits

    It’s cool that the original person got all creative on this and made their needles their own but I’m kind of confused why they didn’t just buy circular needles?
    To be honest, I’m confused when I see old school straight needles like that. I mostly work with circs because they have no drag, like they’re describing. Unless you get a bad brand (like really cheap) they’re super smooth and easy to use. I use knitpicks or addi. They’re collapsable and the stitches don’t fall off when you put your work in the middle and if you’re really concerned you can even tie the ends.

    Once I found circs, I’ve never bought another pair of straights. So, yeah. That’s cool but I wonder if they knew about circular needles?

    • Linda

      I haven’t seen anyone knit as fast as I can on circular needles. I find them a chore. Give me straight ones any day. I can knit standing up on the metro with one tucked under my arm and a bag over other arm with the yarn in it.

    • Lavender

      LOL…you beat me to it. My reaction to this was “Cool idea, but 14 inch needles??? Really???” My mom handed me a pair of 14 inch needles when she taught me to knit, and within a few days I went out and bought a pair of 9″ bamboo needles because I hated the longer needles. Then I bought the KP interchangeables and I haven’t looked back. They do everything I need them to do, whatever the size of the project.

      • apocaknits

        right? I love the interchangeables.

  • dmoola

    awesome, i wish i had some of these!

    • apocaknits

      if they don’t sell them at your regular craft store (or if you’re lucky and have a yarn shop in your town, even better!) then you can easily get them online through or if that seems too much like, whoa, are you their corporate spy or something then try amazon and search circular knitting needles. Amazon sells Addi, which are my favorite brand but a little expensive and some people have allergic reactions to the metal in some of their special lines.

    • apocaknits

      I just realized you were commenting on the original post… so pretend like I’m not dumb/crazy and just ignore my previous reply please. :)

  • Maddy Poe

    We all solve our problems in our own ways. I might use these collapsing needles or not. Either way, I think they’re brilliant!

  • coryy

    well, if you like lever knitting, those would fill a need. I think it’s very clever!

  • gambagirl

    Cool idea, but I’m one of those who says, “Um, how about a circular needle?”

    But we each need to use what works best, so it’s great that this might be another option one day!